Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Shock Re-Sign DeForge

The Shock announced that they have re-signed guard Anna DeForge.
Originally signed July 10, she was waived July 23 to avoid full-season
liability on her contract.

DeForge has started all four of her games for the Shock this season,
averaging 2 points and 1.8 assists in 21.3 minutes per game. Helping out
at point guard, DeForge allows small forward Katie Smith to focus more on

Smith, DeForge and the rest of the Shock are set to return to Detroit
following a stay at the White House. Their next game is Friday at The
Palace against the Minnesota Lynx.

In Play! magazine - Shock blog

Monday, July 27, 2009


Photo by Brian St. Pierre/In Play! magazine


Office of the Press Secretary
South Portico
2:50 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Hey, guys. Hello, hello, hello. (Applause.) Please, everybody, be seated. Be seated. Well, welcome to the White House, everybody. And we are so pleased to have the Detroit Shock here. We want to congratulate them and all your fans for your third WNBA Championship in six years. Give them a big round of applause. (Applause.)

We've got some special fans from Capitol Hill here who take great pride in Detroit -- Senator Carl Levin is in the house. (Applause.) Representative Sandy Levin is in the house. (Applause.) And Representative Carolyn Kilpatrick is in the house. (Applause.)

I want to thank Donna Orender, the president of the WNBA, who's here today. Donna is right back -- there she is, right there. (Applause.) Congratulations on the success of this league and the inspiration it provides to young women everywhere.

I also want to thank the owner of the Detroit Shock and the Detroit Pistons, Karen Davidson, for coming. Your husband -- go ahead, give her a round of applause. (Applause.) Your husband Bill had a great impact not just in the NBA and the WNBA, but also on countless individuals who benefit from his giving spirit.

Now, I have to say, everybody knows I'm a Chicago Bulls fan. (Laughter.) And a few years ago, when the Bulls and the Pistons were thick in the middle of their rivalry, I never imagined that I'd be saying: Congratulations, Bill Laimbeer. (Laughter.) Or, congratulations, Rick Mahorn. (Laughter.) If I knew I was President then, to think that I'd be inviting them to the White House is hard to take. (Laughter.) But let's face it, these guys are winners. They always have been. They know how to win. And I want to congratulate the Finals MVP Katie Smith -- (applause) -- team captain Cheryl Ford -- (applause) -- and all the other women that make this such an outstanding team.

I also want to salute this organization and this team for donating so much time and energy to lifting up the Detroit community. They've given free tickets to underprivileged youth, mentored abused women and children, donated backpacks filled with school supplies to foster kids, restored a rundown library into a safe, clean place for kids to play and to grow.

And I want to thank them for participating in our United We Serve summer of service. Earlier today, these players took time to host a WNBA Fit Clinic for young boys and girls at a local Boys and Girls Club, to teach fitness and nutrition and self-confidence -- and I understand they brought some of the young participants along with them to the White House. I suspect it must be these young people here today. (Applause.)

Let me also say something as a father -- I was mentioning it to the team before we came out. It's hard to believe the WNBA has already been around for 12 years. And that means that my daughters have never known a time when women couldn't play professional sports.

They look at the TV and they see me watching SportsCenter and they see young women who look like them on the screen. And that lets them and all our young women, as well as young men know that we should take for granted that women are going to thrive and excel as athletes. And it makes my daughters look at themselves differently; to see that they can be champions, too.
So, as a father, I want to say thank you. (Applause.) And thank you to all the WNBA athletes who work hard each day to set a positive example to which all our daughters can aspire.

Congratulations again on your championship season. Good luck this year. And, Coach, congratulations. (Applause.)

All right, thank you.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Pistons Hire Brian Hill As Lead Assistant

The Pistons have hired ex-Orlando Magic and Vancouver Grizzlies head coach Brian Hill as their lead assistant under head coach John Kuester. Hill, who has over 30 years experience coaching in basketball, joins fellow assistant coaches Darrell Walker and Pat Sullivan.

Dave Cowens, an assistant with the Pistons the last three seasons, has accepted a different position with the team as a special assistant to Joe Dumars, Pistons President. The other asst. coach from last season, Harold Ellis, is not expected to be back.

Steve St-Pierre
Sports Writer
In Play! Magazine

Friday, July 24, 2009


The Shock have waived guard Anna DeForge, who had recently signed with Detroit. She has played in the team's last five games, starting all of them but averaging only 1.6 points and 1.8 assists in 18.4 minutes per game.

The team is in dire need of a point guard, particularly with shooting guard Deanna Nolan struggling with shoulder and knee injuries. The WNBA is currently on break for the 2009 All-Star Weekend, so Shock players have over a week to rest. However, once they return to the court, they'll have to solve their dilemma at the point if they plan on turning their tough season around.

In Play! magazine

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced today that the club has signed free agent forward Chris Wilcox to a multi-year contract. Per team policy, terms of the contracts were not disclosed.

“We are excited to add a young, athletic big man in Chris Wilcox,” said Dumars. “Chris provides our team with some added depth in the front court and we look forward to watching his continued development while here with the Pistons.”

Wilcox, 26, has appeared in 448 career NBA games (2 11 starts) averaging 9.3 points (52.7% from the field), 5.3 rebounds and 21.7 minutes per game. Since joining the league as the eighth overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers, he has played for three franchises including Los Angeles, Seattle/Oklahoma City and New York. In 62 games with Oklahoma City and New York last season, Wilcox averaged 7.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and shot 49.7% from the field in 16.9 minutes per game.

His best two seasons came in 2006-07 and 2007-08 with Seattle where he averaged 13.5 points and 13.4 points, respectively. Wilcox started 81 of 82 games during the 2006-07 season where he averaged career-highs in points (13.5) and rebounds (7.7) and ranked 16th among NBA league leaders in field goal percentage (.529).

He earned NBA Western Conference Player of the Week honors during the 2005-06 season by tallying averages of 23.0 points (.750 FG) and 15.3 rebounds during a 3-0 week for the Sonics (4/3-9). Wilcox scored 26 points and grabbed a career-high 24 rebounds vs. Houston that week, becoming the first player since Shawn Kemp to record a 20-point/20-rebound game for Seattle. The Raleigh, North Carolina native played two seasons collegiately at Maryland, helping the Terrapins win the NCAA Championship in 2002.

In Play! magazine


Photo by Brian St-Pierre

--WNBA and Detroit Shock Join President in Call to Service as
Part of the United We Serve Initiative--

NEW YORK, July 22, 2009 – President Barack Obama will honor the 2008 WNBA Champion Detroit Shock for their accomplishments both on and off the court at a ceremony on South Portico of the White House on Monday, July 27, 2009. The ceremony will include a gift presentation from the Shock to the president.

Prior to the ceremony, the WNBA and the Shock will join forces with United We Serve – a national effort launched by President Obama to engage more Americans in serving in their communities this summer – to host a special WNBA FIT Clinic at the Richard England Boys & Girls Club in Washington, D.C..

The entire team, along with WNBA Legend, Community Ambassador and fitness expert, Jennifer Azzi, will promote fitness, nutrition, and self-confidence to 80 boys and girls at the club through interactive stations and positive messaging. WNBA FIT is part of the league’s social responsibility initiative, WNBA Cares, which supports educational programming, promotes hands-on community service and inspires young people and women of all ages to learn about the importance of physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle.

Monday, July 20, 2009


AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - The WNBA announced today that Detroit Shock guard and 2008 WNBA Finals MVP Katie Smith has been named a 2009 WNBA All-Star Eastern Conference reserve. The All-Star reserves were selected by coaches in their respective conferences. Coaches could not vote for players on their own team The All-Star Game, the ninth in league history, will be held on Saturday, July 25 at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn. and will be televised nationally on ABC at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Smith, who is in her 11th WNBA season, earns her seventh All-Star appearance, second as a member of the Shock, and is the sole representative of the defending champion Shock this year.

Through 13 games this season, Smith is averaging 14.7 points and 2.9 assists.

In her first All-Star appearance as a member of the Shock in 2006, Smith scored 14 points to help the East defeat the West for the first time in league history, 98-82. That made Smith, previously an All-Star for Minnesota (2000-2003, 2005) in the West, the first WNBA player to win the All-Star game as a member of both conferences.

In Play! magazine

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Pistons Agree To Terms With Wilcox

According to reports, the Pistons have agreed to terms with free agent forward/center Chris Wilcox. He will sign a two-year contract worth $6 million in the next few days and will likely challenge Kwame Brown for the starting center spot.

Steve St-Pierre
Sports Writer
In Play! Magazine

Friday, July 17, 2009

Herrmann Officially Leaves Pistons

Free agent forward Walter Herrmann is officially an ex-Piston after leaving the NBA, signing a two-year contract to play in Europe. With Detroit recently drafting three backup forwards, it was unlikely Herrmann would have received any playing time with the team.

Steve St-Pierre
Sports Writer
In Play! Magazine

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Photo by Brian St-Pierre - In Play! magazine

Tamika Catchings Ranks as Top Vote-Getter in WNBA All-Star Balloting presented by T-Mobile USA, Becky Hammon, Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird Follow Closely Behind.

NEW YORK, NY, July 14, 2009 – The starting lineups for the 2009 WNBA All-Star Game as selected by the fans have been announced today. Indiana Fever forward and six-time All-Star Tamika Catchings led all players with 94,316 votes following the final returns of 2009 WNBA All-Star Balloting presented by T-Mobile. Catchings received the most votes for the second time, having also earned the honor in 2006.

San Antonio Silver Stars guard Becky Hammon (88,991), Seattle Storm forward Lauren Jackson (88,685) and Storm guard Sue Bird (88,591) followed closely behind Catchings’ as leading vote-getters and topped all players in the Western Conference.

Through the 2009 WNBA All-Star Balloting Program presented by T-Mobile, fans were responsible for voting in the starters for the WNBA All-Star Game, which will be played at Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday, July 25. The game will be nationally televised on ABC beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET. It will mark the second time that the midseason classic is played at Mohegan Sun Arena, which also hosted the WNBA All-Star festivities in 2005.

Joining Catchings in the Eastern Conference starting lineup are Chicago Sky forward Candice Dupree, Sky center Sylvia Fowles, Washington Mystics guard Alana Beard and Fever guard Katie Douglas. It marks the first time that Douglas, Dupree, Fowles and Beard have been voted as starters by the fans. Douglas, a three-time All-Star and the 2006 All-Star MVP, and Beard, a four-time All-Star, were both inserted into the starting lineup in 2006 due to injuries. Fowles is a first-time All-Star while Dupree makes her third appearance.

Familiar names in WNBA All-Star history make up the Western Conference starting lineup as Hammon, Jackson and Bird are joined by Storm forward Swin Cash and Los Angeles Sparks center Lisa Leslie. Leslie, a three time All-Star MVP, now leads all players in WNBA history with eight All-Star appearances. Hammon makes her fifth appearance in the midseason classic while Jackson is a seven-time All-Star, Bird makes her sixth appearance and Cash is named for the third time. Cash also becomes just the third player in WNBA history to start for both the East and West squads (Dawn Staley, Hammon).

Following are the starting lineups for the 2009 WNBA All-Star Game:

Eastern Conference Starters:
Katie Douglas, Guard (Indiana Fever)
Alana Beard, Guard (Washington Mystics)
Sylvia Fowles, Center (Chicago Sky)
Candice Dupree, Forward (Chicago Sky)
Tamika Catchings, Forward (Indiana Fever)

Western Conference Starters:
Sue Bird, Guard (Seattle Storm)
Becky Hammon, Guard (San Antonio Silver Stars)
Lisa Leslie, Center (Los Angeles Sparks)
Swin Cash, Forward (Seattle Storm)
Lauren Jackson, Forward (Seattle Storm)

The 13 WNBA head coaches will select the reserves by voting for six players within their conference, including two guards, two forwards, one center and one player regardless of position. Coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their team.
As previously announced, San Antonio Head Coach Dan Hughes will coach the West by virtue of winning the 2008 Western Conference title. The East will be led by Indiana Head Coach Lin Dunn, who was named the coach after the Fever clinched the best winning percentage in the Eastern Conference for games through July 15. This method was used because Bill Laimbeer, head coach of the 2008 Eastern Conference champion Detroit Shock, stepped down from his post in early June.

In Play! magazine

WNBA All-Star Game Starters to be Unveiled Tuesday Night on ESPN2

The starters for the 2009 WNBA All-Star Game as selected by the fans will be announced live on ESPN2 during Tuesday's telecast of the Los Angeles Sparks and Connecticut Sun game. As ofballoting first returns, Diana Taurasi was the leading vote-getter overall while Tamika Catchings was tops among Eastern Conference players. All-Star reserves will be announced July 20 while the All-Star game will take place on July 25 at 3:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on ABC.

On July 24, fans can take in All-Star open practice for both the East and West teams. The East All-Stars will practice from 3-3:45 p.m. ET while the West will hit the court from 4:15-5 p.m. ET. Fans are invited to the practices at Mohegan Sun Arena free of charge. Doors will open at 2:30 p.m. ET. More
Sparks and Sun Square Off on WNBA Tuesdays
The Los Angeles Sparks will continue their seven-game road odyssey Tuesday night against the Connecticut Sun. The game will tip off at 7 p.m. ET and can be seen on ESPN2. Though the Sun is 8-10 all-time against their foes from Southern California, they are 5-3 against the Sparks at Mohegan Sun Arena, the site of the 2009 WNBA All-Star Game.

Sun forward Tamika Whitmore will not play in the game because she is undergoing arthroscopic surgery Tuesday to remove bone spurs in her knee. Whitmore missed Saturday's game against the Detroit Shock to break her streak of 204 consecutive games played. Hers was the eighth longest games-played streak in WNBA history and was the longest active streak in the league. The record for consecutive games played belongs to Dawn Staley, who appeared in 263 consecutive contests from June 10, 1999-August 12, 2006. On the flip side of the injury report, Sun forward Amber Holt will be on the bench in uniform after missing 11 games with a broken hand.

Keeping It Close
Fans watching three of the WNBA games Saturday night were treated to nail biters. Following two blowouts Friday night, three of Saturday's four games were each decided by two points. At Madison Square Garden, Cathrine Kraayeveld hit two free throws with 11.5 seconds left and Shalee Lehning missed a jumper with four seconds remaining to seal the win for New York. Meanwhile,Katie Smith drained a pull-up jumper with 6.3 seconds remaining to give Detroit a two-point lead over Connecticut. The Sun had two chances to tie the game again but both Tan White and Lindsay Whalen missed their shots as Detroit topped the Sun on the road. In one of the more thrilling games of the year, Temeka Johnson took a pass from Cappie Pondexter and nailed a buzzer beater to lift the Mercury over the Monarchs, 107-105, in Sacramento.

Old Friends
To say Becky Hammon and Vickie Johnson have had time to get to know each other during their WNBA careers would be an understatement. The Silver Stars' starting backcourt tied the WNBA record for teammates who have played the most games together on Sunday. The game marked the duo's 271st game together, which tied Lisa Leslie and Mwadi Mabika, whose streak ran from June 21, 1997 to August 31, 2006. Hammon and Johnson played their first game together as members of the New York Liberty on June 10, 1999. To put their accomplishment into perspective, the most possible games two players could have played together was 390, if they played in each of their team's games over the WNBA's 13 years. In their time together, they have been to the playoffs eight times and the WNBA Finals four times in nine seasons prior to 2009. The only year they did not play together when both were in the league was 2006. Hammon and Johnson have a chance to set the WNBA record on Wednesday at Washington.

Can't Shake This Fever
With their win over the Chicago Sky on Friday, the Indiana Fever extended their league-best win streak to nine games. After losing their first two games this season to teams who failed to make the 2008 WNBA Playoffs, the Fever have notched seven wins over playoff teams from a year ago, including two wins over the defending champion Detroit Shock. The team's next game, Wednesday at 1 p.m., will conclude a home-and-home series with the Sky. Should they win that game, the 10-game win streak would be tied for the seventh longest in WNBA history and the team would become just the fourth franchise in league history to record a win streak of at least 10 games. A Fever win would also boost the team's all-time record to a 156-156, marking the first time Indiana owned a .500 winning percentage since the team was 2-2 in 2000, their inaugural season. For some perspective, only five franchises entered 2009 with all-time records above .500.

Around the WNBA
Alana Beard of the Washington Mystics and Cappie Pondexter of the Phoenix Mercury were named WNBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively. Both players have won the award previously this season. For Pondexter, the award is her second in consecutive weeks.

ESPN's SportsCenter promo featuring Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker premiered Monday.

Against the Chicago Sky, the Indiana Fever set a franchise record for points in a quarter with 33.
Lindsay Whalen of the Connecticut Sun reached 2,000 career points in the Sun's loss to Detroit on Saturday. She became the third member of the 2004 WNBA Draft class to reach the 2,000-point plateau (Diana Taurasi and Alana Beard).

The Chicago Sky beat the Seattle Storm on July 12 to snap Seattle's franchise-record 15-game regular season home winning streak. Prior to Sunday, the most recent Storm regular season home loss was June 16, 2008 against Connecticut. Chicago's win improved the team's record to 7-3 this season when Sylvia Fowles is in the lineup.

Phoenix guard Diana Taurasi became the all-time franchise leader in career blocks after denying Sky guard Jia Perkins with 2:40 left in the first quarter of Wednesday's game.

Charde Houston scored a career-high 26 points against the San Antonio Silver Stars, which is the most points by an opposing player allowed by the Silver Stars this season.

Sophia Young collected six offense rebounds, the most by an opposing player allowed by Lynx this season, on July 12.

Rookies Kristi Toliver and Courtney Paris each recorded career highs with 22 and 16 points, respectively, over the weekend.

Today's Quotes
KARA LAWSON on Alex Chambers' 13 Teams, 1 Journey trip around the WNBA:
"I think it's great and I think it's really cool that he's a guy, too – a guy that's passionate about women's basketball. He's super knowledgeable about the teams and about the players. He did his homework. The questions he asked me weren't just run of the mill questions."
Sacramento Bee, July 11, 2009
LIN DUNN on being named head coach of the Eastern Conference All-Stars:
"It is a great honor to be named coach of the East All-Star Team. I am really happy for the Fever to be represented. It really is a reflection of what the team has accomplished so far."
Indianapolis Star, July 10, 2009

TEMEKA JOHNSON on her game-winning buzzer beater against the Sacramento Monarchs:
"It wasn't designed for me, but I was left open and I was able to knock it down. [Ticha Penicheiro] ran out on me and I took the extra dribble and went to the basket. I knew there was still time to make a shot."
Associated Press, July 11, 2009

Monday, July 13, 2009


Trade Clears Approximately $1.8 Million In Additional Salary Cap Space For Pistons

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced today that the club has acquired a future second round draft choice from the Denver Nuggets in exchange for guard Arron Afflalo, forward Walter Sharpe and cash considerations. The move clears approximately $1.8 million in additional salary cap space for the Pistons.

Afflalo appeared in 74 games (eight starts) last season, averaging 4.9 points, 1.8 rebounds and 0.6 assists in 16.7 minutes per game. In eight starts he averaged 10.3 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 33.1 minutes per game. The former UCLA product scored 10-plus points 12 times and led the team in scoring once, recording a career-high 24 points (7-13 FG, 4-6 3FG, 6-6 FT) in 45 minutes at Houston (3/18). He averaged 6.7 points in 13 games during the month of March, his best scoring month of the season, and won the Haier Shooting Stars competition at NBA All-Star 2009 while teaming with Bill Laimbeer and Katie Smith from the Detroit Shock.

Sharpe appeared in nine games a year ago, averaging 1.0 points and 0.4 rebounds in 2.4 minutes per game. He made one NBA Development League assignment with the Ft. Wayne Mad Ants from 1/2-1/7, averaging 10.8 points and 3.5 rebounds in four games. The 6-foot-9 forward was on the inactive list 48 times during last season and did not player – coaches decision 23 times.

More Detroit Sports

Friday, July 10, 2009


Club Welcomes Back Former 2007 WNBA All-Star

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - The Detroit Shock announced today that the team has signed free-agent guard Anna DeForge. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

“The signing of Anna DeForge provides us some needed guard depth,” said Detroit Shock General Manager Cheryl Reeve. “Anna's a proven veteran who can step in right away and provide us perimeter scoring.”

The 5-foot-10 guard started her WNBA career with the Shock in 2000 playing in 27 games (10 starts) averaging 5.4 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists. She went on to spend three seasons in Phoenix and two in Indiana before being picked up as a free agent in 2008 by the Minnesota Lynx.

Last season, DeForge played in all 34 games (all starts) for the Lynx averaging 8.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 24.9 minutes per game.

The seven-year WNBA veteran has career averages of 10.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. DeForge, a 2007 WNBA All-Star, is a career .375 percent three-point shooter and has appeared in 230 career games, 206 of which were starts.

DeForge takes the roster spot of Barbara Farris, who was waived by the Detroit Shock earlier this week.
In Play! magazine

Thursday, July 9, 2009


NEW YORK, July 9, 2009 -- The WNBA today announced that the head coaches for the 2009 WNBA All-Star Game will be Dan Hughes of the San Antonio Silver Stars and Lin Dunn of the Indiana Fever.

Hughes will lead the Western Conference All-Star squad and Dunn will be at the helm of the Eastern Conference team. This will be the first time either coach has earned the honor.

Under WNBA guidelines, the coach of the previous season's conference champion serves as the All-Star coach for that conference, provided that the coach remains in the same position. Hughes earned the honor by virtue of the Silver Stars’ 2008 Western Conference championship.

Since Bill Laimbeer, head coach of the 2008 Eastern Conference champion Detroit Shock, stepped down from his post in June, a new coach was selected using previously established guidelines. The Eastern Conference head coach is being selected based on the club with the best winning percentage through games on July 15. With a current mark of 8-2, Dunn has already secured the honor.

This method was last used when John Whisenant, head coach and general manager of the 2006 Western Conference champion Sacramento Monarchs, relinquished his coaching role the following year to focus on his front office duties.

The 2009 WNBA All-Star Game will be played on Saturday, July 25 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. and will be televised nationally on ABC at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Starting lineups for the game are determined by fan participation via the 2009 WNBA All-Star Balloting presented by T-Mobile. The results of the balloting, which ran from June 14 through July 7 in WNBA arenas and on WNBA.com, will be announced on July 14.

In Play! magazine


AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced today that the team has named John Kuester as head coach, signing him to a multi-year contract. Per club policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“We are pleased to name John Kuester as the head coach of the Detroit Pistons,” said Dumars. “John brings a wealth of NBA knowledge as a long-time assistant coach, including championship experience as an assistant coach with our club in 2004. He is a coach that our veteran players know well, and I feel he has the teaching ability to allow our younger players to grow and develop.”

Kuester, 54, has spent over 13 years in the NBA as an assistant coach with six different franchises (Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit, New Jersey, Orlando and Cleveland). During his tenure as an assistant coach, Kuester has helped guide two teams to the NBA Finals [Philadelphia (2001); Detroit (2004)] and played a major role in helping Cleveland reach the Eastern Conference Finals this past season.

For seven seasons (1990-1997), the Richmond, Virginia native was a member of the Boston Celtics organization, serving as assistant coach his final two years. He joined Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown in 1997 and helped guide the Philadelphia 76ers to the playoffs in five of his six seasons with the club, including an NBA Finals appearance in 2001. The North Carolina graduate followed Brown to Detroit where the organization won its third NBA Championship, and then joined the New Jersey Nets staff in 2004-05. Kuester returned to Philadelphia for the 2005-06 season, landed in Orlando in 2006-07 and has helped mold the offensive philosophies for the Cleveland Cavaliers since August of 2007.

Prior to joining the NBA ranks, Kuester served five seasons as head coach at George Washington University from 1985-1990. He became the youngest head coach in NCAA Division I college basketball in 1983 when he succeeded Rick Pitino at Boston University. He was an assistant coach for the Terriers for two seasons prior to his head coaching appointment.

As a collegiate player for four seasons at North Carolina (1973-77) under legendary coach Dean Smith, he helped the Tar Hells win two ACC Championships, make three NCAA Tournament berths and one NIT berth. As a senior, he was voted as the team’s best defensive player for the second straight season and was named Most Valuable Player of the ACC Tournament and NCAA East Regionals. That 1977 squad went on to the NCAA Final Four and an appearance in the championship game.

Kuester was selected in the third round (53rd overall) of the 1977 NBA Draft by the Kansas City Kings. He played three seasons in the NBA, one each with Kansas City, Denver and Indiana.

In Play! magazine

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced today that the club has signed free agent guard Ben Gordon and free agent forward Charlie Villanueva to multi-year contracts. Per team policy, terms of the contracts were not disclosed.

“We are excited to add two talented players in Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva,” said Dumars. “Ben is a big-time scorer who will play a prominent role for our team as we move forward. Charlie is a versatile big man who can play in the post and score from the perimeter as well. We feel both these players will be key pieces to our roster next season.”

Gordon, 26, has appeared in 398 career NBA games (204 starts) averaging 18.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 31.4 minutes per game. Since joining the league as Chicago’s third overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, he has scored 20-plus points in 78 games coming off the bench, by far the most by any player during the five-year span. Gordon was named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year during the 2004-05 campaign, becoming the first rookie in league history to claim the award. He has averaged 20-plus points in a season twice, including a team-high 20.7 points per game last season in which he shot a career-high 45.5% from the field and 41.0% from three-point range. Gordon averaged 24.3 points and 3.0 assists per game during the seven-game game series vs. Boston in the first round of the 2009 NBA Playoffs. Playing in all 82 games for the third time in his career a season ago, the London, England native ranked sixth in the league with 173 three-point field goals made and 11th in total points (1,699). He also ranked 17th in the league in scoring average (20.7 ppg), 24th in free throw percentage (.864), 25th in three-point field goal percentage (.410) and 31st in minutes (36.6 mpg). A member of the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team in 2005, Gordon has been named Eastern Conference Player of the Week four times in his five-year career.

Villanueva, 24, is coming off a career year for the Milwaukee Bucks in which he averaged career-highs in points (16.2 ppg), rebounds (6.7 rpg), assists (1.8 apg), three-point field goal percentage (.345) and free throw percentage (.838). He scored 30-plus points on four occasions, including a season-high 36 points vs. Denver (2/22), 20-plus points 27 times and tallied 14 double-doubles. The 6-foot-11 forward led the Bucks in scoring 19 times, rebounding a team-best 27 times and blocks a team-high 32 times. Drafted seventh overall by the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the 2005 NBA Draft, Villanueva has career NBA averages of 13.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 26.5 minutes per game. As a rookie, he scored 48 points at Milwaukee (3/26/06), the most since 1997 [Allen Iverson, 50 at Cleveland (4/12/97)] and tied for the third-highest total since the NBA-ABA merger in 1976-77 (Michael Jordan). The Queens, NY native averaged 13.0 points per game during his rookie campaign with Toronto which earned him NBA All-Rookie First Team honors in 2006. As a collegiate player at Connecticut, Villanueva was a member of the Huskies’ 2004 NCAA Championship team with fellow UConn teammate – Ben Gordon.

In Play! magazine

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Pistons Reportedly Hire Kuester

According to reports, the Pistons have hired John Kuester as their next head coach. He replaces Michael Curry, who was fired last week.

Detroit also spoke with Doug Collins and Avery Johnson, but Collins took himself out of the running, and Johnson wanted too much money. Fired a year ago by Dallas, Johnson is set to receive $4 million from the Mavericks unless he accepts another coaching position.

Kuester, though a first-time head coach, has plenty of experience as an assistant, including his time in Detroit under former coach Larry Brown. Kuester was a member of the 2004 coaching staff that won the NBA Championship.


Steve St. Pierre
Sports Writer
In Play! Magazine

Friday, July 3, 2009

Pistons Sign '08 Draft Pick Washington

The Pistons have signed swingman Deron Washington to a guaranteed contract for next season. Washington, a 2008 Pistons second-round draft pick, will likely get spot minutes behind newly-acquired Ben Gordon.

Steve St. Pierre
Sports Writer
In Play! Magazine

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Pistons Agree To Terms With Gordon, Villanueva

In a move that will surprise little, the Pistons have agreed to terms with free agents Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva.

Gordon is expected to receive a five-year deal worth approx. $55 million and is likely to start in the backcourt alongside point guard Rodney Stuckey. Villanueva, who reportedly will receive a five-year, $40 million contract, is slated to start at power forward.

The signing of Gordon will most likely mean the end of Rip Hamilton, who could be shopped for a veteran center such as Tyson Chandler of the New Orleans Hornets, or one of either Chris Kaman or Marcus Camby of the L.A. Clippers.

Steve St. Pierre
Sports Writer
In Play! Magazine

Pistons Waive Oberto, Announce Summer League Roster & Schedule

The Pistons have waived recently-acquired center Fabricio Oberto. They
also announced their official Summer League roster and schedule.

Here is the full roster:

No. Player Position Ht. Wt. College/Country Birthdate NBA Exp.
14 Michael Bramos G 6-5 221 Miami (Ohio) 5/27/87 R
12 Will Bynum G 6-0 185 Georgia Tech 1/4/83 2
5 Austin Daye F 6-11 190 Gonzaga 6/5/88 R
6 Ibrahim Jaaber G 6-2 175 Pennsylvania 2/3/84 R
33 Jonas Jerebko F 6-10 231 Sweden 3/2/87 R
34 Dwayne Jones C 6-11 250 St. Joseph's (PA) 6/9/83 4
7 Andre Owens G 6-4 200 Indiana 10/31/80 2
44 Trent Plaisted F 6-11 245 BYU 10/20/86 R
42 Walter Sharpe F 6-9 245 Alabama-Birmingham 7/16/86 1
35 DaJuan Summers F 6-8 240 Georgetown 1/24/88 R
20 Clay Tucker G 6-5 210 Wisconsin-Milwaukee 6/14/80 R
13 Deron Washington G/F 6-7 210 Virginia Tech 12/12/85 R

Darryl Walker, Arkansas
Pat Sullivan, North Carolina
Harold Ellis, Morehouse College
Bill Pope, Kansas

The following is the team's schedule (times are PST):

Date Time Opponent Location
7/10 3:00 PM Sacramento Kings Cox Pavilion
7/11 1:00 PM Toronto Raptors Cox Pavilion
7/13 7:00 PM Golden State Warriors Cox Pavilion
7/15 1:00 PM New York Knicks Cox Pavilion
7/17 1:00 PM Cleveland Cavaliers Cox Pavilion

In Play! magazine