A Time Out with Pistons Coach John Kuester

We shoot off some questions to the team’s new chief


Published:

How does it feel to be back in metro Detroit?

The people have been nothing but kind, and I was blessed to have been here in ’04.

You have many years of sideline experience in the NBA, but this will be your first season as a head coach in the league. How long have you been waiting for this?

A number of [assistants] in the NBA … are very capable of being head coaches. A lot of times, things happen quicker or later, and in this case it happened a little bit later. I never had a timetable set in regards to becoming a head coach because I was enjoying being an assistant coach. When Detroit did call, I knew I was prepared and felt very comfortable about coming into this situation.

How realistic is a championship run?

[We’ve] got three guys that understand what it takes to be in a championship-caliber situation. And with the young players that we have, I want them to realize that anything can happen in the NBA. In ’04, we weren’t supposed to win the championship; the Lakers were supposed to win. But we became such a good team in every sense of the word.

The team is a lot younger than it has been in the past. How does it compare to an older roster?

We have a combination of players that have a tremendous amount of experience in the league … to guys that are just coming out of the college scene. One of the things that I’m lucky enough to have in Rip and Tayshaun and Ben are three players that know what I’m about and what I want to get accomplished.

 

Can Ben Wallace still be a force to be reckoned with, or will he be more of a leader?

[In Cleveland], he taught a lot of our young players what it was to be a professional. His presence in the locker room, his presence on the floor, his presence during a game itself will be so beneficial.

What kind of team attitude are you hoping to bring to the table?

The teams that are successful are teams that get along with each other and have a great culture of what life is like in the NBA. When you have a group that [is] willing to sacrifice for the team, that makes something special.

You teed off at the Buick Open last summer. How’s your golf game?

I did a lot of coaching that day, also — a lot of coaching, because some of my playing was not very good.

Are you into any other sports?

I love all sports. I used to play a lot of tennis, a lot of squash, racquetball.

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

The Way It Was - George Shirley, 1966

George Shirley, 1966

24 Hours With . . . Sophia Bush

Actress, activist, and co-founder of Detroit Blows

Another Crack in the Ceiling

A young, rising female activist shares the impact and inspiration of Rashida Tlaib’s historic win as the first female Muslim to the U.S. Congress

Smart Cookies

More than a century ago, Juliette Gordon Low sparked a movement to inspire girls to embrace their strength and intellect.

Three Generations, One Roof

University of Michigan Professor Natasha Pilkauskas finds one type of household is on the rise
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. And the 2019 Restaurant of the Year Is: Prime + Proper
    A polished ambience and masterful dishes at downtown Detroit’s Prime + Proper, reimagine the...
  2. 24 Hours With . . . Sophia Bush
    Actress, activist, and co-founder of Detroit Blows
  3. Bottoms Up
    More than 60 years after Black Bottom was razed, the Detroit region named for its rich, dark soil...
  4. 48 Hours With ... Jim Jalove
    Group Fitness Manager, Equinox Bloomfield Hills
  5. Live Long and Prosper
    Ann Arbor’s Forever Labs builds a thriving business banking stem cells on the prospect of...
  6. Three Generations, One Roof
    University of Michigan Professor Natasha Pilkauskas finds one type of household is on the rise
  7. A Moment of Mindfulness
    Ditch the mid-day meeting with a self-care solution
  8. North American International Auto Show Charity Preview
  9. Japanese Exchange
    Adachi brings a fresh Asian-inspired menu to a Birmingham landmark
  10. Smart Cookies
    More than a century ago, Juliette Gordon Low sparked a movement to inspire girls to embrace their...