Detroit Pistons fire coach John Kuester

Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced today that John Kuester will not return next season as the team’s head coach.  The decision was made following a meeting between ownership and the head coach.

“Decisions like this are difficult to make,” said Dumars. “I want to thank John for his hard work and dedication to the organization over the last two years, however, at this time we have decided to make a change.”

Kuester, who was named head coach on July 9, 2009, tallied a regular-season record of 57-107 in two season’s with the Pistons.  He served one season in Detroit as an assistant coach under Larry Brown in 2003-04, helping the Pistons win the NBA Championship that year.

Dumars: “As our organization moves forward and prepares for the future, the search for our club’s new head coach is a priority and will begin immediately.  However, at this time, we do not have a timetable for hiring a successor.  We’ll conduct our due diligence privately and announce a decision when we’ve identified that individual.”

The AP reports: Kuester was hired in 2009 after two seasons as an assistant with Cleveland. He was also a member of Larry Brown’s championship-winning staff in 2004 with the Pistons, but his familiarity with at least some of the players was of little help as the team began to look increasingly dysfunctional late in his tenure. Kuester and Richard Hamilton had a falling out that sent the veteran to the bench for most of a seven-week stretch. The two appeared to be on better terms toward the end, but there was plenty of other drama.

More from the AP: Every healthy player started at least one game this season, and all except Ben Gordon received at least one DNP-Coach’s Decision. Kuester benched point guard Rodney Stuckey barely a week into the season and benched him again with just over a week to go when there was friction between the two. The low point was probably Feb. 25 in Philadelphia. Seven players missed at least part of a team shootaround, and Kuester played only the remaining six that night in a blowout loss to the 76ers.

Read fan reaction and discuss your own opinion in this forum topic.