An inside look at the Detroit Pistons and the NBA.
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Austin Daye apologizes to Kuester and fans WITH VIDEO
Austin Daye apologized to Pistons coach John Kuester and the Pistons fans for arriving late to Friday's now famous shootaround. According to Daye he was late because of a simple miscommunication on his part.
“I was late to shootaround,” Daye said. “I made a mistake. I wasn’t paying attention. Everyone was leaving and my phone, I didn’t get a text message. I was late to shootaround. I missed the first bus. I showed up late, but that’s what you get when you make a mistake.”
Daye said he wasn’t part of any player protest against Kuester and he apologized to Kuester for being late.
“For me personally, I have no problem with coach,” Daye said. “He’s been playing me so why would I protest him.
“I was late,” Daye later added. “It’s inexcusable for a player to be late because of a miscommunication. I got benched for the game and I understood why. I didn’t hold a grudge. I wasn’t telling coach that was the wrong decision because I told him when I saw him it was the right decision. He stepped up and started me tonight.”
Daye admitted it was hard to watch six of his teammates play Friday as he sat on the bench and he’s hopeful to learn from his mistake.
“You make a mistake and you learn from it,” Daye said. “That’s exactly why I didn’t play because I was late. Trust me, if I could have been on time I would have. With that said, it hurt me to seem my teammates out there with only six players knowing I could help. That’s not a mistake I want to make again. I apologize to the Pistons fans and the Piston family for being late and my tardiness.”
Below is video of Daye's interview with the media Saturday night:
Five players miss shootaround in alleged player protest
Just when you think the Pistons couldn't possibly become more dysfunctional, they find a way.
Five Detroit veterans missed Friday's shootaround in Philadelphia Friday morning in what The Detroit News and Free Press are reporting as a "player protest" aimed at coach John Kuester.
The five Pistons not at shootaround were Tracy McGrady, Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Ben Wallace and Chris Wilcox. Rodney Stuckey and Austin Daye showed up late after missing the team bus.
A team spokesman said Wallace was tending to a family matter, McGrady had a headache, Prince had an upset stomach and Hamilton and Wilcox missed the team bus.
Some of the excuses may be legitimate, but it's doubtful the complete truth will ever come out.
If it truly was a player protest then the big question is where do the PIstons go from here?
One of two things has to happen. The players needed to be suspended or Kuester has to go or both.
Why the players would elect to do this with 23 games left and the playoffs out of the question is a mystery, but this can't just be swept under the rug. Someone has to step in and do something and that person has to be team president Joe Dumars.
The Detroit Pistons have 24 games left, nearly 30 percent of the season left to play out. But consider their playoff hopes over after the loss to the Houston Rockets Tuesday night.
Detroit (21-37) trails Indiana (25-30) by 5.5 games for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
If the Pacers keep their current pace of winning 45.5 percent of their games they would finish 37-45.
To finish 37-45, the Pistons would have to go 16-8 in their final 24 games, a winning percentage of 66.7 percent. That’s not going to happen and even if it did there is no guarantee it would get Detroit in the playoffs. The Pistons would also have to leapfrog Charlotte and Milwaukee.
ESPN’s John Hollinger has the odds of the Pistons making the playoffs at 2.9 percent as of Tuesday night, but even that seems optimistic at this point.
Pistons source says team has not been contacted by Nets
According to multiple reports the New Jersey Nets and Denver Nuggets have resumed trade talks involving Carmelo Anthony.
In the original rumored deal back in January, the Nets, Nuggets and Pistons were discussing a three-team deal.
According to a Pistons source, Detroit has yet to be contacted by the Nets.
In the deal discussed back in January, Detroit was set to send Richard Hamilton and another player (possibly DaJuan Summers) to New Jersey for the expiring deal of Troy Murphy, Johan Petero and a possible draft pick (mostly like a second rounder).
The original deal was killed by Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, who did not like the public nature of the trade talks.
The Nuggets have been trying to deal Anthony all season and will have to make a move soon with the trade deadline on Feb. 24 or risk losing Anthony to free agency and getting nothing in return.
Denver and the New York Knicks have also been engaged in trade talks, but have been unable to strike a deal.
Hamilton has played in just one game since Jan. 10, scoring 15 points in a win at Milwaukee on Feb. 5. Hamilton has missed the Pistons last six games with a sore groin, although it’s unclear if Hamilton would be playing even if healthy.
Hamilton and Pistons coach John Kuester have had a very public falling out and have not spoken in more than a month.
The Pistons and Hamilton seem destined to part ways, but the two years and more than $25 million left on Hamilton’s current deal have made him difficult to trade.
Al Iannazzone of The Bergen Record first reported the talks were back on between the Nets and Nuggets.
VIDEO: Detroit Pistons Richard Hamilton sheds light on disagreement with Kuester
After returning to the lineup for the first time since Jan. 10 on Saturday, Pistons guard Richard Hamilton sat out Tuesday's loss to the Spurs with a sore groin.
After the game a large media contingent grilled Hamilton about what caused the rift between him and Pistons coach John Kuester. Hamilton didn't shed too much light on what happened, but watch for yourself what Hamilton had to say.
Detroit Pistons guard Richard Hamilton inactive against Nets
Pistons guard Richard Hamilton was inactive Friday night against the Nets in what the team is calling “an internal decision.”
Hamilton has not played since Jan. 10 and was recently getting over the flu, but dressed for Wednesday’s game.
The decision to make Hamilton inactive is alarming because it left the Pistons with only 10 healthy bodies for Friday’s game. Rodney Stuckey (shoulder) and Jason Maxiell (back) were both listed as active even though it was clear neither were going to play due to injuries.
Maybe the Pistons are sick of Hamilton being a distraction or maybe there is another reason he was inactive Friday, but it’s becoming more clear by the day that Hamilton may have played his last game as a Detroit Piston.
Detroit Pistons offering free tickets to tonight's game
PNC Bank and the Detroit Pistons are offering free 200-level tickets to tonight's Detroit Pistons vs. Charlotte Bobcats game as a "Snow Day" option to honor the area’s hearty fans who would like to brave the elements.
The tickets are available now through game time at The Palace box office, limited to four tickets per person, while supplies last or fans can call to reserve their tickets in advance by calling 248-377-0100.
Pistons Greg Monroe to compete in T-Moblie Rookie Challenge
Pistons rookie Greg Monroe will be a member of the rookie team in the 2011 T-Moblie Rookie Challenge game to be held on Feb. 18 during All-Star weekend in Los Angeles. Monroe is averaging 6.8 points and 6.3 rebounds this season and has come on strong as of late averaging 10.9 points and 8.9 rebounds in the month of January. Monroe has started 14 games for the Pistons this season.
Monroe will be joined on the rookie team by the Clippers forward Blake Griffin, Wizards guard John Wall, Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe, Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, New Jersey Nets forward Derrick Favors, New York Knicks guard Landry Fields, Minnesota Timberwolves guard Wesley Johnson and San Antonio Spurs guard Gary Neal.
The sophomore team will consist of Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans, San Antonio Spurs center DeJuan Blair, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson, Philadelphia 76ers guard Jrue Holiday, Oklahoma City Thunder center Serge Ibaka, Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings and Portland Trail Blazers guard Wesley Matthews.
Dave Pemberton covers the Pistons and the NBA for The Oakland Press. A graduate of Oakland University, Pemberton has been a sports writer/page designer since joining The Oakland Press in 2006. Along with covering various high school sports in both print and multi-media Internet platforms, Pemberton has covered the Oakland University men's and women's basketball beat for the past two years. Follow Dave on twitter at drpemberton