John Kuester, by all accounts, is a good guy. He also is a smart guy with a high basketball acumen. But he is not a head coach.
He was overmatched from his start in Detroit, and his behavior and decisions became more bizarre as the season wore on and the losses piled up.
A lot of it was not his fault. He inherited a team that was not built to succeed. They were composed of too many perimeter players, too few big men and too many perceived sacred cows. Sure, the veteran players were for the most part winners, but they also were no longer sure of how to win, or perhaps, they no longer had what it took to win.
Either way, the players never bought into Kuester's system, and he never gained their trust or respect.
Sure, the players need to accept much of the blame, but at the end of the day, Kuester failed to achieve any of his objectives and he needs to go.
Prospective coaches are cut from either one of two types of cloth. Either they are veteran coaches that have been fired and are now making a living as television analysts, or they are assistant coaches that are looking for their first big shot.
There are advantages and disadvantages for both groups. Detroit has had coaches from both camps since they sent Larry Brown packing in 2005. Flip Saunders was a retread and did fairly well. Michael Curry and Kuester were first-time head coaches that failed miserably.
This would point to Detroit going with a retread, right? Not quite.
The potential veteran coaches that are out there are an underwhelming bunch. Jeff Van Gundy will be available, but he likely will be too expensive and has not coached in quite a while. Jerry Sloan is unemployed, but he is likely retired for good. There could still be a big name coach that gets fired, but Detroit is no longer a desired location.
Besides, none of those coaches induces any excitement.
Additionally, the most impressive coach this year was clearly Chicago's Tom Thibodeau, a career assistant coach that blew the doors off a very young Bulls team.
And when we look at the hot shot assistant coaches out there, only one name brings excitement to Detroit fans: William Laimbeer Jr.
Laimbeer has a very thin coaching resume, but it is impressive.
In the WNBA, he won it all on three occasions.
Now he is an assistant coach with Minnesota, and while they haven't won very often, he has had a profound effect on their stud big man Kevin Love. Love is a slightly more athletic version of Laimbeer, and he is telling anyone that will listen that Bill has helped him in a multitude of ways.
Critics will yap about how the WNBA is no NBA, and he needs more seasoning as an assistant. They will point to Curry and say that Laimbeer is destined for a similar fate.
First, Curry had a disastrous run as Pistons coach, but he also was in a terrible situation.
Team president Joe Dumars dealt Chauncey Billups and brought in the volatile and declining Allen Iverson who was cancerous to team chemistry. Add to that Rasheed Wallace's antics and an old roster, and you get the picture.
Second, Curry is no Laimbeer. Laimbeer is a champion.
Sure, Curry was a very professional former player and a man to be respected, but he was a bench player that got by on hustle.
Laimbeer was a four-time All Star, a rebounding champion and above all, a two-time champion. He knew how to win, and he knows how to coach a winner.
Third, Laimbeer is tougher than Curry.
Today's players may be too young to remember Laimbeer as a player, but they all know the name. The all have heard the stories about the fights with Charles Barkley, the shoving matches with Larry Bird and the hard fouls on Michael Jordan. He also is huge, with a booming baritone voice and arms the size of tree trunks. A player may want to sock him in the mouth, but they might doubt whether or not they would win the fight.
The bottom line is that naming Laimbeer head coach sends a message to everyone from the fans to the players that Detroit is going back to their old ways.
In a lot of ways, this would be the most significant message of recommitment by management since they ditched the teal jerseys and brought back the old red, white and blue.