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Rip Hamilton speaks for the first time this summer, doesn’t say much

Through all of the trade rumors of this offseason, all of the questions about his health and whether he’s washed up and through adding another veteran who plays the same position as him, Pistons captain Rip Hamilton has remained silent.

That is, until writer Ben Sin caught up with him at a NBA promotional event in China for SLAM Magazine. Hamilton said he’s fully healthy, he hasn’t talked to Tracy McGrady yet and he still believes he’s the best conditioned athlete in the NBA (and, injuries or not, he still might be right about that).

But none of those answers were unexpected. I found this question, and response, about the Pistons run as one of the NBA’s best teams in the 2000s very interesting:

SLAM: Okay, you guys won it all in 2004, and then came so close in 2005—if Sheed didn’t leave Horry open you guys may have won in that year—and then from ‘06 to ‘08 you guys were right there too. So really, a break here, a bounce there and you guys could have two to four rings. Do you feel a bit of regret looking back? Like, “damn we coulda been one of the greatest teams ever”?

Hamilton: Not at all, I’m happy I got one. How many times do you hear guys say “we were right there” and came up short? It’s tough, man. We won one, and yeah we had opportunities to win again and we didn’t, but to walk away with one ring, five rings, two rings, you still taste that champagne.

Hamilton’s response is understandable — he’s still playing, and I think every player who’s currently playing feels to some degree like he’ll still have a shot at a title again before retiring. But Lin’s question, I think, will become much more relevant as Hamilton, Chauncey Billups, Tayshaun Prince and Ben Wallace join Rasheed Wallace in retirement one day.

5 Comments

  • Sep 8, 201012:44 am
    by nuetes

    Reply

    I disagree. Look at Barkley, Dirk, Malone and Stockton, Ewing, Iverson, Reggie Miller, Kidd etc. Those guys all got there and lost. Rip has a ring so it’s hard to say he should feel regretful he doesn’t have another. There’s plenty of greats that wish they were happy they had just gotten one.

  • Sep 8, 20101:43 am
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    Piston fans were so spoiled. That team lacked a go to post player (Sheed always floated to the perimeter) and an athletic slasher who could finish at the basket and they still were the best team in the Eastern Conference for 6 years. They came up short a few times but so did the Bad Boys. I am still haunted by Isaih’s dumb inbounds pass against Boston and by the phantom foul on Jabbar that gave LA the title the next year. That team should have had 4 rings..

  • Sep 8, 20101:45 am
    by skd

    Reply

    “Hamilton: Not at all, I’m happy I got one. How many times do you hear guys say “we were right there” and came up short?”
    can u read thats the first thing he said, what are you disagreeing with?

  • Sep 8, 201010:43 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @skd:

    Yes, I can read. I’m saying that I think Hamilton’s viewpoint — being satisfied with just one title — will change once he’s retired and looks back at how close they were to winning two or three. I think right now, he, like most players, probably feels like he’ll get another shot to play for a title team again (and I hope he does in Detroit or elsewhere), so those times when the Pistons came up just a bit short aren’t as impactful right now as they  might be when all of the core guys are retired.

  • Sep 9, 20106:29 pm
    by The Rake

    Reply

    While I wish Sheed would have never left Horry, we were down 2-0 in that series too.  With all the drama that happened on our way to an ’04 title, being down and coming back, etc., I am happy with the one ring as a fan.  The second was always icing on the cake for me, but I am happy to have had the cake.  Thats why these lean years now and likely into the future won’t be as bad.  We got 3 rings with me as a big fan, I can’t complain there. I am a lifelong Chargers fan looking for my first in the NFL, so Rip has the right perspective, even if he does look at it differently years from now.

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