The Detroit Pistons skipped Friday’s practice in protest of head coach John Kuester. A team spokesperson listed off the laundry list of excuses that would rival those of baseball’s Opening day. While all the players had excuses, an inside source told the Detroit Free Press, that the protest was pre-orchastrated. The only players who partipated in the morning shoot around were Greg Monroe, Will Bynum, Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva, Jason Maxiell and DaJuan Summers.
The Pistons play the Philadelphia 76ers tonight, and coach Kuester said he would go with the players who were avavlible. Tension is at an all-time high for the struggling Pistons. The Stones, who are a dismal 21-38, are in the process of being sold… that is, if there is a team to buy!
Citibank said the Detroit Pistons will not be sold until after the NBA All-Star game. Pistons owner, Karen Davidson, the widow of Bill Davidson, hired Citibank to represent the franchise during its sale .
The time line of the projected sale means that Detroit Red Wings and Tigers owner, Mike Ilitch will not become a triple threat. Ilitch scored an exclusive agreement to negotiate the sale of the team, but the deal expired after one month without a deal reached.
Davidson and Citibank said if they could not find a buyer willing to pay an excess of $400 million for the Pistons, they may have to wait until the economy rebounds or sell the team to a foreign investor. The Pistons have already sparked the interests of Middle East investors, making many fans worry that the Pistons will have to relocate.
Though his contract doesn’t expire with the Los Angeles Lakers until 2014, Ron Artest will try out to play in the NFL after he retires from the NBA.
Artest told CBSsport.com that he does not plan on resigning with the Lakers or with any other NBA team once his current contract runs out in 2014. Artest will be 35-years old and has plans to try out for an NFL team:
“God willing, after my NBA career, God willing I’m still athletic enough – which I’m trying to take care of my body as best as possible and be prepared for this day, for this tryout of an NFL team… It’s a fantasy of mine. It’s an opportunity because I’m athletic. So if that fantasy can be fulfilled, and if it’s something that can really be reached as far as a goal, I’m going for it.”
While Artest plans to continue in the athletic field after the NBA, other basketball veteran Ben Wallace wants to go to law school. The Detroit Pistons center told Yahoo Sports, “That’s my ultimate goal. It’s always been one of my dreams. I think I can argue a pretty good case. I think I can convince a couple of people to see things my way.”
Wallace has played 15 seasons in the NBA and just signed a two-year contract with Detroit worth $4.3 million. “I know my time is limited as far as being a player,” Wallace said. “That’s something I’ve already accepted and come to peace with.”
Both Artest and Wallace have won an NBA Championship. Wallace in 2004 with the Pistons and Artest this past summer with the Lakers.
Ironically, these two players who are both taking different paths post-NBA were at the center of one of the NBA’s biggest controversies, the 2004 Menace at the Palace.
Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers owner Mike Ilitch will now be a triple threat in the sports owners’ world as he adds owner of the Detroit Pistons to his resume. Ilitch secured an exclusive 30-day agreement to purchase the team and Palace Entertainment, that could be completed before the start of the NBA season. Ilitch’s bid to buy the team is reportedly worth $400 million and includes the purchase of Palace Entertainment.
Illitch’s purchase of the Pistons would not only make him a dominant force in the sporting world but also in entertainment. Illitch owns Olympia Entertainment, which includes such facilities as: Fox Theatre and Cobo Arena.
While the Pistons currently play at the Palace of Auburn Hills, Ilitch has not made it a secret that he wants to move the team back to Detroit. The Pistons left the city in the 1970′s, and the Detroit Red Wings are also looking for a new arena. Detroit Mayor Daive Bing hopes they return, “We continue to be excited about the possibility of the Detroit Pistons returning to Detroit, which is nationally recognized as a destination for professional sports. The deal is not done, but we remain optimistic.” Bing is also a former NBA player.
Ilitch first expressed interest in purchasing the Pistons back in early August when current owner Karen Davidson reviled that the selling of the team meant there was no guarantee the team would be staying in Michigan. Karen took over ownership of the team when her late husband Bill Davidson died in March 2009.
Bill Davidson and Mike Ilitch had an ongoing rivalry as business leaders in Detroit. In June, The Palace filed a lawsuit accusing Ilitch Holdings of taking employees and proprietary information.