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Pistons’ player-coach tensions boil over November 7, 2010

Posted by Jeff Engel in Home, Off the court.
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The Detroit Pistons are on the verge of imploding.

After a Tuesday loss to Boston, coach John Kuester called for more leadership from the team. Forward Tayshaun Prince pointed the finger right back at his coach.

The Detroit News reported that Kuester held a team meeting after the loss to the Celtics and his uncharacteristic public criticism of players. Kuester said he was pleased with the team’s effort in the next game, a loss to Atlanta the following night that put the Pistons at 0-5.

It was the team’s worst start since the 1980-’81 season.

However, during that game against the Hawks, guard Rodney Stuckey — one of the team’s supposed leaders — ignored his coach when he called to him from the sideline in the third quarter. Kuester benched Stuckey for the rest of the game.

According to the Detroit Free Press, all Stuckey would say about the incident was that, “It is what it is.” Kuester cut interviews short after the game.

Kuester may be on the verge of losing the players, wrote Jamie Samuelsen, the sports director for the morning show on WCSX-FM (94.7) and a blogger for the Detroit Free Press.

Samuelsen thinks the players are in the wrong and need to grow up and show support for their coach.

But if recent Pistons history is any indication, Kuester could soon go the way of Rick Carlisle, Larry Brown, Flip Saunders and Michael Curry — all canned or pushed out, in some cases perhaps prematurely.

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