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Rip Hamilton responds to anonymous accusation that he sat out Sunday’s game because of losing his starting job

Over the years, the Pistons have not had much turmoil that manifests itself in the media. As fans, I think it’s something that is easy to not notice, but it’s really unprecedented compared to the anonymous sniping that goes on in the media in other organizations, even occasionally among winning teams.

So it was more than a little surprising that an anonymous person in the organization told Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News that Rip Hamilton had ‘quit’ on the team.

Not surprisingly, this is not a trend the organization wishes to continue. First, Hamilton defended himself to reporters. From Vince Ellis of the Freep:

“For the last nine years, I just went out and played hard and played aggressive and left everything on the line every night, and to hear that allegation was tough on me,” Hamilton said. “But Joe will find out who said it and get to the point on that.”

And for those who believe, like commenter Frankie D expresses here, that Hamilton will become a scapegoat for the team’s poor play, I wouldn’t be so sure. Joe Dumars released a statement defending Hamilton:

“Rip and I had a great conversation,” Dumars said about a 20-minute chat after practice. “He’s the last guy that I need to worry about competing. He’s been a warrior here for a long time, and I trust him as much as anybody on this team. Rip is our captain, and I love Rip Hamilton.”

That’s an unusual step for Dumars to make a public statement on something like this, so he must firmly believe that Hamilton was not, in fact, faking his illness as the person quoted in the Goodwill story seems to suggest. And I have to think that Dumars, who has always been guarded with what he says to the media (despite the occasional, uh, slip-up), is going to come down hard on whoever leaked the info, even if it happens behind closed doors.

So to recap: the Pistons are as confusing as ever.

13 Comments

  • Dec 21, 20102:54 pm
    by ds

    Reply

    I know that Rip didn’t LIKE coming off the bench last year, but I thought he played quite well there, didn’t he? He seemed to have good scoring and quite a few assets. I remember one 31 point game, I believe.
     
    It ended when the team continued to lose consistently and he said enough is enough – basically, I’ll come off the bench if we win, but if we keep losing…
     
    I don’t know about this tummy thing – but hopefully they can get past it quickly and Rip can kick ass on the second unit.
     
    Fingers crossed…. (I freely admit I’m hopeful by nature).

  • Dec 21, 20104:08 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    1) the real surprise here is that goodwill broke some actual news about the team that puts things in a bad light. guy’s written nothing but puff pieces for years and now this. i take this story pretty seriously given the fact that he’s come off as such a lapdog for so long.
     
    2) as for the move, rip and stuckey is a disaster and will never work. that said, if one of the two deserves a demotion it’s stuckey. still, rip has no right to bitch or quit or even mope while he plays out this ludicrous contract joe blessed him with. he can request a buyout any time he wants. personally, i could see hi terrorizing opposing benches, and he’ll be better off playing with passers like bynum and t-mac, but this team isn’t going to be winning, so expect him to be unhappy.

  • Dec 21, 20104:21 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @laser:

    1) This is Goodwill’s first season covering the Pistons as the Det News beat writer so “nothing but puff pieces for years” is a bit hyperbolic.

    Secondly, he’s fairly critical compared to the other beat writers. He’s firmly aligned with Gordon, Daye and Stuckey as his go-to sources, if you notice. His critical pieces this year have been this one with Hamilton, a story asking why Stuckey was suspended for his insubordination while Prince wasn’t and several stories advocating more playing time for Daye and Gordon. Goodwill has also Tweeted several times insinuating that Kuester should be fired.

    To say he only writes puff pieces is completely false. He writes puff pieces about Gordon, Daye and Stuckey. He’s pretty critical of other aspects of the team.

    2) The issue with Stuckey is that until Bynum shows he’s healthy and puts together a couple more great performances, the Pistons don’t have a viable alternative at PG like they do at SG. Hopefully Bynum changes that.

  • Dec 21, 20104:44 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    rip isn’t perfect by any means.
    his emotional outbursts and accompanying techs and ejections in recent years is inexcusable.
    but what dumars says about him is spot-on.
    the idea that rip has lost it, imho, is hilarious.  reggiie miller played the same type of game for a long, long time and because rip is such a well-conditioned player, there’s no reason that he could not be a solid player for just as long.
    what is truly wrong with rip is pretty simple: he misses those timely, on-target sweet passes that chauncey used to deliver.  the ones that basically allowed him to nothing other than run around screens, catch the ball and shoot it.
    life is a lot tougher for him now that chauncey doesn’t deliver those passes and there is no one who sets the table the same way for him.
    put rip on a team with a guard/player who can deliver the ball to him the way chauncey did – utah, for example – and everyone will see a rejuvenation of his career.
    hopefully, joe will do what he should have already done by the time he signed gordon: ship rip out of town for whatever he can reasonably obtain.

  • Dec 21, 20105:06 pm
    by Alan

    Reply

    Rip is a pro and he’ll handle this like one.  He’ll come off the bench and do his thing and the Detroit fans love the backup player.  We’ll look back at this thing and all that can be said is that Rip Hamilton missed one game and went back to work as the team’s 6th man.

    All the pressure is on Ben Gordon.  As a starting SG, he’ll be asked to do more than score.  Here’s hoping Stuckey and Gordon can show us a little more of what they flashed during the OKC game back in November.

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Patrick Hayes. Patrick Hayes said: From @PistonPowered: Rip Hamilton responds to anonymous accusation that he sat out Sunday’s game because of losi… http://bit.ly/f8gBdS [...]

  • Dec 21, 20108:36 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    1) my bad. it must just feel like years, but i swear it feels like he’s done nothing but puff. i remember the stories you mention, but i don’t remember him advocating kuester’s firing. i’ll take your word for it. i just remember a lot of feeble analysis and a resistance to identify the real problems with the team.
     
    2) i truly like bynum a lot (my third favorite piston at the moment; jonas isn’t healthy and prince is all but gone, so he’s climbing), and maybe he’s not the answer. but i can tell you right now that stuckey isn’t, so i think he deserves a shot. but it’s not about how he performs in a limited bench role with fifteen minutes. i think bynum would be more effective than bynum in a starting role, and i think stuckey would be more effective than bynum coming off the bench. you gotta put the ball in his hands and let him know he’s got an earnest chance to win the job. point guard has got to be the position where starting means the most.

  • Dec 21, 20108:40 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    @alan: if by “gordon will be asked to do more than score” you mean he’ll also be asked to spread the floor, then i’m with you. he might be asked to make a play or two, but he’s a scorer. that’s his role, same as always.

  • Dec 21, 201011:16 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Laser:
    There are strengths and limitations to every writer. I agree with you that Goodwill has written some pretty fluffy pieces. The thing I like about him is that, unlike a couple other guys covering the team, I think Vincent truly loves the NBA and loves basketball. I respect that passion. But there are undoubtedly flaws in some of his stuff, just like there are flaws with every writer out there, myself very much included.
    But I think part of the “puffy” nature of some of Goodwill’s stuff, particularly early in the season, was due to the fact that he was new. New reporters on any beat tend to have overly positive stuff early on. As you’re trying to establish sources and meet people, you don’t want to go out of your way to be critical and piss them off if you don’t have to. I think as Goodwill has developed more sources — and it’s clear with his Hamilton reporting that he has — his writing has become more critical when need be.

  • Dec 22, 20106:15 am
    by Dan Feldman

    Reply

    DS, assuming you mean two years ago when Iverson was on the team, Hamilton had a 38-point game.

    Here are his bench performances that year:

    Richard Hamilton games off the bench in 2008-09

     

  • Dec 22, 20108:34 am
    by ds

    Reply

    Thanks Dan,
    Yeah – that was what I meant – looks like 6 20+ games to only 3 single digit games and he averaged better than 17 ppg and 4 apg. Thanks for looking that up!

  • Dec 22, 201011:38 am
    by Laser

    Reply

    hey gang, let’s not forget: when rip came off the bench behind iverson, we didn’t have t-mac and daye knocking on the door for perimeter minutes, and he didn’t have another shooter like charlie v coming off the bench competing for touches.
     
    look at his minutes played and shots attempted coming off the bench two years ago! he averaged more minutes, shot attempts and points than his averages while starting this season!! god this is a mess.

  • Dec 22, 20103:40 pm
    by Alan

    Reply

    @Laser,
    He’s a starter now and starter’s are asked to do more than score.  Starters are asked to play D and set the tone.  Scoring is what Gordon does best and same with Charlie V.  We’ve seen the effort and results start to change with Charlie V in the last year and now we must begin to see the same with Gordon.  Nobody expects Gordon to make the all-defensive team or to even become a good defender.  It starts with effort, and that’s what we’ll need to see.

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