AUBURN HILLS – As the Palace Sports and Entertainment (PS&E) and Detroit Pistons Basketball Company (DPBC) owner Karen Davidson tries mightily to sell the PS&E, DPBC, and their respective assets – including the NBA’s Detroit Pistons, The Palace of Auburn Hills, DTE Energy Music Theatre and the operating rights to Meadow Brook Music Festival – to Tom Gores, I sure hope he is a hands on owner.
The first thing Gores will have to do is meet with Pistons president Joe Dumars to discuss the upcoming season and the projected future.However the first piece of business that the Pistons should engage in is getting a new coach. John Kuester is a nice man and good person, but he implemented the worst coaching job I have ever seen in the NBA this past season.
“I had a mission when I came here,” Kuester said, “to improve this team as much as I could have. I gave them everything I had.”
Well, what he gave them was a disjointed up and down narrative that no one could follow.
I had no idea what the heck he was doing all season. Start this guy . . . sit this guy down . . . resurrect this guy for no reason . . . get mad at this guy for a month like a little kid.
What was that all about?
Joe . . . just show Gores that you are in charge of basketball operation and toss Kuester and his 57-107 record into the Detroit River and let’s move on.
With the ownership situation not finalized, I understand that Dumars can’t yet make a decision on Kuester — nor can prospective new owner Tom Gores influence any matters until the league’s board of governors approves his bid to buy the team.
But I say still get the next chapter in the Pistons glorious history started. Kuester must go. There is no debate on this; it is a cut and dry issue.
I understand that Gores recently met with league officials and team owners in another step in completing the sale. But I sure hope Gores plans to be an active and engaged owner like George Steinbrenner.
“I’ll be whatever owner this team needs and this franchise needs,” Gores said. “So when they need me back in Michigan, I’ll be back. I’ll be impactful, that’s for sure. I want us to be successful. I didn’t show up here not to be successful. Whatever it takes.”
What it will take is an owner that will speak up. I have always been a fan of Dumars, but he has let his coaches punk him in recent years.
Dumars has drafted and brought in numerous quality players, but the coaches he has hired have not played any of his draft picks or free agents. What that says to me is that the coaches think he is doing a bad job. They are saying without saying it, that Dumars is giving them players that cannot play or help the team.
What else is going on? Dumars brings in guys he thinks have skill but the coaches he hire will not develop or play them.
Think about this season. Kuester sitting Tracy McGrady during his most productive stretch in two years. Getting mad at Rodney Stuckey and Richard Hamilton and like a little girl staying mad beyond its productiveness.
A so-called player protest during the season. Call it whatever you want. Can it be all on the players? Heck no!!! Something was and is wrong with Kuester’s coaching.
Kuester had a 50 lost team, and with that comes a mandate to develop younger players for the future, but he rolls out Ben Wallace throughout the first part of the season sitting Chris Wilcox and Greg Monroe. How stupid was that?
Austin Daye gets a couple shots within the NBA consecutive three-point record and all of a sudden he disappears and does not play for a couple weeks. Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva was never put in a groove or given consistent minutes no matter how well they played.
Gores please start you new regime with a new coach . . . please.
Leland Stein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and twitter @lelstein3