First thing about this story I found interesting was that Ben Wallace was still in the NBA. I could have sworn that he had retired three years ago.
With that being said, skipping practice seems to be a bit juvenile, but this is how they wanted to get their point across.
Five players were absent from Pistons morning shootaround Friday in Philadelphia in what a source told the Detroit News was a protest of the coach. Tracy McGrady, Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton Chris Wilcox and Ben Wallace were not at the shootaround.
There were excuses for missing the shootaround — McGrady had a headache, for example — but apparently the message was clear. Kuester said he would start the guys who did show for shootaround.
Kuester and his players have been fighting all season, with Prince and Kuester having words, Wallace basically saying the team doesn’t play hard for the coach and, and the Hamilton train wreck. Now this. And that is just the public stuff, behind closed doors the Pistons players are more than happy to complain about Kuester and how he treats and communicates with players. These are veteran players — ones past their prime, hence the 21-38 record — who expect to be treated a certain way. They feel they are not be, and things have gotten progressively worse as the season has worn on. Just like the Pistons play.
If the Pistons were relevant this would be a bigger story, but this isn’t the Pistons of the mid 2000s, when Tracy McGrady is leading your team that is a problem.
A coach treating all his players the same? Shocking I know, but while they are vets, they aren’t superstars anymore. If you don’t want to show up for practice or play hard, also be sure to give back some of the millions you are being paid.