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Pistons' Drama Machine Chugs Along As Players Skip Practice

The trade deadline is over, but the Pistons still found ways to make headlines without moving any personnel.

Several players skipped the morning shootaround in Philadelphia, reportedly as part of a protest against head coach John Kuester. Tracy McGrady, Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and Chris Wilcox were the alleged belligerents. Austin DayeRodney Stuckey and Ben Wallace were also absent but missed the session for other reasons according to the team. See for yourself if you can sort the mess out:

Team spokesman Cletus Lewis said Rodney Stuckey and Austin Daye missed the team bus as well, but they did arrive toward the end of the media session.

Lewis said McGrady had a headache, Prince had an upset stomach and Hamilton and Wilcox missed the bus from the team hotel.

Ben Wallace also missed the shootaround. Lewis said Wallace was dealing with a family matter. Wallace has missed games and practices over the past month because of the issue.

However, other unnamed team sources insisted that this was an organized protest directed at Kuester, who hasn't exactly been the favored amongst the team this season. 

Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva, Will Bynum, Greg Monroe and Jason Maxiell were at the shootaround for the entire time. If I had money, I'd bet that these guys get some extended action tonight, based on Kuester's words:

"We’ll go with the group that was here," said Kuester, who deflected direct questions about what was occurring. "We got a number of guys that have a bug, but these guys went through shootaround the way it was supposed to."

Whether 'bug' is a euphemism for 'attitude problem' is not clear, but Kuester couldn't have been happy that over half his team decided to skip practice. Judging from the excuses doled out by Lewis, it's highly unlikely that all these guys just happened to miss the team bus on the same day. The Pistons certainly didn't trade away any drama at the deadline yesterday.