Believe it or not, there’s a Pistons-related story this week even crazier than the FBI’s file on threats against Chuck Daly. The Detroit News’ Terry Foster carefully documented Kwame Brown’s reaction to coach John Kuester’s humbly suggesting “we have to make sure (Brown) continually plays the consistent defense that I want to in the scheme. That is pick-and-roll, high pick-and-roll.”
“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.”
Instead of turning to the 27-year-old Brown, for help, the Pistons start 35-year-old veteran Ben Wallace at center and have used undersized, 6-7 Jason Maxiell and Chris Wilcox in reserve. Brown is frustrated and some of that might have flared up during a blowout loss to the Pacers. Kuester summoned Brown into the game but didn’t like how long it took him to get off the bench and decided against using him.
“I have played during 20-point blow-outs. I have come in during the last two minutes of a game,” Brown said. “It doesn’t matter. I am paid to play whenever they tell me to. It does not matter to me.”
Brown remains confident. He started for the Lakers in 2006 when Chris Mihm was injured. Brown said he’s one of the top three defensive players in the NBA. That’s why Kuester’s words make him laugh.
“I know I can defend guys in the post,” Brown said. “But like I said, I will try to get better at the defense he wants me to play. Obviously, it’s a different kind of defense that he wants every day. I will get better at that, but the only way to do that is to get out there on the floor and play.”