PHILADELPHIA – Several Detroit Pistons missed at least part of the team's shootaround before Friday night's game at Philadelphia, the latest incident on what has been a difficult season for the proud franchise.
Team spokesman Cletus Lewis said Richard Hamilton, Chris Wilcox, Rodney Stuckey and Austin Daye missed the bus, with Stuckey and Daye able to arrive late.
Tayshaun Prince, Tracy McGrady and Ben Wallace also missed the shootaround. Lewis said Prince had an upset stomach, McGrady had a headache and Wallace was tending to an unspecified family matter.
Detroit entered the night 21-38 and is almost certainly headed to its third straight losing season. There have been signs of disharmony almost from the beginning. Coach John Kuester benched Stuckey barely a week into the season, although that was only temporary.
Kuester then benched Hamilton on Jan. 12, and he didn't play again until a Feb. 5 game at Milwaukee. Hamilton has missed every game since then. The team has said Hamilton has a groin injury.
The team was unable to trade Hamilton before Thursday's deadline. He's guaranteed $20 million over the next two seasons.
Wallace missed eight games in January. He's battled ankle problems and also left the team to tend to a family matter.
Kuester has juggled the lineup quite a bit this season, trying to find combinations that might help propel the Pistons to a playoff spot, but so far it's been no use. McGrady has been a bright spot, staying healthy and settling in as a point guard, and rookie big man Greg Monroe is showing promise — but Detroit has clearly fallen a long way since Hamilton, Prince and Wallace led the Pistons to the 2004 NBA title.
Owner Karen Davidson has been trying to sell the team, and that turned into a drawn-out saga after she said she hoped it would be done by the start of the season. On Feb. 11, Davidson confirmed she and investor Tom Gores had a two-week "exclusivity" period for negotiations.
On Friday — exactly two weeks later — there was no update from the owner.