Sources: Kuester out as Pistons Head Coach

by | May 29, 2011 | 28 comments

As reported on ESPN earlier, and also here by the dreamy Justin Rogers of MLive, the Pistons and Head Coach John Kuester will be going their separate ways after 2 long seasons with Kuester at the helm.

Kuester was 55 – 107 57 – 107 as coach of the Detroit Pistons.  This was the first NBA head coaching gig for the 56 year old Kuester, who was formerly an assistant coach under Coach Mike Brown and the Cleveland Cavaliers, after being a coach for the Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets and Boston Celtics.  Prior to his time in the NBA he was the head coach for the George Washington Colonials and Boston University Bears and as an assistant coach for the University of Richmond Spiders.

Coach Kuester was known for being an offensive mastermind after his time in Cleveland with LeBron James, but more importantly for the Pistons organization, he had served on former Piston coach Larry Brown’s staff in 2003-2004.

Kuester, a former University of North Carolina player, will likely be heading to the Los Angeles Lakers to be an assistant coach under new coach Mike Brown.  Brown, who was hired as LA Lakers head coach less than a week ago, had already expressed an interest in bringing Kuester over with him on his staff.

Kuester was never really accepted by the Pistons fans because his name either wasn’t Bill Laimbeer or he wasn’t Avery Johnson, etc.  Coach Kuester was put into a bad spot by the organization with a roster in transition, that was bound to decline after the success of the early 2000s.  Kuester was given Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva as free agents in his first season as coach, but the Pistons couldn’t find a home for eventual malcontent Richard Hamilton which left the team extraordinarily deep at the shooting guard position.

During his time with the Pistons, Kuester clashed with Rodney Stuckey and Richard Hamilton and often dealt with problems through the media rather than being straight forward with his players.  While no one should argue Kuester mismanaged the available talent, it should be noted that he never did establish a set rotation of players.  The Pistons roster is in flux after years of consistency, which is President Joe Dumars’ primary responsibility.

Moving forward, the Pistons have a steady core of young players with Greg Monroe and Jonas Jerebko.  Rodney Stuckey is coming off of another year of ups and downs and is a restricted free agent.  Ben Gordon and Charlie V are now going into their 3rd year of 5 year contracts (with player options for 6th years) as well.  Tayshaun Prince is an unrestricted free agent, and Richard Hamilton has 1 more fully guaranteed season left on his contract.

The next Pistons coach will be inheriting virtually the same roster as Kuester, minus Chris Wilcox and likely Tayshaun Prince.  There could be a chance that Prince is signed and traded, and while I had once thought he would be a good fit in LA with the Lakers, now that Coach Kuester is heading there as an assistant, it’s an unlikely destination.

What are your thoughts about Coach Kuester being out as the coach?  Is it a good move for the Pistons?  What do you think should be the next move?


  1. tim*

    To be clear, he isn’t being fired. He isn’t under contract anymore, which is a good thing. Last thing I want to see is the Pistons pay yet anothr coach to work elsewhere. He belongs with Mike Brown in LA anyway.

    Here’s to Laimbeer coming home!

  2. Damien W.

    Should be you buying the drinks, Nattalie. ^^

    But, Coach Kue being out? Well, it’s a start, but that’s only one pimple on this pre-teen face we call the Detroit Pistons that’s taken care of.

    We need to break out the Proactive. >_>

  3. pistonsfan101

    I just read that they’re thinking of hiring Mike Woodson back.. but I rather have Bill Laimbeer.

  4. Col

    Seemed like the atlanta players gave up on woodson a few times these piston players could easy do the same, give me rick adelman as coach he did a quality job with the rockets considering all their injuries

  5. Drew

    Larry Brown, Jerry Sloan, Rick Adelman, and Bill Laimbeer all out there on the market. Let’s set our sights high before settling on a no-name. Hey, is Phil Jackson technically available? 😉

  6. Drew

    If there’s one, and only one, thing we can commend Kuester for, it’s for developing rookies. Jerebko and then Monroe both met and then exceeded expectations in their first years. Kuester can take credit for most of that.

    • junior

      drew i dont think you can chalk up the devlopent to q i would go ore with steve hetzel and arnie kander. also dont forget all the hard work the PLAYERS put n that had nothing to do with q.

      • junior


    • junior

      point* damn keyboard

  7. Chicken Litlle

    Maybe Joe Dumbars should resign. HE SUCKS

    • Tate

      DUMARS DOES NOT SUCK!!!!!!!!!

  8. Tycoon

    Was Kue’s 55-107 record the worst first two seasons of a Pistons coach of all time? I would have been surprised if he was given a contract extension.

    • Tycoon

      Oh wait Kue had 57 wins not 55 Danny.

  9. terry

    Of course we couldn’t have another year of Kuester here, but he did fulfill a nice role as a transition coach for a rebuilding team. He coached us to back to back lotteries, and let everyone on the team (except Summers, poor guy) battle it out for starting positions all year long. Moving ahead the Pistons need a coach with two main philosophies; push the ball, and tough defense. I like Laimbeer as a coach. he’s intelligent and tough. People will think I’m crazy but I also wouldn’t be opposed to Isaiah Thomas, despite the New York debacle. He had Indiana playing well before Larry Turd came straight in and fired him. I think either one would give the franchise a shot in the arm, if a shot in the arm were a good thing.

  10. Chad

    Bill laimbeer or Isaiah Thomas – anyone else, besides maybe LB, and I’m done.

  11. daddy

    you want isaiah as a coach? a fine fine fine player coach i wont get into what i think. id like adlemen but who knows if he is even on our radar. time to pull the rip trade and develope some players.

    • junior

      u 2 cant even spell isiah right? u both are clueless.

      • terry

        I’ve actually seen the name spelled both ways, but what ev.

        • Suzy

          If you wrote an article about life we’d all reach enilghtneemnt.

  12. greg

    personally I kinda like Adelman

  13. terry

    Kuester to remain Piston coach….

  14. terry


  15. daddy

    small typo junior dont get your panties in a knot

  16. Laser

    this was a bit premature, but it’s a foregone conclusion. my take: kuester was an acceptable coach who performed his job adequately and should not be fed to hungry sharks.

  17. pariah

    it’s a catch-22. do you go retread with a woodson or adelman, and get burned like we did with flip-flop? or do you look to the assistant coach that cant miss like we’ve just experienced for the past two years?

    i’d go with laimbeer. no need to spout off the resume. you shouldnt be on this site if i had to. and the way t-wolves gm khan (sp?) handles his draft picks, bill would have joe d. call, and we’d end up with k-love and their next seven 1st rounders for our rights to fennis dembo…

    the only other practical name could be brian shaw since he’s not getting the lakers gig now, and is looking to make the move to head coach. but still…



  1. Officially official – Kuester gone as Pistons coach — - [...] already said a lot about the man in this post right here, so go and do reading at that…

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