One thing I constantly heard from Pistons players was "he doesn’t listen, there’s no real relationship". How is that on anybody BUT Frank?
Lawrence Frank benched Jonas Jerebko after a poor start to the season, played Rodney Stuckey off the ball and made Corey Maggette a perpetual DNP-CD. I’d argue each of those moves, while not in the individual players’ best interest, were best for the Pistons.
Jerebko was shooting too much and not defending or rebounding enough. At that point, he didn’t deserve regular minutes. Giving other players a chance when the Pistons still had postseason hopes, even as long shots, made sense.
Though Stuckey plays better with the ball in his hands, the Pistons needed to give Brandon Knight an opportunity to sink or swim as a point guard, and relegating Stuckey to an off-the-ball role was the only way to accomplish that.
No team – and I literally mean no team – can put all its players in the best position to succeed. There will always be some degree of overlap between skillsets, so some players will have to take back seats or play at least somewhat outside their comfort zones.
The key for a coach is communicating with players so understand and at least tolerate this. Apparently, Frank didn’t do this effectively.
However, I don’t place all the blame on him. Players tend to be more willing to buy into winning teams, and Joe Dumars didn’t assemble a team that was definitely ready to win.
This sounds like a microcosm of Frank’s tenure. The Pistons failed him, but he failed the Pistons, too.