As a Detroit Piston fan, I can handle the team being bad. I can handle the team not living up to my expectations. But I can’t handle a team being incompetent. And if the latest news reports about the relationship between Richard Hamilton and head coach John Kuester are to be believed, this team is certainly incompetent.
Hamilton has been a healthy scratch for seven consecutive games. He went from the starting rotation, to key bench reserve to a series of DNP-CDs. To many Pistons fans, including myself, it was the right move. But there is a right way and a wrong way to go about business with your players, certainly nine-year veterans who helped lead your team to a title. And Hamilton says that after nobody in the organization talking to him since the benchings began, Kuester sent the head of team security over to Hamilton to indicate that he would be willing to talk things over.
“I felt offended that he sent Jerry instead of coming himself or sending an assistant coach,” Hamilton told the Detroit Free Press on Sunday. “I could tell Jerry was uncomfortable and I said no.”
This means that either Kuester is too scared to have a face-to-face meeting with Hamilton or that he feels that his time is too valuable to take the steps of approaching Hamilton himself. Neither scenario reflects well on the coach or on the organization. If, as has been said all along, Hamilton is sitting on the bench solely because that is what Kuester wants and not because the front office wants him healthy due to an impending deal, Kuester owes it to Hamilton to hash things out. And speaking of the organization, I can understand Joe Dumars not involving Hamilton in the day-to-day status of the botched Carmelo Anthony trade, but after the megadeal blew up, I think it was incumbent on Dumars to talk with Hamilton and Kuester and sort this situation out so all sides can be heard.