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Chauncey Billups sees you, Rip Hamilton

Chauncey Billups makes his annual return to Detroit tonight with Denver, and as could be expected, he’s baffled by what’s happened with Rip Hamilton. From the Denver Post:

“I feel bad for him,” Billups said. “He’s going through a tough time. What’s going on is shocking. It’s pretty disrespectful for them, honestly. He’s kind of Pistons royalty. He helped win a championship, had some great years and now he’s not playing. It’s not like his skills have diminished. Whatever is going on, it’s crazy.”

Now, I do disagree slightly with Billups in that Hamilton’s skills, at least if you look at his plummeting shooting percentage the last two years, have diminished some. But I do agree that skill-wise, he’s also not a player who should have eight straight DNP-CDs. We’ll see if he gets off the bench tonight.


  • Jan 26, 20114:45 pm
    by detroitpcb


    agreed that it is completely disrespectful for Q not to take the initiative, sit down with Rip, and tell him why he is not playing.

    disagree that Rip’s skills have not diminished. His shooting percentage says otherwise.

    i am still remembering that comment from an unnamed source in the Piston’s organization that said “Rip quit on us”. obviously that source was taking Q’s position.

    i am surprised that Joe D has not stepped into this situation and brought both the naughty little schoolboys into his office and told them to grow up. but that is not his style and he certainly is aware that the major beneficiary of Rip’s removal from the lineup has been Austin Daye who is being given a bigger role and more crunch time minutes. Will Bynum has also benefited by being returned to the rotation. I suspect Dumar’s likes seeing Daye get more time.

  • Jan 26, 20114:59 pm
    by Laser


    bah. give the man a proper role, minutes and shots, pair him with a point guard… then we can decide if his skills have diminished. nobody seems to want to look at the big picture when it comes to anything.
    rip and stuckey were a DISASTER together, but even the organization finally acknowledged that stuckey is not fit to play the point. rip had good chemistry with t-mac, but that lasted about a game.
    i’m getting sick to death of everyone writing the guy’s damn obituary. stop looking at things in a vacuum, people! this new rotation is the first time the pistons have been respectable AT ALL in years, so it’s insane to pick one scapegoat. blame joe, maybe blame stuckey for talking a big game and failing to deliver, but rip?? start him alongside t-mac and pick one of gordon or stuckey to come off the bench behind us, and the current rotation looks a HELL of a lot like it has the past seven games.

  • Jan 26, 20115:22 pm
    by Matt A


    I understand chauncey’s statement. They are obviously close friends and he wants to show support he buddy. I don’t see what the pistons are doing to rip now as disrespectful by any means. If rip can’t cooperate with the coach and accept the roles he is given then its it is perfectly within the right of the coach and organization to sit him or try and trade him. It’s Kuester’s team, not rips…

  • Jan 26, 20115:32 pm
    by gordbrown


    I make no secret of the fact that I think the equation is the other way around. People are down on Stuckey as the point guard because he has lost tons of assists because of Hamilton’s poor shooting. It’s not like Hamilton wasn’t getting good looks. Plus the Pistons offence wasn’t running right because it had to accommodate Hamilton who was taking way too many shots and getting touches on most of the possessions. Taking Hamilton out of the mix has made the Pistons a better team, that just cannot be denied (not playing Maxiel has also helped of course). I don’t think it’s as much Hamilton’s skills have declined as that he stopped caring about winning. The other issue is that catering to Hamilton who clearly didn’t care was messing with the heads of all the other players. It might have been better to trade Hamilton before the situation deteriorated to where it has, but a buy out might not be a bad alternative if a trade never happened.

  • Jan 26, 20117:28 pm
    by Laser


    @matt: i’m mostly with you on the “respect” thing. guy collects 12.65 million units of respect every year, and that’s all the pistons OWE him. in reality, no matter what he’s done in his time here, he owes the team much more than it owes him, which is a paycheck. which is hefty.
    @gordonbrown:get real, man. don’t bother making excuses for stuckey. he’s had plenty of different players on the floor with him to boost his assist totals. saying unequivocally that rip’s removal from the lineup is the reason the team’s been playing well, rather than the fact that the ball has been taken out of stuckey’s hands for the first time in three seasons, is absurd. a better guess is that the chief reasons for the team’s improved play are (1) putting the ball in the hands of a capable decision-maker, and (2) removing one shooting guard– any shooting guard– from the rotation. but even that is a guess (though i suspect it’s a much, much better guess) since we haven’t seen a lineup where t-mac and rip start and gordon OR stuckey (not both) back them up.
    as for rip not caring, i’ve put a lot of thought into that, and i think there’s a good argument to be made there. it’s a tough situation because joe put together a team that was doomed to fail. rip handled it badly, and that’s on him. he’s paying the price for that. stuckey never really suffered minutes-wise, because he’s dumars’s adopted son, and gordon never seemed to make much of a stink about how badly he was being utilized (he made a few comments, but he put his head down and played every night). the difference is probably that rip is a very competitive and emotional guy. it didn’t sit well with him that he had no point guard, had to split minutes with his supposed replacement, and the team kept on losing. it wore on him.
    buying out rip would be perhaps the greatest admission by dumars that he messed this rebuild up BIG TIME, so i doubt it comes to that. whatever he can do to save face, smart money says that’s what dumars does.

  • Jan 26, 20117:35 pm
    by Laser


    also, just to be clear: i’m not defending rip’s petulance (and that’s what it is), but i think everything wrong with this team is so specifically the result of terrible, foreseeably-bad personnel moves by dumars. there is no amount of discontent or upheaval from any number of players that would distract me from where every bit of the blame should be.
    look at jason williams in orlando. he’s pissed that he only plays garbage minutes, and he just skipped a plane ride with the team to stay home and sulk or do whatever. the team’s going to discipline him for this, because it’s absolutely outrageous and unacceptable. it’s far worse than rip acting out and getting tossed from a few games, but even if rip went that far, i would still place all the blame on dumars. god knows what he was thinking when he assembled this roster. any rebellion on the part of any player on this team is at dumars’s feet. i wouldn’t excuse rip for committing murder and place that blame on dumars, but anything relating to the team, sure. why not?

  • Jan 26, 20118:42 pm
    by youssif


    this whole situation is exactly why the ben gordon signing was a total misfire. i mean, let’s be honest here: how hard is it to figure out that having three gunners (stuckey, gordon, hamilton) with no pg is a formula for disaster?
    before bg was signed, i was clamoring for the pistons to sign raymond felton. and i was just a 20-year old bumming on my couch over summer vacation. which begs to question, what exactly does a gm like dumars do all day? i hear he’s completely missed the wisdom of the statistical revolution (a la darryl morey). so if he’s ignoring sport metrics and data points, on what exactly are personnel decisions being based on?
    i’d really hate to lose joe d, but my personal belief is that when a person in a high profile job performs at a level that makes you think you could do a better job with nothing but an espn insider subscription and too much time on your hands, it might be time to cut ties…
    the only thing is… have you seen the other GMs in the NBA? there’s like 4 who are good and only a few more than that who are remotely competent.
    one more thing: is buying out rip an option? i thought the whole problem is the lack of willingness from ownership to spend until the team is sold. if buying him out is an option, we should do it yesterday.

  • Jan 26, 201110:22 pm
    by Fennis


    Wake up. Not only did Rip’s offense collapse, his defense was downright frightening all the way up until the benching, and he frequently made bonehead plays (e.g. turnovers, bad fouls) and didn’t seem to care much about the negative repercussions for the team. Chauncey is “shocked” that the Rip he played with back in ’04 is riding the pine. The problem is ’04 Rip and ’10 Rip are totally different players.
    It’s amazing that the people criticizing Rip’s benching never mention the fact that the team is playing its best basketball in years. Doesn’t that matter?

  • Jan 27, 20113:55 pm
    by Dan Feldman


    Laser, I won’t argue on this: Richard Hamilton would play better with a traditional point guard. But he’s played the last three seasons with the same point guard, and he’s gotten worse each year. The PG is controlled, making this a pretty fair test. What makes you believe he’s not declining?

  • Jan 27, 20113:56 pm
    by Dan Feldman


    Matt A, no NBA team’s is a coach’s team. They don’t nearly have that much power.

  • Jan 27, 20113:57 pm
    by Dan Feldman


    Gordbrown, excellent point on Hamilton costing Stuckey assists.

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