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Richard Hamilton ignores Joe Dumars’ and John Kuester’s requests to talk

Keith Langlois on Richard Hamilton:

He had not responded to requests to talk, by both Joe Dumars and John Kuester, as of late last week, since being taken out of the rotation. He has been given many chances to sit down and talk about his current situation. He had taken part in conversations with Joe D, at least, in between the times he was removed from the starting lineup and the recent move to take him out of the rotation. Dumars has had numerous conversations, as well, with Rip’s agent, Leon Rose, who has been apprised of the situation on a regular basis. I’m not sure what more should be expected of reasonable adults.

We already knew Hamilton denied John Kuester‘s request to talk, but Joe Dumars’, too? Rip is losing the benefit of the doubt.


  • Feb 1, 20115:12 pm
    by Andy Fung


    Chauncey Billups recently said that Rip was “Pistons royalty”.  Correction, Chaunce: Rip could have been Pistons royalty. No one doubts that this is a difficult situation for a player to be in, but if Rip had handled it with an ounce of class and dignity– like Chaunce did when he was actually traded– his legacy as a franchise great would have been preserved. Instead, he has taken the route Isiah Thomas once did when he ended his run as a Piston.  Zeke, if you remember, burned every bridge within the organization before bowing out, including publicly discussing private arrangements he had with Bill Davidson and breaking his hand while sucker-punching longtime teammate Bill Laimbeer. Thomas will forever be regarded as the greatest Piston ever, but sullied his image by allowing his childish persona to be the lasting image fans remember.  Hamilton certainly has not reached the depths of his backcourt predecessor, but it appears he has resigned himself to burning the bridge to the organization and community that once prized him as a prince.  Sad, sad, sad…

    • Feb 2, 20112:05 am
      by Mike Payne


      Not sure how this relates to Isiah Thomas, Andy.  You say Rip hasn’t handled this with an ounce of class or dignity, but can you elaborate on what he’s done wrong?  He hasn’t said anything negative about the coach, the gm, the players or the organization to the press.  There’s a lot of hatred aimed at Rip right now, but what isn’t based on hearsay doesn’t have a factual base.
      I’m really amazed at how quickly fans have turned on Rip, and I’d love to see an objective reasoning on what he’s done wrong publicly.

      • Feb 2, 20112:11 am
        by Mike Payne


        to elaborate, when I say “I’m amazed at how quickly fans have turned on Rip” I don’t mean that fans shouldn’t desire more on court.  I’ve wanted dude moved since before he signed the extension after the Billups trade.  What I mean by fans turning on him is how quick they are to blame him for this mess, and how they point at him for handling it poorly.  Thus far, he’s complained that he’s not playing, but he hasn’t said anything negative about Kuester, Dumars or anyone else.  He’s been more graceful than I would be, I tell you that.  If I was in his shoes, I’d be farting curses and throwing chairs.  Dude has handled himself with a lot of class in this situation, I have to admire that in him as much as I want his contract off of this roster.

        • Feb 2, 20114:09 am
          by gmehl1977


          Good point Mike

        • Feb 2, 20119:20 am
          by Andy Fung


          There is no doubt Rip has handled the situation well publicly, Mike.  You are correct about his refusal to overtly express his feelings to the media.  (However, he did offer his initial “disrespected” comments unsolicited.)  My disappointment lies in his refusal to discuss his plight with his own coach or boss.  It amuses me that he wouldn’t meet with Kue because he didn’t like who was sent to summon him.  It all seems very immature and childish to me– by both sides.  These are grown men and professionals that spend more time with each other than their own families– yet, they can’t sit down and talk for ten minutes? I certainly don’t hate Rip, in fact I’ve written extensively in my own blog about how much love I have for him.  My comparison between Rip and Zeke was made to illustrate how ugly endings often leave the most lasting impact on public perception.  I’ll always remember Isiah’s glory days, his unbelievable talent and will.  But, the image that will always be seared into my consciousness is how the Pistons ship began to sink, the Bad Boys-era doomed to enter Davy Jones’ locker, and how its captain tried to take everyone down with him.  Thomas alienated his owner (who viewed him as a son), his teammates (whom he had gone to war with countless times), and fans that were not of the casual variety.  He seemed unwilling to help teach or develop younger players (I know, not his job, but imperative to the team’s transition, and frankly, a nice thing to do), caught up in the past and self-entitlement.  Don’t you think it’s strange that Zeke retired unceremoniously and without much fanfare by the organization?  It’s greatest player ever?  This all sounds very familiar.  Rip, for all his service and triumphs with Detroit, is burning a similar brand into my mind’s eye.  All the b.s. about starting/not starting– who cares, you make millions upon millions to do what the club asks of you!  Disrespect? Which part is more disrespectful, Rip, the part when they gave you a 3 yr/$30 + million extension, or when you were given countless opportunities to earn a spot in the starting lineup and then eventually the rotation even when you were clearly the worst option?  Rip feels entitled due to past glories and cannot handle the truth that he has lost his mojo, and, whatever you say about it, has handled it like a baby.  I don’t think he’s handled it gracefully, as you insist–not horribly, but certainly not gracefully.  And I also question whether or not he has said anything negative about his coach, gm, or organization publicly.  Look, Rip is not Rasheed Wallace–he’s not going to hit you over the head with his opinions.  He is, however, a master at shooting thinly-veiled darts through the media dating back to the Curry/Iverson fiasco.  Class, to me, is not pouting about minutes or being removed from the rotation.  Dignity is excepting your limitations and having respect for yourself and for your teammates.  Like it or not, this ugly divorce will be the lasting memory many Pistons observers will have of one of our all-time greats.

        • Feb 2, 20119:34 am
          by Andy Fung


          And you’re absolutely right about all of this being based on hearsay.  All of this is based on hearsay–even the Feldman/Langlois report.  Everything that we cyber-commentators write is based on hearsay.  None of us (except Langlois, in this case) are in that locker room, or on the team plane, or at practices or hotels with these guys.  We can only form our opinions based on the limited and filtered information that trickles down to us.  Every one of these comments is based on speculation– but that’s what makes it fun!  We are the Sports Illustrated/ESPN equivalents to the People Magazine/TMZ crowd.

  • Feb 1, 20115:31 pm
    by gmehl1977


    It is the 1st February and I am holding on to hope that by 12th-15th February that the Melo 3 team trade (NJ-DEN-DET) is revived so we can put this drama to rest. I also still think you will see Joe trade Prince + parts to the Clippers for Kaman by the Feb deadline.

  • Feb 1, 20115:45 pm
    by Laser


    ugh. who cares anymore? what’s to say??
    joe: “sorry, rip. you’re not going to play.”
    rip: “ok.”
    it’s not like there’s anything to do or say on either side. the damage has been done. joe should be ashamed of what’s happened here, but i’m sure he’s as smug and self-satisfied as ever.

  • Feb 1, 20117:00 pm
    by Jacob


    This is sad. At this point both parties are at fault. I just hope the Pistons are able to trade Rip by the deadline so both sides can move on. Rip’s been my favorite player since he became a Piston, I hate to see it turn out like this. When we signed Ben Gordon I didn’t think it was a good fit, but I don’t think anybody could have predicted it would turn out like this. After some years though and water under the bridges I think Rip’s #32 will still be retired. He deserves that.

  • Feb 1, 20117:19 pm
    by Odeh


    I am loving this, because, this means that one way or another it is guaranteed Rip is gone.  You can have problems with the coach but to cross the GM means there is no coming back from this.

  • Feb 1, 20117:22 pm
    by MOngol


    When a “request to talk” is sent via the head of security, that is just low, low class.  The Pistons did this, one of them should walk up to Rip and ask to talk….. is that too much to ask?  And they wonder why players in sports show no loyalty to teams.

  • Feb 1, 20118:23 pm
    by Josh V


    The bottom line is Rip isn’t worth the contract he has.  Anyone with 2 eyes and a moderately functioning brain can determine that.  This is all playing out like a stupid soap opera where everyone involved realistically has little to offer a successful NBA franchise.  Rip has outlived his welcome and has little left in the tank unless offensive plays are called for him and he has a true PG passing to him.  Joe Dumars has had too many mistakes which outweigh all his good calls ~10 years ago.  While I think we should hold on to him because I have faith in his knowledge of what it takes to get to the Finals and win; his lack of good judgment in regards to trades and negotiating player contracts leads me to severely question what he has to offer at this point as well.  And lastly, Kuester is never going to be a very good NBA head coach.  I have yet to truly see anything that he has directly impacted resemble what a quality NBA head coach is about.  While he may be serviceable, and he doesn’t quite have the tools at his disposal to succeed, I think he is better suited as a right hand man kinda guy to a quality head coach.
    More importantly; can we please give more playing time to Greg Monroe?  Also, can it be consistent that he starts and plays every minute that he possibly can play?  Rip’s replacement should also be Gordon, and Gordon should play maximum minutes.  Stuckey should be coming off the bench to play either PG or SG.  I truly believe if Gordon got consistent minutes alongside McGrady he would be a potent scorer.  At this point we’re not going anywhere and we should have a consistent rotation that can build some chemistry.  And to those of you who realize Gordon’s (and McGrady’s) defensive liabilities; at this point I’d settle for high scoring losses than watching a new starting five/rotation play seemingly every game to no avail.

  • Feb 1, 20118:51 pm
    by gcd


    Lets be real, Joe D has made bad move after bad move, letting  Billups go, not a good move. Picking up Mcgrady bad move. If you think getting rid of Rip, Billups etc has improved the team check out the standings. Where have we been the last few years, on a early out thats where. It all starts with management and the decisions they make.

    • Feb 1, 201111:08 pm
      by gmehl1977


      As much as i hated seeing Chauncey go, financially for the pistons it was the smart thing to do. The problem has always been what they did with the money after letting Iverson walk. I think Joe should of sat on all that money or just signed CV. We all know he was silly for signing Gordon after he just extended Rip. My theory is and i heard rumors that there was a deal on the table to trade Rip for Boozer which fell over once Davidson died. When you look at things like that then Joe’s plan doesn’t look as bad as it turned out. I don’t think it was a bad thing trading Billups but rather what was done with the money after they traded him. The word panic comes to mind!

    • Feb 2, 20113:02 am
      by Mr Happy Mushroom


      Bad signing McGrady?
      Look, you can argue that Tracey isn’t a long term component of a good team and that his play this year has been fool’s gold if you wish.  But a million dollars a year for a guy who has produced like he did?  There are likely 25 other teams that wish they had done the same.
      The bottom line is perennial 55 win teams becoming a 25-30 win team.  Yep, Joe’s been lousy.  But surely you can find better examples than McGrady.

    • Feb 2, 20113:03 am
      by Mr Happy Mushroom


      Bad signing McGrady?Look, you can argue that Tracey isn’t a long term component of a good team and that his play this year has been fool’s gold if you wish.  But a million dollars a year for a guy who has produced like he did?  There are likely 25 other teams that wish they had done the same.The bottom line is perennial 55 win teams becoming a 25-30 win team.  Yep, Joe’s been lousy.  But surely you can find better examples than McGrady.

  • Feb 1, 20119:31 pm
    by jayg108


    I’m a bit shocked by the frankness of Mr. Langlois’ mailbag post.  I’ve never read a post from him that casts a shadow on a player as this does.  Go Keith

    • Feb 1, 201110:35 pm
      by Laser


      well… dude works for the pistons, not rip. anything he says must be looked at as the voice of the organization. he wants to make them look good, even if it’s at the expense of one player. take anything he says with a grain of salt. it’s an ugly situation, and he can’t come out and say everything’s swell.

  • Feb 1, 201111:07 pm
    by Jason


    This is Langlois we’re talking about here – it’s just words… lol.
    Here’s the same guy that said a plethora of SG’s would be “Good” for the team”, because competition is always a good thing.. lol
    Here’s the same guy that told me there isn’t a chance in hell that Mcgrady would be the starting PG about 2 months ago…
    Same guy that constantly claims Stuckey can still be a solid starter in this league..
    I wouldn’t read too much into what Langlois says, i’m not buying it…
    You want the real truth? I read this article today, and while i disagree with some of the points (His undeniable love for AI namely) The rest of the article is SPOT ON, and really explains specifically how classless the Detroit Pistons have become…
    I have no affiliation with this site, I simply thought it was a good read, and wanted to share it with you all.. It’s an outside look at the Pistons demise… GOOD READ!

    • Feb 1, 201111:55 pm
      by Josh V


      I would have posted on the main site but didn’t want to join anything.  I think that article is a gross exaggeration while skewing facts; and the author is clearly biased and may or may not be partially clinically insane.  He reminds me of Mel Gibson from Conspiracy Theory.  While I subscribe to the theory that Stern hated AI, I refuse to believe the majority of what was written and that it was all one big plan to ruin AI’s career.  AI never won anything other than individual awards.  AI was and always will be a diva (albeit while being one of the most impressive scoring small guards in NBA history) and anyone who tries to make the case that he would have EVER taken a team to a championship is biased and doesn’t understand how a championship team is forged and ultimately made.  Rip WAS a class act, and while this organization has gone down the toilet over a myriad of trades/terrible contracts, no amount of factual evidence would ever convince me that AI’s careers demise is anyone’s fault but a combination of his attitude and aging body.  That being said Stuckey unfortunately should be a 6th man or a role player who can provide energy and scoring off the bench.
      Ultimately everyone involved in this episode of 90210 bullsh- should learn how to be more professional and figure out how to run a damn team.  But pardon me if I scoff at the AI article; good facts, but the crux of the issue is ridiculously biased.

      • Feb 2, 201112:54 pm
        by Jason


        I completely agree that the author of that article is clearly senile. Again, his whole tirade about AI is quite exaggerated, and for the most part ridiculous. But, there are some other very strong points, that probably should have been in an entirely different article all together, nonetheless spot on though.
        His points about Stuckey, the current situation with RIP, Dumars absurdity, Media bias, i’m with him on all of these things…
        I just thought it was an interesting take, an if nothing else a pretty good read for any Piston fan who is as upset with the organization as i have been. One trade/signing could really change this teams fortunes, we have solid pieces in place, but I highly doubt Dumars will do what SHOULD be done.

  • Feb 2, 20111:23 pm
    by Pratik Narula


    I don’t agree that the Pistons have played better basketball without RICHARD HAMILTON. Yes since he’s been gone, the rotation has not been so complicated, and guys have understood their role. When Rip was there, the entire offense was around him, stuckey gets the ball to Rip if hes open from his screens. But now guys like TMAC and Monroe are playing a lot better, and will bynum, but maybe thats because Kuester has started to give them specific roles and consistent minutes. Rip can fit into the rotation if Kuester was smart about it. He is easily a starter on any TEAM in the NBA rite now. Every player on this roster has had difficult and inconsistent performances. BEN GORDON is the biggest example, the guy is great offensively, he drops 35 against NYC. But he is a defensive LIABILITY. And he commits a lot of turnovers. The problem is that BG is use to making difficult shots, but if the Pistons simply were to get him open as consistent as Boston gets Ray allen open, he would be GREAT. However, he can’t play any defense. Especially when Charlie V is also in the game with him.
    1)Stuckey 2) Tmac 3).Prince 4)Monroe 5)Ben Wallace  (This definitely our best defensive lineup that can execute consistently in the half-court)
    Bench: 1)Will Bynum 2). BG 3)Rip 4) Daye 5)Charlie V (This might be our best offensive lineup, even better then the starting 5
    Extras: Jason Max, D. Summers, Chris Wilcox
    This is how the rotation needs to be broken down
    1st quarter: Starting 5 plays 75 percent, Bench plays 25 percent
    2nd Quarter: Bench continues and plays 25 percent, Extras come in for defense, MIX of starters and Bench
    3rd quarter: Starting 5 plays 50 percent, Bench plays 25 percent, Bench + Extras play 25 percent
    4th quarter: Mix of bench and starters 40 percent, all starters play 60 percent
    If Kuester could have realized this strategy in training camp. We would have had a 5-0 start and not a 0-5, a good start is crucial to setting the tempo of the season, look what San Antonio has accomplished. This team is .500 probably not better then that. But def. not worse then that.

  • Feb 5, 20113:26 pm
    by rick


    Detroit is in a tailspin and it can be attributed all the way back to a number of decisions or indecision’s made by Dumars . I think he over valued Rasheed Wallace and paid him like he was the reason Detroit won everything. In essence he had a combination of things going for him. He fleeced Jordan by trading aging Stackhouse, got a free agent in Billups and had already drafted Okur and Prince. Carlisle had them boys playing half court stingy defense and playing as a unit. Then next you hear Carlise is a @$$hole around the Palace and nobody likes him. What the hell, I actually thought the old man had his imprints on this all the way and in the end to me it has cost them dearly. Did we ever hear the players complain about how Carlise coached? Nope, but when Larry came in after that first year everything became stale and he supposedly flirted with the Cavaliers. Gone, bye, which brings us to Saunders. He was a good coach as far as x’s and o’s but not good enough to command respect of the Wallaces. I think this is why Ben left  in my opinion because he got tired of Rasheed and his antics, along with how the coach did not step up to him. Players do not want to have to step in another players face all the time. That is where the coach/gm steps up. All I ever heard from Dumars was how much a great talent Rasheed was and how most things could be excused. So hear we are two coaches in three years a total combined 83 wins in two and half years and most of those were by Curry who got fired for not communicating better with Hamilton. So what is the deal with Q and Hamilton? Who knows ,but one thing for sure is I do not think any free agent will want to come here and play for Detroit. You can play all the youngsters you want,but what fills up the seats? A good basketball team and a well run organization . The last thing you want to see is one of your best players and one that helped win a title be put on the deactivated list by a career long assistant coach who just so happened to get a job from Joe Dumars. How do you go from Carlisyle a young and up and coming coach to caoch a young group to and old bag Kuester to coach young talent with old? At what point does Dumars start getting articles written about him? The economy is bad in New Orleans and they are winning, with a new young coach.I am tired of excuses and players getting all the blame.

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