As arguably one of the most hated head coaches in the league by his own players over a two-year span, John Kuester was not respected in Motown during his time with the Detroit Pistons. Despite his best efforts to turn around a once dominant NBA franchise, Kuester was seemingly coaching against a brick with players that just weren’t responding to what he was selling.
Things got so bad in Detroit that his players walked out on him in the middle of the NBA season. This was something that never happens in the NBA and left Kuester scratching his head to try and figure things out in order to bring this Pistons squad back together. Unfortunately, the damage was done, and as a result the Detroit Pistons became one of the worst teams in the league.
Two months after the end of the season for the Detroit Pistons last year, John Kuester was fired once the sale of the team was finalized and Tom Gores became the new owner. This was no surprise to Kuester, as he knew he was done in Detroit, but the two months waiting for the final verdict was painful and unnecessary to say the least.
On Tues. March 6, the Los Angeles Lakers will travel to Motown to take on the Detroit Pistons for the first time this season. This will mark the first time that new Lakers’ assistant coach John Kuester will make the trip back to Detroit since being fired by the Pistons.
According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com, Kuester isn’t letting this trip bother him and no regrets for his time with the Detroit Pistons:
“I have no complaints. No complaints at all. I wish we had won more games. I wish some things could have been different. But you’re dealt a certain hand, and now we go ahead and move on,” Kuester told ESPNLosAngeles.com as he prepared to travel to Detroit as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers coaching staff.
“The bottom line, this is a game where you’ve got to win and if things don’t work out the way you want them to, then obviously they make changes. But I am very appreciative to the fact that I got an opportunity. The people of Detroit were great. I wish them nothing but the best.”
The Los Angeles Lakers are coming off a big win over the Miami Heat (93-83) and will look to make it four wins in a row since All-Star Weekend by getting the best of the lowly Detroit Pistons (12-26 record) on Tues. night at The Palace of Auburn Hills. This will be the first and only time the Lakers play the Pistons this season.