Brandon Jennings, Pistons players found out about Mo Cheeks being fired on Twitter

Maurice-CheeksMaurice Cheeks was not even given a full season to prove himself as a head coach in Detroit, as the Pistons fired him 50 games into the season on Sunday. The team is currently 21-29, but the move was surprising given the fact that Cheeks was hired just eight months ago. Cheeks’ dismissal even came as a surprise to some players, who clearly had no idea he was on the hot seat.

After Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports broke the news, Brandon Jennings took to Twitter to showcase his confusion.

Even veteran forward Charlie Villanueva seemed like he had no idea Cheeks was about to be canned.

The higher-ups don’t always consult players when making a coaching change, but there is usually some sort of indication that a head coach’s days are numbered. Despite Detroit’s record, that obviously wasn’t the case with Cheeks.

H/T Fansided

Detroit Pistons unveil ‘Motor City’ jerseys


The Detroit Pistons are looking to bounce back this season after four straight years without a playoff berth and five straight without a playoff win. Detroit has more talent in its projecting started five than it has had in recent years, and the team will be looking to rally around a city that has been struggling.

In an attempt to turn the page over to a new era, the Pistons have unveiled new “Motor City” alternate jerseys that they will wear during Sunday home games. Here is a video of forward Greg Monroe modeling the new threads.

[Read more...]

Pistons interested in Rajon Rondo, don’t want to give up Andre Drummond

Rajon-Rondo-CelticsRajon Rondo may claim he is looking forward to playing for new Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, but that does not mean teams around the NBA are going to stop inquiring about him. According to the Boston Globe, the Detroit Pistons are interested in making an offer for Rondo but may not have the pieces to get a deal done.

Actually, they have the pieces but are not willing to part ways with them.

The Celtics would presumably ask for emerging center Andre Drummond, who is as close to untouchable as a younger player can get. Detroit would like to send the Celtics Brandon Knight and an expiring contract, but that wouldn’t be nearly enough. Detroit doesn’t have a first-round pick to offer because of the Ben Gordon deal that gave the Bobcats the choice of a Pistons draft pick over the next four seasons

Drummond averaged 7.9 points and 7.6 rebounds per game in his rookie season with the Pistons last year. He has the size and strength to become a dominant center in the NBA and is only 19 years old, so you can understand why Detroit would have no interest in trading him.

[Related: Rajon Rondo says he is not a coach killer]

You can also see why Boston would demand a package of top-quality talent and draft picks if they did decide to trade Rondo. The 27-year-old is a double-double machine, and if he comes back healthy from ACL surgery he should continue to be one of the best point guards in the NBA.

Personally, I’m not buying the whole Rondo being excited to play for Stevens thing. It may sound great now, but if the Celtics play poorly I believe it will only be a matter of time before Rondo wants out of town.

H/T Eye on Basketball

Pistons hire Phil Jackson to help select their next head coach

Phil Jackson has reportedly been itching to return to the NBA in some sort of capacity that is not coaching, and it appears he has already landed his first gig. The Detroit Pistons have hired Jackson to advise president of basketball operations Joe Dumars in selecting a new head coach, according to the team’s official website.

Pistons owner Tom Gore, who is friends with the legendary coach, insists that Jackson will only be with the team in the short term but that they are excited to have him on board.

“Phil Jackson is a friend and one of the best minds in the business,” Gores said. “We are thrilled to have him as an adviser as we make some very important decisions for this franchise. Joe (Dumars) and I discussed this and he and I are in full agreement that this is a great opportunity.”

As someone who has won 11 championships as a head coach in the NBA, Jackson can obviously be a valuable asset in helping select a head coach. Multiple reports have surfaced this month that Jackson is interested in returning to the league in a role similar to the one Pat Riley has with the Miami Heat. Rather than coaching, sources say he wants to oversee basketball operations and possibly help a struggling team.

This is a good start. Detroit has played five-straight seasons of sub-.500 ball and has not made the playoffs since 2009, when they were swept in the opening round. It may be a short-term gig, but Jackson’s task with the Pistons could be a stepping stone toward a larger role with one of the teams people have been speculating about.

Pistons giving season ticket holder jackets with microchips in them for discounts

The Pistons may be on their way to missing the playoffs for a third straight season, but at least their marketing department is thinking outside the box. With four straight losing seasons — one of which included being swept in the first round of the playoffs — the Pistons have to really work to get season ticket holders to renew. They may be onto something with their new, microchip-infused team jackets.

According to CBS Detroit, fans who renew their season tickets for the 2012-2013 season will be receiving an authentic on-court team jacket with a microchip embedded in the sleeve. The jackets can be used to receive 20 percent off food and beverage items and 30 percent off merchandise at The Palace. Genius.

If you thought the Spurs ticket card was top-of-the-line season ticket technology, this has it beat. Not only are the discounts for season ticket holders great, but this forces fans to wear team apparel. If you want discounts on food and merchandise while at The Palace, you’ll be rocking your Pistons jacket every time there’s a home game.

H/T to The Hoop Doctors via Michele Steele on Twitter

Video: Detroit Pistons Players Laugh at John Kuester’s Ejection

Four Detroit Pistons players missed shootaround Friday morning in protest of Coach John Kuester, according to several reports. Two more players were late to practice, but it’s been reported that two of the “protesters” were sick while Ben Wallace had a legitimate excuse for not being in attendance. Kuester said perception was different from reality, but reality suggest a different story.

During the second quarter of Friday night’s loss in Philly, Kuester was ejected after getting called for two technical fouls. Three players could be seen laughing at the ejection, including Tracy McGrady, Ben Wallace, and Rodney Stuckey. Here’s the video:

[Read more...]

Phil Jackson and Ben Gordon Agree the Pistons Aren’t Trying

The Detroit Pistons are the definition of an NBA team with all the talent needed to succeed but no drive.  When you see a roster that consists of names like Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva, Rip Hamilton, and Tracy McGrady, it’s easy to think you’re reading something about the all-star game.  That clearly isn’t the case anymore.

I don’t want to say washed up, because plenty of these guys have a lot of basketball left in them.  For one reason or another, they just don’t seem to gel as a team.  It probably doesn’t help that they are choosing not to try, which has led to a 4-8 record through 12 games.  When Phil Jackson made a comment about the Pistons being a talented team that wasn’t giving any effort, Gordon wasn’t exactly offended.

Yeah, when you get beat by that much and if you get down by that kind of deficit,” Gordon told the Detroit Free Press on Friday. “It seemed like they got whatever they wanted. We allowed them to move the ball around the perimeter easily without much defensive effort, so that’s an accurate statement.”

We appreciate the honesty, but I’m not sure that’s the best way to sell tickets.  The sad part is Detroit has the talent to make the playoffs and the experience to make a run.  That won’t happen if they continue to simply go through the motions and not care about winning.