Do not let Eminem fool you. Detroit still sucks. Their basketball team is no better. According to Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News, five players decided to protest the team’s practice today and did not attend.
Tracy McGrady, Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton and Chris Wilcox did not show up for practice along with Ben Wallace, who has been dealing with a family related issue for several weeks. Austin Daye and Rodney Stuckey also missed the shoot around and showed up as it was ending. They apparently missed the bus.
According to the report, McGrady missed the shoot around with a headache, Prince has a stomach flu, and Wilcox overslept with Hamilton missing the bus all together. He should have caught a ride with Daye and Stuckey. Better late than never, right, Rip?
These player protests have come to a head one day after the NBA trade deadline has come and gone. Detroit made no moves to relocate their various disgruntled players. Obviously, the players did not take kindly to the Pistons standing pat.
So now it seems the atmosphere of Egypt (or is Libya more en vogue now?) has taken hold of the lowly Pistons. This holdout was as much a protest against the team’s lack of movement yesterday as it was a universal condemnation of their head coach, John Kuester.
Charlie Villanueva, Jason Maxiell, Will Bynum, Ben Gordon, Greg Monroe, and DaJuan Summers were the only players present at the shoot around. Jonas Jerebko also attended but was undergoing rehabilitation therapy after surgery on his right Achilles.
Kuester stated, “We have some things … some excuses, not excuses, absences because of headaches and stuff like that. We’ll go with this group right now.” The group he is referring to is the players who showed up for practice.
If he follows up on his threat to only play those who showed up that would mean that the Pistons will only field six players Friday night against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Congratulations, Sixers, on your impending 29th victory!