Ben Wallace wasn't around because he had to deal with the death of a beloved brother.
Tracy McGrady basically called in sick -- probably sick of the organization that has become the talk of the league because of dysfunction.
Chris Wilcox made himself scarce from the prying eyes of the media before the game. Tayshaun Prince doesn't talk in pregame and wasn't present after the game, which he missed because of a sore back.
Rip Hamilton wasn't spotted until walking in street clothes to the bench before the tip. He appeared to be in good spirits.
That left Rodney Stuckey and Austin Daye as the only players of the seven to miss Friday's shoot-around to answer questions after Saturday night's 120-116 victory over the Jazz.
Both said they were wrong for missing the shoot-around.
"I was late to shoot-around and made a mistake, and I wasn't paying attention when everyone was leaving and my phone, I didn't get a text message," Daye said. "So I was late to shoot-around.
"I missed the first bus so I showed up late. But that's what you get when you make a mistake."
Still, there weren't a whole lot of answers from the Pistons one night after team sources said players missed the shoot-around as some sort of protest against coach John Kuester.
The Pistons have said:
Prince (upset stomach) and McGrady (headache) were so ill they needed treatment from strength and conditioning coach Arnie Kander the previous night and were excused from the shoot-around. Ditto for Wallace, coping with his brother's illness for more than a month.
Wilcox, as he has been known to do, overslept.
And Daye and Stuckey, who took a cab and showed up just as the shoot-around was ending, had every intention of showing up except there was some kind of mix-up with when the bus was leaving the team's hotel.
The only guy who wasn't accounted for was Hamilton, and the team didn't even offer any clue to his whereabouts.
There will be fines for Wilcox, Daye, Stuckey and Hamilton, and that's it, since the other absences were excused.
"For me, personally, it's over," Kuester said before Saturday's game. "And we've got to move on. We've got to."
On Saturday, a good part of the national hoops media used the term "overplayed" to describe the Free Press' (and also Detroit News') account that Friday's actions were an organized protest.
There are reasons to believe Prince and McGrady were sick. McGrady gave a pretty passionate defense of himself and Prince when I reached him by phone Friday afternoon.
But you have to remember this about those national reports -- those writers weren't present to see how empty Wells Fargo Arena looked with six players.
And uncovering this story didn't take some level of great in-depth reporting. It went something like this:
Me: "What happened?"
Source: "You can see what's going on."
Me: "Nah. Enlighten me."
And then the source, who asked not to be identified, started describing phone conversations about the protest. Another team source backed it up.
And then another source, while claiming no direct knowledge of Friday's issues, said the team staged a protest after a loss before the All-Star break when players walked into the shower area while Kuester was giving a postgame talk.
If Prince, McGrady and Wallace had excused absences, why were they held out of Friday's game? McGrady was insistent he could have played and said no one told him he wouldn't against the Sixers. And you definitely have to give Wallace a pass considering the tragic circumstances unfolding.
All Kuester would say was it's an "internal matter."
Considering all the other strife and feuding between the coach and players, it's completely within the narrative for some type of player protest to occur.
The Kuester-Hamilton chapter took on an added element of nastiness Saturday when Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported that the reason Kuester benched Hamilton last month was because Hamilton berated him in front of the team during a practice.
My response? It's true.
There is one certainty for this team: In less than two months, the ugliness will end. Because the season mercifully will.