Austin Daye looking forward to a new beginning in the John Kuester-less era – NBA Update
Austin Daye of the Detroit Pistons showed little concern for his former head coach John Kuester in a recent interview and said that he is looking forward to playing under a new coach and a new set up.
John Kuester was not the most popular person with the Detroit players. Last year was particularly troublesome, with various reports of bust ups between coach and senior players. On more than one occasion last season, the players skipped practice, with veterans like Tracy McGrady and Richard Hamilton leading the mini rebellion.
Kuester’s departure was therefore a foregone conclusion even before the end of the season. It was delayed due to the protracted sale of the club to new billionaire owner Tom Gores. Once Gores had officially taken over the club, Detroit wasted little time in firing the embattled head coach. Kuester has since joined the backroom staff at the Los Angeles Lakers to serve as a lead assistant to Mike Brown.
Austin Daye and many other Detroit players weren’t exactly expected to shed tears at Kuester’s departure and the young player did not spring any surprise in his most recent interview. Daye stopped short of taking a direct shot at John Kuester and instead spoke of his optimism for next season,
"A new coach and a new system might be beneficial for me," said Daye.
He also spoke of his personal mission of bulking up this season as the player was often at a disadvantage last season due to his relatively light frame. Although that can also be put down to Kuester playing him as a power forward rather than as a small forward, which Daye prefers and is more suited to, gaining some pounds can only be helpful in the long run,
"I'm definitely gaining weight," Daye said. "It's been a priority of mine."
Austin currently weighs 200 pounds. He averaged just 7.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game last season, but that can be attributed to lesser minutes on the floor as well as playing in an unfavoured position. All in all, the player who stands 6-foot-11 is regarded as a fine athlete and a promising talent with the corridors of the Pistons franchise and is viewed as someone who can be a big part of the rebuilding process going on there.
It is hard to say what system and personnel, the Detroit Pistons will go with next season as so far the NBA lockout has stopped the franchise from making any major moves. The new coach has still not been appointed and there are question marks over the futures of a few senior players like TayShaun Prince, Richard Hamilton and Ben Wallace.