NBA / Nov 16, 2010 / 4:55 pm

You Be the GM: Tayshaun Prince or John Kuester?

Tayshaun Prince (photo. Keith Allison)

Dating back to the Allen Iverson era — which was here and gone about as fast as A.I.’s first step — cracks in the chemistry of the Detroit Pistons infrastructure have effectively ended what was one of the NBA’s most consistent runs of success over the last decade. While the A.I. situation drew more national attention because of the big names involved, the Pistons’ issues over the last couple of seasons have been just as damaging. Now it’s just getting out of hand.

During last night’s loss to Golden State, starting forward Tayshaun Prince and coach John Kuester got into an exchange on the bench that required security being called. In the second quarter, Prince found himself double-screened while his defensive assignment, Warriors’ guard Reggie Williams, hit a three. Not liking Prince’s effort (or lack thereof) in fighting through the screens, Kuester immediately called a timeout and laid into Prince. The nine-year veteran player argued his side, and eventually Kuester called over a team security officer to have Prince escorted to the locker room. Prince stayed on the bench, and he returned to play later in the game, but assistant coach Darrell Walker also appeared to have to restrain Kuester from going after Prince at one point.

“I hope it doesn’t happen again,” Prince was quoted afterward by Yahoo! Sports. “I can’t say it won’t because I’m the type of guy that if I don’t see something right, I got to say something.

“It’s something that happens,” Prince said. “You can call me the bad guy. I’ve pretty much said something to Flip (Saunders), Larry (Brown) and all my other coaches. It’s part of the game. Maybe the way I handled it wasn’t the right way. When you are getting beat by 30 early, strange things happen.”

Clearly there are problems in Detroit. Kuester also benched Rodney Stuckey for one game earlier this season after Stuckey showed up the coach by refusing to enter a game, and last night wasn’t even the first time Prince and Kuester have clashed in public. At this point, does one of them have to go? And if you’re team president Joe Dumars, who do you send away?

Prince is a lifetime Piston, one of the rocks of the franchise who won a championship with the team in 2004 and had a six-year run where he didn’t miss a single game. As an Olympic gold-medal winner (’08) and longtime defensive stalwart, he is a fan favorite in Detroit and could have his No. 22 retired someday by the organization.

Kuester is only in his second season as coach, and hasn’t really done a lot to prove he’s a keeper. The team missed the playoffs last season and is 2-6 to start this year. But at the same time, if Dumars always gets rid of the coach when disputes with players threaten to envelop the team, the players may start to believe they’re running the show and will respect the next coach even less. The Pistons already ran Michael Curry out of town after one season; if the front office jettisons Kuester because of this situation, they could be creating a monster within its own locker room.

What would you do? If the Prince/Kuester situation becomes a “Him or me” ultimatum, who goes?

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  • Bizz

    Well Prince has the contract they want/need to move, so it’ll be him before Kuester, but in reality, it should be both guys being moved. One traded, and one fired (most likely by season’s end)

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    I don’t understand why players don’t listen to their coach.

  • DarkHorse

    There is something CLEARLY wrong with the coach, if his players are already rebelling against him. A coach’s job is to get his guys to believe in him. If the coach can’t convince his players that following him is the best way to win, then there’s no way his players will ever follow him.

  • Michorizo

    It’s not the coach…it’s the players…it’s a player’s league…so hate the game not the player!

  • Joe’s Momma

    Prince is gone at seasons end unless Detroit opens up the checkbook.

    So Kuester is gone, because then both will be gone at season’s end.

    But this was all started by Stuckey, he did it first, just in a passive aggressive sort of way.

  • Tim

    Prince isn’t playing team ball this year. You can see it as he constistenly passed up open teammates to force his own. He needs to go.

  • Slickyrickyross

    They both blow, fire Kuester and trade Tayshaun and get some young guys and/or picks in return.

  • Rainman

    well u gotta first get rid of the coach, cuz lets be real, if the person you guys traded Chauncey for, so he could get minutes and develop, and u consider the cornerstone of ur team(Stuckey) wont play for him…how are u going to succeed? Especially if u consider Stuckey a long term guy?

    But we all know they also gotta trade Prince. Not because of these situations, but because they need to trade Rip and himself to REALLY begin the rebuilding process which they are in need of.

    So, ultimately, You gotta get rid of both for the betterment of the team.

  • DVS

    I’m hoping prince can be moved and RIP can tag along.
    Kuester sucks big time, but RIP and Prince aren’t helping the team either.
    RIP and Prince need to be moved so the next generation Pistons can take over. Oh, and Kuester isn’t gonna be around at seasons end.

  • superfreak


  • IGP

    I was just thinking what if Scola was never traded by the Spurs. DIME, you should do an article examining trades like that in retrospect. Imagine the Spurs with him right now?

  • http://www.remixcomic.com Nodizzel

    @IGP: Dude don’t play with my emotions :( I wish almost everyday the Spurs never traded Scola. But! I am still happy with the team as it is now.

  • nizzio

    I want T-Mac to play 25+ minutes per game so I hope Rip and Prince go! The coach has been giving Mac some playing time so im cool with that

  • chris

    Dumars should fire Kuester and them himself. Why ? Both made/make the wrong decisions.

  • QQ

    It started with the AI trade, one of the dumbest trades in recent memory.

    I respect AI in his prime, but trading your freaking LEADER for a me-first diva is ALWAYS a bad idea.

  • kdog78

    Man, it’s so sad to see my Pistons falling apart this way. I think that Prince should have been traded about two years ago (same with Hamilton) so the team could have started rebuilding at that point. But, oh no, Joe Dumars didn’t want to “rebuild” he wanted to “stay competitive” while adding new pieces. Doesn’t he know this is the NBA? I say trade Prince sooner than later, Hamilton next summer and give Kuester one more shot at coaching a team that doesn’t have entrenched veterans who carry more clout than the coach. It’s obvious that Rip and Tay are both uncomfortable on this team because, NEWSFLASH, they have been winning for the better part of a decade and don’t want to stop doing that; especially for a second year coach with no credibility.

  • ReddiRed

    1. Kuester is no coach. maybe highschool, but not NBA.
    2. It is clear that Tayshaun needs to go. He regularly looks off CV & Stuckey for his own shot or to pass to Rip.
    I thought alot more of Tayshaun, but as i watch him play now, I see a spoiled baby. He is no leader. He is supposed to be that vet guidance to these young cats, but instead, he (& Rip) create division in the lockeroom.

    Kuester’s dumba$$ can’t seem to see this. Thats why he needs to immediately roll out.

    I feel bad for my pistons, but stand behind them 100%!!!!!

  • ReddiRed

    @ kdog78….

    well said. I agree with you.

  • YpsiRickitheDragon

    They need 2 trade Tayshawn & Rip ASAP for experiering contracts/young talent/or draft picks). So the point becomes mute.