John Kuester feels "blessed." (Allen Einstein/Getty Images)
This was a good week for John Kuester.
The new Pistons coach met with his assistants and put together a playbook he hopes stimulates a young team into overachieving this season.
The terminology is in place. A tentative practice schedule is in place.
Sure, there still is plenty of work to do, but Kuester has a little more than two months before the Pistons' first game, so there's time.
Time, in fact, for Kuester to enjoy Detroit.
"You don't know how lucky I am," he said. "I am coming back to an area I love. The people don't come any finer than they do here in the Detroit area.
"I am really blessed, and I look forward during the next month or two to watching some of the other teams in the coming weeks."
Eventually, however, work will come calling, and Kuester is ready.
Sharing the scoring
First on Kuester's list could be coexistence.
No, he doesn't need to coexist. It's the relationship between two key pieces -- Richard Hamilton and Ben Gordon.
Last season, Hamilton and Allen Iverson failed to share the limelight -- or the basketball -- as the Pistons stumbled to their worst season (39-43) since 2001 and were swept out of the playoffs in the first round by the Cavaliers.
The problem was Iverson, who came to Detroit in a trade that sent Chauncey Billups to Denver, never grasped the team-first concept and insisted on starting. Hamilton, a key component to the 2004 NBA championship, was asked to come off the bench to accommodate Iverson.
So now, Hamilton must again be the team player and share the spotlight and ball with Gordon, a prolific scorer, just like Hamilton.
"When you have two explosive scorers, what a great supposed problem to have," Kuester said. "In our league right now, if you are able to put the ball in the basket on a consistent basis, you are in good shape.
"Now, you have two of the best in Rip and Ben. What a blessing to have. ... It is not a problem for me. It might be a problem for opponents."
Last season, Gordon averaged 20.7 points with the Bulls and Hamilton averaged 18.3.
Hamilton, Prince leaders
One of the first things Kuester, 54, did when he arrived was call Hamilton. He even attended Hamilton's wedding, and has had dinner with him. Kuester just wants to assure Hamilton he remains a leader and a go-to guy.
"He is definitely excited and is on the same page with what we want to do," Kuester said. "He and Tayshaun (Prince) will have leadership roles on this team."
So, how does that play out on the court?
Well, Kuester said Hamilton will resume his role as a starter and Gordon will come off the bench most nights.
"But Rip understands and Ben understands there are going to be nights where both of them are going to have starter's minutes," Kuester said. "They are both going to have to earn it."
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