Detroit fans have a tendency to become infatuated with trainers, especially when their teams are doing well (see John Wharton of Red Wings fame). Well, Arnie Kander may soon be up for sainthood, if we Piston fans have our say. Kander has thus far achieved fame of Mike Abdenour proportions with his ongoing Antonio McDyess reclamation project, as welll as several instances of injured Pistons returning to health ahead of expectations.
His next move: rebuilding Chris Webber.
Kander had the following to say about Webber's gimpy knee and ankle (to the Detroit News):
"I like a lot of what I have seen," he said. "I don't think (his knee) is an issue."
"It's very similar to Dyess (Antonio McDyess, who came to the Pistons after knee surgery in 2004)," Kander said. "It's not the knee; we have to correct the things around the knee. People fail to realize, he had a terrible ankle sprain in Sacramento and then six months later had microfracture surgery.
"If you watch him run, he always lists to one side. He can't get over the right ankle so he comes down hard on the left knee."
If Kander can get Webber anywhere close to his 20/10 career norms, not only will the Pistons regain their status as favorites in the East, but they could finish out the season in a manner that convinces Chauncey Billups to stay in Piston blue after he opts out of his current deal after the season. Says Chauncey (again, to the Detroit News):
"If somebody would have told me in my career I was going to play with, on one team, Rasheed Wallace, McDyess, Chris Webber, Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince -- I'd say, 'Maybe so, on an all-star team,' " Billups said. "But not every single night. It's unbelievable."
I can dream.
Can Webber measure up? [Detroit News]