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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

PRIZE BEHIND DOOR NO. 3?

In the world of "Let's Make A Deal," the Pistons might have stumbled onto the prize behind the third curtain.
John Kuester was clearly the No. 3 choice, a distant third, behind Doug Collins and Avery Johnson for the head coaching job.
But Joe Dumars might have lucked into a better situation. The domineering personalities of Collins and Johnson would have inevitably created a crash and burn situation sometime down the road.
Kuester will be more low-keyed, low-maintenance and perhaps, quietly efficient. Not to say he's another Chuck Daly but he's a longtime assistant in this league who deserves a shot, much like Daly when he was hired by the Pistons (I'm not counting Daly's short heading coaching stint with Ted Stepien's Cavs). Now, he's got it and he has something to prove, much like many of his players.
And the team he's inheriting is younger and much less accomplished. The only remaining players from the Pistons' elite teams are Tayshaun Prince and Richard Hamilton and there's still a decent chance Hamilton will be traded for frontcourt help. He's not going to have to proceed cautiously while a group of longterm, close-knit starters watch and critique his every move.
This group is younger and needs a good teacher. Collins could have been that guy but why not Kuester? He's been an assistant since 1995. He knows the league, knows what makes players tick and knows the schemes that can make a team successful, without interjecting his ego into the proceedings.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Larry Baker said...

Gosh, Dana, this seems like a rosy scenario you painted. As I recall, Flip was run out of town because the players did not respect him. I once was privy to a very ugly incident when Flip was trying to make small talk with Rasheed at a Shock game. How are the vets going to respond to Kuester? I'm guessing we will bring in another "no nonsense guy in a year or two. Too pessimistic?

July 8, 2009 at 2:07 PM 
Anonymous Dana Gauruder said...

My point Larry was that the "old guard" is mostly gone - two (Tay and Rip), possibly one if a trade is made. Kuester won't have to deal with some of the issues that Flip and Curry had to face. But no doubt - as a first-time head coach, he'll have to earn the players' respect and trust without a proven track record behind him.

July 8, 2009 at 2:13 PM 
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