Saturday, February 26

I am not proud to be a Detroit Pistons fan

The Detroit Pistons are disgusting. Friday night's regrettable performance against the 76ers is the lowest moment in this organization I have ever seen. Tayhaun Prince, Tracy McGrady, Ben Wallace and Rodney Stuckey did not start in the game after an alleged boycott of head coach John Keuster. Coach Keuster was ejected in the game, while the Pistons on the bench sat back and laughed. (Of course they claim it was about something else...) Despicable. During the shoot around before the game, Prince, McGrady, Wallace, Stuckey, Chris Wilcox, Rip Hamilton and Austin Daye were all missing. The organization of course spun an excuse for each of them, despite strong rumors of a protest against the coach.

Enough is enough. How many times do we have to see players on this team moan and complain about everything that happens, such as issues with the coach, fouls and playing time? These guys get paid millions of dollars to play a game, and they can't even show up for practice. Pathetic. In no other profession can you simply not show up to work if you don't like how things are going (Unless you are a Wisconsin politician). Most people get fired for pulling that kind of garbage. I don't care about the good memories of 2004 anymore. Send crybabies Prince and Hamilton packing. They are nothing but aging detriments to the team's future. Ben Wallace should follow close behind, along with anyone else who is not committed to playing hard every night. The team should not be laughing on the bench, when they are not the laughingstock of the league. Jokes on you, Pistons. The remaining three starters from that '04 team have forever tarnished their legacies, and will be most likely remembered for this immature stunt they pulled.

John Kuester needs to go as well, as no coach has lost control of a team in such spectacular fashion has he. Sure, he faced huge odds coming into a situation with the massive egos on his team, but to have players boycotting you? He is in over his head, and has lost this team for good. To top it off, he was ejected in the game, and his players laughed like he was a joke.  Buh bye.

Once Bill Davidson died, the franchise just stopped altogether. Whether it was Joe Dumars' inability to make a decent move, or he simply was not allowed to do anything; he was at the helm when the franshize hit rock bottom (hopefully this is rock bottom). He can't draft, and his recent acquisitions have been aged busts who couldn't defend my dad's freshman girl's basketball team. The players he has brought in are not the "Piston brand" of player Joe D used to gloss poetic about in the past. Instead we are left with hacks who focus more on their Twitter accounts than on the game itself (hello, Austin Daye). How about get in the gym and learn to D up a man? But that would mean putting your swag to the side and listening to a coach, right? T-Mac was brought in to be a leader on this team. Yet he disappears most of the time and now he is skipping shoot around and criticizing his coach. Looks like he will always be the star who couldn't get it done. Remember that series in 2003 when you were up 3-1 and lost? So does everyone else.

How dare this team disrespect the Pistons organization and fans this way. They play in Detroit, a city that has clearly fallen on hard times. People are working multiple jobs just to keep the lights on, and these so called professionals can't man up and play a game for millions of dollars? Detroit fans deserve a live apology for this selfish action from every single one of the players who were involved in this mess. To me, this is worse than the Palace brawl. Kuester, if he isn't fired, should pull a Norman Dale from Hoosiers and tell the refs that from now on, "My team is on the floor." I'd rather see six players who care, than watch a whole team who would rather complain on Twitter about their coach than play basketball.

I don't know these Pistons. Where are the "going to work every night" Pistons I remember? Where is Chauncey's never say die attitude? Where is McDyess's smile? Where is Lindsay Hunter's tenacity? Where is Sheed's bravado? Gone, along with the passion for basketball in Detroit. I don't care about this team anymore. I tried hard this season, but this is the last straw. To pull a page out of my old man's book, I am expunging the Pistons from my life. This isn't about wins and losses. If it was, I would have bailed last season. No, this is about my lack of passion for a bunch of babies who can't get it together enough to play a full game of basketball. I simply cannot get behind that kind of team. There are bad teams who are just bad (Cleveland), and then there are bad teams that are bad because they don't care. Hopefully the new owner comes in and cleans house. A new start. Get rid of the skeletons of 2004, the bad draft picks and the washed up UConn players. Give me a team that cares. That's all I ask.

EDIT: The six Pistons who did suit up and play deserve some serious recognition. Thank you Charlie V, Greg Monroe, Ben Gordon, DaJuan Summers, Jason Maxiel and especially Will Bynum who said, "I don't have any thoughts on anything that's going on. I just try to stay professional and positive throughout whatever's going on. You know, because it's still a business. It's still my job to be a professional basketball player, so that's what I'm trying to do."  They may not be the best players, but they showed some level of professionalism that the rest of the team apparently can't understand. 

By Aaron Brandt, who has a Rip Hamilton jersey for sale.