Rip In Pistons’ Fabric

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Richard Hamilton deserves better than this.

I don’t care what has gone on this season, what the rift is between Rip and Pistons coach John Kuester or if these are indeed Hamilton’s last days in a Pistons uniform.

The man deserves better than what is going on right now in Detroit. Witness the craziness, per Perry A. Farrell of the Detroit Free Press:

Hamilton told the Free Press on Sunday morning that Kuester’s attempt to reach out to him consisted of Jerry Hendon, the team’s security head, coming to him a minute before the team was meeting to go over strategy for Saturday’s game with Phoenix to tell him Kuester wanted to talk to him.

“I felt offended that he sent Jerry instead of coming himself or sending an assistant coach,” Hamilton said. “I could tell Jerry was uncomfortable and I said no.”

He didn’t say how or when, but Kuester told the media Saturday evening that he tried to make a connection with his shooting guard. Hamilton hasn’t played in seven games since becoming the subject of trade talks with New Jersey and Denver and lost his starting position to Rodney Stuckey.

“We made overtures and one of the things that’s important is he is somebody that’s on our team now,” Kuester said before Saturday’s game. “We know that and we’ve reached out to him.”

It’s no secret that the Pistons are looking to unload Hamilton in a trade (he was a part of the failed, three-team Carmelo Anthony deal that would have landed Hamilton in New Jersey alongside Anthony and his former Pistons teammate Chauncey Billups). But to allow things to dissolve into the mess they have become these days is a sad way to part ways with one of the best players in franchise history.

Hamilton might not rank up there with Pistons greats like Isiah Thomas and Joe Dumars, both Hall of Famers from the Bad Boys’ era. But he was an integral part of a crew that went to six straight Eastern Conference finals and played in back-to-back NBA Finals. Had the Pistons won that Game 7 in San Antonio in 2005 for their second straight title, there’s a good chance they’d have allowed that group to stay together another year or two longer.

Instead, the retooling began earlier. Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince are the last two men standing from those Pistons teams (Ben Wallace is also back on the roster, after spending four seasons away from the franchise with Chicago and Cleveland, to finish off his career). And neither seems particularly smitten with Kuester and his style.

Bottom line: the glory days in Detroit are long gone. They are in a full-blown rebuilding process, with the potential sale of the franchise still looming as yet another factor in how that rebuild takes shape. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do right by a player like Hamilton, who showed he still has some fuel left in his tank with a 35-point showing in a win over Toronto just before Christmas.

It’s not like Hamilton is some aged former star that needs to be ushered out of town because he can no longer perform at a high level. Hamilton can still play. He can still be a factor for a playoff team.

For weeks now I’ve been lobbying for Hamilton to be moved to a team that needs exactly what he does best, scoring in a half-court set, a team like the Jazz. As a lover of the game, it pains me to see Hamilton waste away on the Pistons’ bench simply because he doesn’t fit into the long-term plan that Kuester (and the organization) have for the team.

Someone in Detroit needs to do the right thing and free Rip Hamilton (shown below in lighter moment)!

37 Comments

  1. [...] Rip I&#1495 Pistons' Fabric « NBA.com | Hang Time Blog [...]

  2. Mik says:

    Have all people complaining about Rip being on the bench watched any Pistons games when Rip was still part of the rotation? He played like he didn’t want to be there with no energy, jacking up bad shots, missing a lot of shots, turning the ball over, and being T’d and thrown out of the games. He was a detriment and that is why he is not playing. As far as trading him, Joe would trade him for the sack of peanuts at this point, but no other GM came in willing to pick up the remainder of Rip’s contract. This is a no win situation until another team decides that they can use Rip’s services and agree to pay for his contract.

    Rip hasn’t been the same ever since Chauncey got traded. His attitude soured. He is one of the main culprits in the failed AI experiment. He was the one pouting and stirring the pot about coming off the bench. Him and his “buddies” – Tayshaun and Sheed never accepted AI as one of their own so the experiment was doomed from the beginning. Rip is not a saint by any means. And I don’t believe for a moment that he doesn’t know what’s going on. He just can’t admit that the team plays better without him on the court.

    Rip can still play, but this is not the team. He can be a contributor and give his 15-20 points every game with a very dependable shot. But at this point he needs to shut up and hope that someone has enough interest in him so that Joe can swing a deal.

  3. jepoy says:

    rip to jazz.. the best team for him.

  4. S Herb says:

    Now this is a shame…who is running the show, Keuster or Joe D. This team is already headed for nowhere…at least they know how hard Rip & Tayshawn play and what they can bring to a winning team…well, maybe that’s it, this is no longer a team looking to win (not w/ acquisition of old, broke down T-Mac…bless his heart). Maybe they’re waiting for a lottery pick…

  5. Michael Foster says:

    Sir Richard Hamilton was benched for poor play. If the author had been watching the Pistons, he would have known that. I won’t defend Keuster’s communication abilities, but I surely would not defend Hamilton’s either – both have little clue when it comes to using the English language and a sensitivity to their teams needs.

    Back to Rips play:

    1.) Poor shooting – this can likely be fixed with a lot of playing time.
    2.) Turnovers – he’s the per minute NBA turnover machine
    3.) His bad attitude – he has been thrown out of big games early – and the constant bickering with the Coach (before he got benched was a major contributor to team dis-harmony) as a veteran he should be doing the opposite.

    All he has to do is fix item 2 and 3 above – and those two can be remedied easily with just a bit of focus on the subjects.

    #1 (the shooting will take care of itself with playing time – no matter who he plays for.

    He does not even have to fix all three – two out of three will do, any two and he gets to play in the NBA for a few years. If he fixes all three (and I believe he could if he wanted to and understood what is wrong) he will be an All-Star again.

    Big Piston Fan, MF

  6. mcDust says:

    One of the best mid-range shooter ever. He was, and he will be. I’m a big Pistons Fan and Rip’s my personal number one. Don’t bench him, there’s no other player in the roster that can replace him. Let him play, or let him go. He did not deserve this.

  7. Are u serious ? says:

    Trade him to the Jazz…

    enough said…

    • 1mjmikal says:

      Hire Larry Brown…..What a joke, this is the same man who was coveting the Cavs while we were in the middle of the finals…. Brown is more to blame for the Pistons not winning a second str8 title than Sheed’s dumb mistake of leaving Horry open for the three……. Brown bailed on the Pistons and yall want him back…come on….Rip was a good fit but no longer remains that integral piece for the Pistons today. WE ARE IN REBUILDING STAGE PEOPLE HELLLLLLLOOOOOOO!!!! stop wishinf for instant gratifacation, and ride this out with your team if you are indeed real Piston fans and not fairweather fans…. Joe D has made some mistakes, Yes he has but if you get rid of him name one person in his position that’s available that you would take…….silence…..there’s no one available that is better at building a championship team with no superstars and no outrageous paid players…. Joe is deserving of rebuilding this team….7 Str8 Easten Conf.’s — who is better, i’m waiting????? NO ONE IS? Okay Joe has made some lumpsided decisions in the draft and free agency but name one GM or executive who has won a championship and had the success Joe’s had in the last decade that hasn’t made stupid decisions. Bottom line after the sale of the team give Joe some time to rebuild then judge him….how can you judge a person based on a whole decade of fierce competiton and 1 championship and call for his head….YOU FANS ARE SOMETHING ELSE…….

  8. IELAHIAH says:

    Chauncey, Tayshaun, Ben and Rasheed Wallace should all wear face masks like the one Rip is wearing as sign of protest…

  9. Vincent says:

    Well it is time to move on for the Pistons who is clearly at a rebuilding process and for Rip Hamilton to move else where.

  10. Lawls says:

    I’m wondering when the Bulls might jump on this chance to acquire the shooting guard they’ve been in need of lately. I’m wondering if they’ll jump on the chance at all.

  11. Trent says:

    Fire Kuester, hire Larry Brown again! He’s back on the market.

    With all the promising youth on the team now – Monroe, Daye, Jerebco, Bynum – imagine how they could blossom with the ultimate “teacher” coach. Plus, Rip would thrive again playing for Larry – he’d be motivated again playing for a coach he respects and won a championship with and Larry knows how to use him.
    The final step – trade out Gordon instead of Rip. Nothing against Gordon because I loved him at Chicago but he flat out hasn’t fit into Detroit. His numbers this season are worse than Rip’s. Less PPG in more minutes, less APG in more minutes, lower 3 point % even.
    Detroit’s improved record lately isn’t due to Rip not playing, it’s having T-Mac as the playmaker instead of Stuckey.
    Rip’s numbers have been down this season yeah (though still better than Gordon’s), but that wasn’t when T-Mac was playing point. Remember what happened when T-Mac & Rip played most of their minutes together against Toronto? Rip scored 35, T-Mac had his breakout game that showed he still had his playmaking ability.

    If Dumars wants to redeem himself, that’s how. Fire Kuester, hire Brown, trade out Gordon instead of Rip, and can have Rip Gordon’s minutes without even messing with the winning formula of T-Mac starting at point. From that scenario you get a managable backcourt, a great coach who the veterans respect and can guide the budding younger players better than anybody else, Gordon’s big contract off the books (which suddenly won’t make Rip’s look so bad, especially if he has a role & motivation back), harmony in the locker room, hopefully pick up another frontcourt piece in exchange for Gordon, and next season they can pass on resigning Stuckey and get a true point guard. Giving T-Mac an extension would also be a great idea.

  12. Pissedton fan says:

    Pistons’ fans lets boycott the game until our star get back the spot where he belongs to

  13. marick says:

    Free Rip NOW.There are other NBA teams that deserves his championship caliber type of play. Benching Rip is like throwing away 25 ppg, 5 rpg, 7apg, sometimes even more… Who’s this Kuester guy anyway??? Fire him! he does’nt have any idea on how to run an NBA team.

  14. Bill says:

    Just a quick correction. Hamilton and Prince are not the only players left from the championship team. Ben Wallace, 4 time defensive player of the year, is still a very solid defensive player for the Detroit Pistons.

  15. Gary says:

    This is how players lose their love for the game. And as for the management it’s just plain ridiculous to not have him playing.

  16. bostonFTW says:

    @JAZZone good point but ill like Rip even more when he goes to Boston, Playing behind Ray Allen off the bench. They’re so identical except Ray shoots threes better.Both of them are good off the ball players,midrange,play makers. Rip for Von Wafer,Luke Harongody maybe and/or Jermaine O’neal. Nate – DWest – Rip – Big Baby – Shaq.

  17. Sosay says:

    CHICAGO!!!!!!

  18. bizerd says:

    the team rip won championships for is no longer in place. Bill Davidson, the beloved owner back then, passed away. Ownership fell into his wife, who said she wouldnt sale the pistons, then the next year she sold the shock, then put the pistons up for sale. Its obvious to me that she could care less about the pistons, or the players.I think everyone is just sitting on their hands untill a new owner steps in. I hope we dont loose our pistons. feel sorry for Rip.

  19. Jrowan11frmWPG!! says:

    I honestly think rip might be the missing piece in chicago in order for them to challenge boston for the east. they still would probably give them a good run for their money but rip would add that alternative wing threat that would make them damn near impossible to stop. as for miami fans out there that think they are legit contenders in the east, you need to be 8-9 deep to win anything. not 3 1/2

    • bizerd says:

      I think Rip in Chicago would put them in the finals. But Detroit wouldnt trade him to a division rival.

    • iLOVEheatHATERS says:

      heat did it in 2006 with 2 deep. 3 1/2 will b more than plenty… sit back and enjoy the show!

    • Gary says:

      8-9 deep?! LOL. Your comment is bogus for so many reasons. #1 Lakers had Shaq, Malone, Kobe, Payton, Fisher, Grant and Fox and no championship happened. #2 please name the team that had 8-9 stars and won a championship. #3 the Heat don’t need to be any deeper, all they need is a solid inside man which will be Haslem if he recovers. 8-9 deep, lol.

    • Vlad says:

      i think Rip would make chicago a very very good team. As for the Heat, you are so wrong. They are deep at full health; Haslem and Miller can start for a lot of teams. Z and Dampier are old bt started most of their careers and Howard is solid whenever or whereever he plays.

  20. So4Real says:

    Man this is the last straw I am forever done with Dumars. Even if they are rebuilding this is the worse way to go about it. I think people have given Dumars a pass because of there short lived success. The truth is Larry Brown had more to do with that success than he did.

    First off Rodney Stinkey shoots about 30% from the field on a good night. For him to have the green light while playin so poorly sends a bad message to everyone on the team including him. It was obvious that they did not know what they were doing when they started him over AI. One of the ALL TIME GREATS, and stuckey is not even top 15 in his class!!!!

    The truth of the matter is he only showed promise when he played along side AI and Rip because you had to double both those guys. Since that debacle he has been the worse performing starting gaurd in the NBA. That is no lie. Do the research points per minute, assist to turn over, and shooting percentage. He is DEAD last.

    It would motivate the team if he had to actually earn that spot. Ben Gordon is a STAR the only reason he is playing subpar is because he feels disrespected that he plays second fiddle to a BUM! Its one thing to come off the bench to make room for a budding star, but to do it to sit and watch someone who is luckey just to be in the NBA is another.

    The fact that they think they are getting better by putting the franchise in his hands is about as bad as the Bobcats thinking they could make the playoffs with DJ Augustine. I could score 30 on either of these bumbs.

    Either Dumass goes now. Or the Pistons are going to start looking like the Clippers. Accept they have no one on that roster that comes close to the skill level of Blake Griffin or Eric Gordon

    • bizerd says:

      your absolutly right stuckey is the worst gaurd in the league, then they say, hes really a 2gaurd, I dont think his jumper is good enough to be a 2.

  21. R Bond says:

    Free Rip Now!!

    He gave Detroit the best years of his career. Get some draft picks and…

    Free Rip Now!! Free Rip Now!!!! Free Rip Now!!!!!

    Send him to a contender…

    Free RIP NOW!!!!!

  22. jay says:

    This is the old Corporate mentality…You give your blood sweat and tears and loyalty to an organization and when their ready they will treat you like dodo. IT happened to me..The longer your around the less respect you get..Rich should say **^^ them and go somewhrere else.

  23. #1bullsfan says:

    i think that melo should go to the bulls trade deng james gibson and two 1st round picks and then u got a all start team with bulls

  24. MB says:

    Is there anything new on Melo’s trade?

  25. Mik says:

    Pistons have been trying to move Rip for a while and I believe they would give him up for a bag of peanuts at this time (well, OK, an expiring contract). But Joe Dumars can’t find anyone willing take on Rip’s contract and, unfortunately, Rip doesn’t fit into the current group of players and the team is better with him not playing. Winning percentage over the past 2 seasons is higher when Rip is not in the lineup.

  26. Peter2010 says:

    Melo wants out, you idiots BOO, Where are you, “fans”, when your star being ship out this wat.

  27. Sea Pea says:

    You don’t treat a legend like this. To me you can’t even bench him. He has to play. So disrespectful. No Top 10 Piston of all time gets benched.

  28. I love that Sekou keeps blogging about this. Rip does deserve so much better. At least when they traded Chauncey it was quick and they sent him to a good situation is his hometown. Now look how they’re handling this with Rip. This has been a long drawn out process and Rip is sitting on the bench! I agree that the Pistons have committed to going in a different direction and trading Rip would unfortunately be best for both parties, but they need to handle it better. I’m still in love with the idea of him going to Utah. (Check out out post at http://theunofficialreview.com/nba/fine-tuning/) Great fit and a good good situation where he can make a good team better. Let’s make this happen.

  29. JAZZone says:

    Richard Hamilton should come to the Jazz for Kirilenko’s 18 Million Dollar contract that expires at the end of the season … I have been wishing for the RIP / AK trade since the offseason. He would flourish with Jerry Sloans offensive system, it could be Hamilton’s best years like Ray Allen in Boston.

    • Raven42 says:

      Someone Please buy my beloved Pistons and clean shop, starting with Joe Dumars!! He hasnt made a good move since putting the 2004 Championship team together. What the Hell are you thinking Joe? Fire Joe DUMBASS!!!