I almost made this a FanShot instead of an actual post so it didn't get blown out of proportion, but the more I think about it, the more worthy of discussion I think this is. Kwame Brown, penciled in as a starter before the start of the season, has essentially fallen out of the rotation. What's the secret to his getting more PT? Playing better defense, says John Kuester. From the Detroit News:
"Our biggest concern and I have discussed it with him is defense," Kuester said. "We have to make sure he continually plays the consistent defense that I want to in the scheme. That is pick-and-roll, high pick-and-roll. Just making sure he knows."
If Brown didn't know, he knows now. That is why he laughed when Kuester's words were relayed to him.
"Listen, man, I don't want something to be flared up on what I say," Brown said. "I will do what the coach says in order to get better, although that is a first because there is one thing I do bring to the table and that is defense. That's the first time I heard that. It's the first time a coach said I don't play defense. But like I said, I will learn to play the defense he wants me to play."
Given the recent suggestions that the Pistons are already starting to tune Kuester out, the fact Brown laughed off Kuester's feedback (even while promising to take it seriously) was a little disconcerting -- although, to be honest, not more so than the fact Brown was so nonchalant about his lack of PT (during a contract year, no less) in the first place. Ben Wallace seemed to call Brown out on that last point:
Some of his teammates said they don't understand why Brown sits. But Wallace said Brown needs more hunger.
"Without a doubt he can contribute," Wallace said. "But he got to want it. He's got to be hungry, man. For me to say you got to do this and do, that's pointless. You got to want it. Look, man, when you go out there, you got to do what you got to do. If you go out there and are making the same mistakes the starters are making, then you don't need to be out there."
I like Brown -- he's affable in the locker room, useful on occasion on the court -- but I'll be damned if Wallace didn't just sum up his entire career.