Tag:John Kuester
Posted on: August 4, 2011 9:10 pm

Joe Dumars takes 'mulligan' with Frank hire

Posted by Ben Golliver


NBA GMs and presidents don't often publicly admit they have made mistakes, at least not while they are still employed. 

Pistons president Joe Dumars has seen the highest of highs and the lowest of lows in his tenure in Detroit, though, and he sounded humbled this week after announcing the hiring of new coach Lawrence Frank.

In an interview with CBSDetroit.com, Dumars used a golf analogy to explain the hire.  

"What do they call a do-over in golf? A mulligan? This is my mulligan here, man," Dumars said. "This is my one do-over that I want to get right in the worst way right now."

Frank becomes the seventh man to coach the Pistons since the Dumars era began in 2000-2011. He also becomes the third coach since the 2008-2009 season as Michael Curry lasted just one year, winning 39 games, and John Kuester barely made it through two seasons, winning 27 games in 2009-2010 and 30 games in 2010-2011, while dealing with roster mutinies and public disagreements with players.

Dumars said the experiences with Curry and Kuester led him to take a more deliberate process in selecting Frank. 

"If I had to do [the previous hires] over again, I would probably take as much time as this one," Dumars admitted. "What a long process does, it not only allows you but it almost forces you to deal with all different types of issues. Not going through that process, you hire a guy, then after you hire him then you end up going through those things and you start seeing some red flags that you didn't see earlier on."

The Naismith Hall of Fame guard won two titles as a player with the Pistons and grabbed a third ring in 2003-2004, when his well-constructed Pistons toppled the heavily-favored Los Angeles Lakers. But that success has been marred by more than a few mulligans along the way.

In addition to the hiring failures of Curry and Kuester, Dumars drafted Darko Milicic ahead of Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in the 2003 NBA Draft, trade Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson, signed Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon to hefty long-term contracts and allowed the disgruntled Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince to tear apart his locker room last season. That's a range bucket's worth of dropped ball mulligans in one paragraph.
Posted on: July 21, 2011 5:18 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 5:36 pm

Report: Pistons to hire Frank as head coach

By Matt Moore

Update 5:35 p.m.: The Detroit News reports that it is a "done deal" and Frank will accept to become the next head coach of the Detroit Pistons

Yahoo! Sports reports that the Detroit Pistons have decided on Lawrence Frank as their next head coach, and a formal offer is expected within the next 24 hours. 

Frank most recently worked as the defensive assistant replacement for Tom Thibodeau in Boston, after several years as head coach of the New Jersey Nets. Frank has interviewed for nearly a half-dozen head coaching positions over the past two years, is well thought of by both players and coaches, and brings a defensive mindset all organizations value.

The Pistons need a coach who comes in with built-in respect and having had success as a players' coach. Frank definitely fits that description, and despite the sometimes unhappy locker room in New Jersey at the end of the Jason Kidd-Vince Carter eara, Frank also continuously pulled more from the Nets than people expected, right up until the wheels came flying off in 2009. With Detroit, Frank's first order of business will be to... well, assemble a staff and then redecorate his office or something, considering he can't do anything until the lockout's lifted. Once that's over, Frank will need to work to figure out which of the veterans are salvageable from a chemistry aspect and which of them need to go immediately. The Pistons need a youth movement, but more than that, they don't need any more hijinx from the veterans like last year. The players got what they wanted, Kuester's gone. 

Now the question will be whether Frank's tough, acerbic style manages to get a hold on the situation in Detroit without a full-scale clean sweep.
Posted on: June 5, 2011 3:28 pm
Edited on: June 6, 2011 6:34 am

Pistons fire John Kuester as head coach

Posted by Royce Young

It was expected, but John Kuester was relieved of his head coaching position in Detroit, the team announced today.

“Decisions like this are difficult to make,” said general manager Joe Dumars in a statement. “I want to thank John for his hard work and dedication to the organization over the last two years, however, at this time we have decided to make a change.”

Kuester became Detroit's head coach in July of 2009, replacing Michael Curry. In two seasons on the bench, Kuester led Detroit to just a record of 57-107.  As an assistant on Larry Brown's staff, he helped lead the Pistons to their 2004 championship.

It was a pretty rocky season in Detroit for Kuester and not just because the team stunk. At one point late in the year, the team arranged a bit of a protest against him as players were upset with him. It appeared Kuester had lost control of his team as veterans such as Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton and Charlie Villanueva publicly voiced dissenting opinions.

Kuester butted heads with both Prince and Hamilton over playing time, sitting both for extended periods including a deactivation of Hamilton for nearly a month. Late in March, the team had even privately nicknamed Kuester "Sean Penn" because of the Penn movie "Dead Man Walking."

This firing was entirely expected, but the Pistons wanted to wait until the ownership transfer with Tom Gores' group was finished up. After David Stern announced before Game 1 of the NBA Finals that the sale was complete, it was only a matter of time. As is protocol, the new ownership group first met with Kuester and Dumars to decide any future plans. Once that meeting happened, Kuester was out.

Kuester was an assistant to new Laker head coach Mike Brown in Cleveland and is expected to join Brown's staff in Los Angeles. As for who the Pistons are looking at, reportedly former Atlanta coach Mike Woodson is an early leading candidate along with the usual list we've come to know -- Lawrence Frank, Dwane Casey, Mark Jackson, Mike Budenholzer.

Woodson though was an assistant under Larry Brown in Detroit and with a pretty solid tenure in Atlanta, would likely be a good fit for the Pistons.

Posted on: May 29, 2011 4:34 pm
Edited on: May 29, 2011 6:10 pm

Kuester's future subject of conflicting reports

Coach John Kuester will reportedly not be back as Detroit Pistons head coach, but multiple reports indicate no decision has been made yet. Posted by Ben Golliver. john-kuester

After a tumultuous season of player protests, public bickering, constant rotation changes and another trip to the NBA Draft Lottery, the Detroit Pistons and head coach John Kuester have reportedly parted ways. 

ESPN.com reports that Kuester is headed out in Motown, as has been anticipated for months.
Detroit head coach John Kuester will not be returning to the Pistons, according to sources. It is presumed that president Joe Dumars and his staff will be returning, but there has been no definitive indication of that yet, sources said.

Hired in 2009 to be the franchise's 27th head coach, Kuester has posted a 57-107 mark in his two years in Detroit.
A source told CBSSports.com's Ken Berger on Sunday that Kuester "had not been let go and that no decisions will be made until Tom Gores officially takes over." Gores is the team's new owner, having agreed to purchase the team from Karen Davidson.

Update: A source tells CBSSports.com's Ken Berger on Sunday evening that "Kuester has not resigned, nor has he indicated to Pistons management that he's leaving, according to one source." Also, Berger notes, "according to another source, Mike Brown would like Kuester to join his staff but is waiting for his situation with the Pistons to be resolved."

MLive.com also reported shortly thereafter that a split had not yet taken place.
Pistons source: Nothing has been decided yet on John Kuester. Sounds to me like someone jumped the gun. It appears that no change is imminent with Kuester, from what I'm hearing.
Another denial came in from the Detroit News.
Looks like ESPN is jumping the gun on Kuester. His status hasn't been decided yet, according to multiple team sources.
Yet another denial came in from SI.com.
John Kuester has NOT been fired by the Pistons, high ranking source tells SI. No decision has been made as of yet.
Finally, the Detroit Free Press weighed in with its denial.
Nothing has changed with Q. Everybody has said he's unlikely to return. Q just told me he hasn't been told anything. Source just told me no decision on Q until Tom Gores takes over. But the writing is on the wall.
These reports are not necessarily contradictory. Kuester could have decided that he will to resign or the sides could have agreed that a split will eventually happen, as has been rumored for months given his inability to establish authority over.

Worth noting: The Los Angeles Times reported on Friday that Kuester could join the staff of new Lakers head coach Mike Brown. 
Kuester's job with the Pistons is tenuous because of the revolt from his players during the past season when five of them skipped a practice. He remains under contract, but if Kuester is let go, Brown wants him coaching with the Lakers.
Kuester was an assistant on Brown's staff in Cleveland before he was hired to lead the Pistons. 

More on this story as it develops.
Posted on: April 15, 2011 2:10 pm

Stern gives timetable for Pistons sale

Posted by Royce Young

The Pistons sale has seemed to drag on for forever. Last week, local businessman Tom Gores bought the team -- or at least his private equity firm did -- and at today's Board of Governors meeting, there was word on when it might finally go final.

Per SI's Chris Mannix, David Stern interviewed Gores yesterday and closed the schedule on the sale for no later than June 30 but assured that the deal will be done by the end of May.

Ken Berger noted yesterday that the longer the sale is held up, the longer the Pistons will wait to decide the future of coach John Kuester and after that, general manager Joe Dumars. Dumars is likely safe, but Kuester has a black sack over his head and is being walked to the gallows. But the Pistons aren't going anything under the sale goes through.

Also noted by Ken was this interesting nugget about the new CBA: "Also, prospective owners, such as Gores and Burkle, want economic rules fixed as a stipulation for their buys, sources say." Just a fun little something to add in there.
Posted on: April 14, 2011 5:57 pm

Pistons, Wolves waiting on coaches, Raps on GM

Posted by Royce Young

The regular season is over, so you know what that means? Yes, the playoffs are coming, but it also means coaches are about to get fired. Two that definitely have their head at least near the chopping block are John Kuester (Pistons) and Kurt Rambis (Timberwolves). But it doesn't sound like anything is imminent, tweets Ken Berger.

"Sources say Minny (Rambis) and Detroit (Kuester) will wait before making decisions." Berger also says the Pistons have been "paralyzed" by ownership transfer. The Wolves are holding with owner Glen Taylor in New York for owner's meetings.

Berger noted yesterday that both Kuester and Rambis are likely to be fired, according to multiple sources. Berger wrote, "Kuester's firing is widely believed to be a foregone conclusion, though a source said there is "no timetable for anything" the organization is doing due to the pending ownership change. Rambis' tenuous situation did not get any help from GM David Kahn on Wednesday."

Also mentioned in there is that Rick Adelman's future is up in the air in Houston. Which is pretty crazy but understandable as the Rockets try and transition both their roster and staff moving ahead. Adelman's contract is up after this season so it'll just come down to an evaluation by Daryl Morey and the front office.  

Berger also says the Raptors are "unchanged for now" on the status of general manager Bryan Colangelo. Colangelo's contract expires June 30, along with coach Jay Triano. The Raptors are in a serious rebuilding situation and Colangelo might not have the opportunity to work on it.
Posted on: April 8, 2011 2:20 pm
Edited on: April 8, 2011 2:25 pm

Pistons sold to Tom Gores, pending NBA approval

The Detroit Pistons have reportedly been sold to investor Tom Gores pending league approval. Posted by Ben Golliver.

The months of waiting are apparently over. 

Back in early February, we noted that investor Tom Gores had a deal in place to purchase the Detroit Pistons from Karen Davidson. Throughout All-Star Weekend, the sale seemed imminent, however it failed to materialize. Last week, Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported that the negotiations were "far enough along to expect the matter to come to a vote by the Board of Governors April 14-15 in New York."

On Friday, the Detroit Free Press reports that Gores has signed an agreement to purchase the Detroit Pistons and the team's building for $420 million, pending league approval, of course.
Gores, a Los Angeles-based financier who grew up in the Flint area, has signed a purchase agreement to acquire the team and other Palace Sports & Entertainment properties. It still must be approved by the NBA.
“I am very proud to have this opportunity to be part of such a tremendous organization,” Gores said in a released statement. “I know it’s been a long process, and I appreciate the patience and support of the Detroit community. I have been impressed with the Davidson family and the way it has protected and built such a storied franchise. I grew up here, I am glad to be back, and I am very excited about all the possibilities looking forward.”
In a statement obtained by the Free Press, Pistons owner Karen Davidson said today: "We are pleased to welcome Tom Gores as the new owner of the Detroit Pistons and Palace Sports and Entertainment.
The Pistons have been a disaster on and off the court all season, with a player mutiny against coach John Kuester highlighting all sorts of minor squabbles. President Joe Dumars was unable to make any roster moves, apparently because of the ownership uncertainty, and the team just accepted its fate, heading back to the NBA Draft Lottery for the second straight season.

Will Kuester be retained? Will the roster be overhauled? Those are questions for another day. Right now, it's time to party for Pistons fans, who wasted a year of their life watching their team spins its wheels in ugly fashion.
Posted on: March 22, 2011 9:55 am

Pistons nickname Kuester "Sean Penn"

Pistons veterans have mocking nickname for head coach John Kuester. 
Posted by Matt Moore

The Detroit Pistons' reaction to John Kuester has been baffling at points. Their confusion and frustration at lineups and practice habits is understandable, but the abject void of respect they seem to nearly instantaneously developed for Kuester goes into territory rarely seen in a league of professionals. Take the most recent example from ESPN:
Despite the justified Heat Detroit's vets got for their unpardonable mutiny, that apparently hasn't stopped some of them from privately referring to their coach as Sean Penn ... as in "Dead Man Walking."
via Weekend Dime: NBA coaching carousel - ESPN via Pistons blog Pistons Powered

How is anyone supposed to work in that kind of environment. Coaches in the NBA are about ten times more expendable than players, but there's little question that Kuester has been cut off at the knees with this kind of behavior from the veterans on the Pistons. 

Kuester likely is on his way out, after so many gaffes, be they his creation or not. But Pistons ownership, whenever it's resolved, and management, particularly Joe Dumars, should be aware that the veterans on this team have to be removed. It's fine for these players to oust someone who hasn't been able to make any headway in two seasons. But the signal has to be sent that players cannot act as snakes in the grass, no matter how weeded the coaching situation may be.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com