What in the blue hell is going on in Detroit? Per this story on The Detroit NewsTracy McGrady (figures) Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton, Chris Wilcox and Ben Wallace all missed this morning’s practice in what is being reported as a “player protest”. Here’s some of the story:
Various Pistons players have had their share of issues with coach John Kuester this season, and many have been vocal — privately and publicly — in their criticism of the second-year coach.
According to team spokesman Cletus Lewis, McGrady was out with a headache, Prince had the stomach flu, while Wilcox and Hamilton apparently missed the bus without a reason. A team source confirmed Prince’s and McGrady’s illnesses, adding Wilcox overslept.
Kuester was unsure about how he might proceed for the team’s 7 p.m. game Friday night against the 76ers.
“We have some things … some excuses, not excuses, absences because of headaches and stuff like that,” Kuester said. “We’ll go with this group right now.”
Correct me if I’m wrong but those all sound like excuses you use when you’re planning to ditch school or skipping out on a day of work. This is an interesting development following the trade deadline where the Pistons didn’t appear very active despite trying to trade Hamilton to the Cavs, but that move fell through as Rip refused negotiated terms of a buyout from Cleveland. Maybe he stayed to stick it to Kuester and the Pistons? Possibly. It’s also a bit puzzling why the Pistons didn’t trade Tayshaun Prince who is clearly going to bail in free agency this summer.
Whatever the case may be, I don’t see a player protest as the best option. If the protest was truly the reason for the absences, the players are really only hurting themselves by getting fined for skipping practice and their teammates if they get suspended. As a professional athlete you have a responsibility to perform as such, despite if you agree with the coaching staff or not. If there’s an issue with the coach then take up with the general manager in a petition or team meeting, not by ditching practice. I think that either of those methods would be more effective than ditching practice in protest.
”Practice? Not a game… We’re talking about practice.” (I had to throw that classic from AI in there)