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An inside look at the Detroit Pistons and the NBA.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Atkins Sunday's unsung hero

Pistons head coach John Kuester showed a lot of confidence in veteran Chucky Atkins Sunday by putting Atkins in the starting lineup in hopes the change would spark the team. It was Atkins first start of the season and first NBA start since April 2007. After the game, Kuester called Atkins the unsung hero of the game.

“I’ve been talking about our leadership in regards to Ben Wallace, Tayshaun Prince and Rip Hamilton, but I need to add a fourth,” Kuester said. “That fourth is Chucky Atkins because he has been somebody since Day One that has tried to do things the right way every time in practice, every time when he’s been sitting on the bench, he’s been a great cheerleader and a great coach. He’s going to be a coach in this league someday and I tip my hat to him. He did a wonderful job for us and kept that energy up.”

Atkins had two points and one assist, but more importantly gave the short-handed Pistons a valuable 19 minutes.

“My role is to, regardless of what I do, whether I came off the bench or starting, is just be an energy guy and a mentor to these younger guys,” Atkins said. “Today, I was able to start. I wanted to come and set the tone for our team defensively, get out and make some things happen. Obviously, I did not play a lot of minutes all year so I was a little off rhythm, but it felt good and guys responded really well.”


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