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Richard Hamilton’s “jarring and expletive-filled diatribe” at John Kuester led to the guard’s removal from the rotation

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:

About a week prior to his banishment to the Detroit Pistons’ bench in January, Richard Hamilton berated coach John Kuester in a jarring and expletive-filled diatribe on the practice court, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

As stunned coaches and teammates watched, Hamilton bellowed at Kuester that he had been a failure in his two seasons in Detroit, blown the opportunity the franchise afforded him and was nothing more than a career assistant coach, sources said. Despite Hamilton yelling within inches of him, Kuester didn’t respond.

Several of the team’s younger players were mortified watching it and privately told agents and associates they wished they had the courage to stand up, confront Hamilton and try to take control back from the disgruntled veteran. Nevertheless, Hamilton influences a powerful lobby in the Pistons’ locker room, including veteran leaders Tayshaun Prince and Ben Wallace.

The early January incident was the second time Hamilton had initiated a confrontation with Kuester this season, sources said, and it ultimately spurred the benching that led to such public acrimony.

Wojnarowski has a tendency to write for the dramatic use loaded phrases, and I wonder if that misrepresents the Pistons younger teammates’ feelings, at least a little. Still, I think overall, given that multiple credentialed media members had been hinting that Hamilton had done something wrong prior to removal from the rotation, Wojnarowski unveiled the gist of the incident.

Wojnarowski also reports Hamilton’s buyout offer from Cleveland was $18 million (slightly higher than the $16 million his colleague, Marc J. Spears, indicated) and that the Pistons offered a lottery-protected 2012 first-round pick and Hamilton to Cleveland in exchange for a second-round pick.


  • Feb 26, 201112:40 pm
    by bball4224


    We deserve a reality tv show.
    Just continue with the five that started. Don’t resign those involved, trade the others. Time to start fresh, screw what Mrs. Davidson wants. Mr. D would be rolling in his grave if he knew what she has done.

  • Feb 26, 20111:03 pm
    by Jeremy


    Maybe the Pistons should hire referees for their practices.
    I find it really irritating (if unsurprising) when professional athletes are unable to act like responsible adults. Rip has been a real dick this year.

  • Feb 26, 20111:07 pm
    by Travis


    Why would he not accept that buyout? That’s greedy. And a pain for him and the orginazation. Maybe a Terrico White spotting tonight? If he’s healthy and some discipline is handed out

  • Feb 26, 20111:13 pm
    by Fennis


    The Pistons were going to give up a first round pick in 2012!!! I don’t care if it’s lottery or not, I’m stunned by that revelation. A first round pick for a salary dump. That tells me that Joe is bending over backwards to accommodate Rip. I’m very happy this deal did not go through. Hopefully Detroit can land a similar deal with better terms in the off-season.

    • Feb 26, 20111:17 pm
      by Zinto


      It will probably be the only way anyone will take Rips contract. Who would want him at any more then the minimum especially after all of this happening?

  • Feb 26, 20111:58 pm
    by eshai


    Cant blame Rip for not forgoing $7 mil of what could be his last contract.

    If there is a lockout next year, and he came back into the league at age 35 in 2012, he’s notgoing to get more than the veteran minimum likely. He’s already won a championship, so why give up all his money just to try to chase another one that probably wont even win?

    This contract was his big payday of his career. Its not like he was making KG money throughout his whole career and never won a ring. If I’m not mistaken, he was only making about $7 mil/yr as the leading scorer of a championship team in ’04. This contract was his payday for everything he did during the championship run when he was underpaid. He earned it.

    • Feb 27, 20118:18 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      His final year is not fully guaranteed though, and if Detroit hasn’t rid themselves of him by then, I have to assume they’ll buy him out at the cheaper rate (not sure what his final year buyout is off the top of my head), so in reality, between a buyout that would’ve netted him at least $16-$18 million (and keep in mind, a lockout next year if it’s prolonged might mean players don’t get paid for the season) and whatever he made signing with Chicago or Boston, it really makes little sense to not take that buyout, especially since he is not going to play in Detroit and thus will get no chance to rebuild any kind of value.

  • Feb 26, 20112:27 pm
    by showme


    I guess this powerful revelation can give some breath to all future arguments. Hamilton gets my vote for being a loaded ‘piston’.

  • Feb 26, 20112:37 pm
    by eshai


    Players are looking to lock up extensions right now with a chance of a lockout looming, like Carmelo did, not give up guaranteed money. I dont know why anyone can be mad at Rip.

    The same ppl will then say Karen is right for holding out for as much money as she can get in the sale, and she’s going to get almost $400 mil. Rip is making a fraction of that, and he’s wrong for wanting to keep it, when he earned it, and she did nothing?

    That makes no sense.

    • Feb 27, 20118:20 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      Again, because of the lockout and final year of his deal not being fully guaranteed, he might have actually gained money over the long run by taking the buyout.

  • Feb 26, 20113:00 pm
    by hoopstar


    R.I.P.’s nutsack hasn’t dropped yet.  That can be the only excuse for why a supposedly grown man would act like such a little boy.

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