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Rip Hamilton could return to the Palace and the Chicago lineup tonight

Former Piston Rip Hamilton has missed two straight games for the Bulls with a groin strain. I wonder if he has any motivation to return to the lineup tonight at the Palace?

Hamilton, if he plays, will likely get a warm reception from the crowd (and deservedly so … despite the rocky ending, times with him on the team were more good than bad) as other former Pistons like Chauncey Billups, Antonio McDyess and Rasheed Wallace received when they returned. Ben Wallace’s first return with the Bulls was more mixed, but the circumstances around him leaving were also different.

Hamilton’s former teammates talked to the media about seeing Hamilton in a different uniform. From Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press:

“It’s gonna be weird,” Wallace said after Monday night’s victory over the Magic. “But for the most part I’m just happy that he’s happy where he’s at. Anytime you see a guy move on that, I feel like he was not only a good teammate, he was one of my brothers.”

From Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News:

The lone key member of the 2004 title team that hasn’t worn an opposing jersey has seen it for everyone else: Chauncey Billups, Ben Wallace, Rasheed Wallace, and now, Hamilton.

“It won’t be hard, I’ve had the situation with Chauncey, with Ben, with ‘Sheed,” Prince said. “It wasn’t something I planned on seeing.”

And Ellis also has a great column — go read the entire thing — on Hamilton’s anger at the front office, which he feels disrespected him:

When it became apparent that the Pistons were seeking to move Hamilton as well, it was almost as if Hamilton moved on to his next team mentally — although it took two more seasons for it to actually happen.

In Hamilton’s mind, he sees himself as one of the best shooting guards in the game. So how could the Pistons ever be so disrespectful to a franchise cornerstone?

Hamilton is averaging 12 points per game and shooting 43 percent for the Bulls. Should be interesting tonight.

28 Comments

  • Jan 4, 201211:00 am
    by Shane

    Reply

    Well today we wil be able to see how the Pistons are compared to a championship caliber team(since they both have fresh legs today from not having back to backs)

  • Jan 4, 201211:00 am
    by Shane

    Reply

    Well today we wil be able to see how the Pistons are compared to a championship caliber team(since they both have fresh legs today from not having back to backs)

    • Jan 4, 201211:04 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Bulls played last night. Rose and Deng each played 44 minutes.

      • Jan 4, 201211:19 am
        by Shane

        Reply

        aw crap didn’t realize that.. I want to see how the Pistons would do now against a team that hasn’t played a back to back

        • Jan 4, 201212:35 pm
          by Laser

          Reply

          If you want to see how we would play against a fresh Bulls team, close your eyes and imagine a bone crunching bloodbath that would embarrass Piston fans past, present and future.

          • Jan 4, 201212:53 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            Not disagreeing. Chicago is clearly better. But check that box score from last night. The Bulls were horrendous for 3 of 4 quarters vs. ATL and Boozer is still not a great fit there.

          • Jan 4, 20122:59 pm
            by Laser

            To be fair, that’s a good Atlanta team, not a bad Pistons team.

  • Jan 4, 201211:17 am
    by Dave

    Reply

    Last night looked like the tail end of a back to back for the bulls.  Ought to be interesting to see how they respond after laying an egg and still squeaking out a win.  Major confidence boost, which probably spells doom for the hapless Pistons.  Hope you guys are still enjoying Ben Gordon…

  • Jan 4, 201211:50 am
    by Jeremy

    Reply

    I don’t know Dave, Pistons are coming of 2 wins (1 over a much bigger, stronger Orlando team) and it seems as though they have a major confidence boost as well. If Rip does play tonight, I see him forcing his shot and playing all around poorly. What player wouldn’t want to drop huge numbers on a former team he felt some anger against? The overall emotion of coming back will get the best of him and I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets T’d up a couple times and tossed when things don’t go his way.

    As far as Gordon goes, it is still too early in the season to determine if he has his groove back. Diesel and Kelser put it best during the last telecast when they said this team is much better when Gordon is aggressive offensively. He isn’t shooting a horrible precentage and seems to be playing a good brand of defensive ball right now.

    To me, this is a team that will live and die by the rebound. They will win the majority of their games where limit giving up offensive rebounds and rebound on both ends of the court. This gets our guards into the open court and easy baskets from players trailing or sitting wide open beyond the arc. The half court offense is getting there, but is still stalling due to a lack of player movement and ball movement.

  • Jan 4, 201212:19 pm
    by MrHappyMushroom

    Reply

    Hearing Rip bitch about the “disrespect” makes me nine times happy all over again that he’s gone.
    Rip, shut the fuck up.  I get that you were unhappy that they signed Gordon, because you still considered yourself one of the best players in the league. And I’m not even arguing that it was a good move.  But they saw you as 30+ year old who was showing signs of diminishing skills.  (Why they signed you for $12 million a year is a mystery, but I wouldn’t complain too much about that if I were you.)
    “Disrespect”?  Nope.  They just recognized that you were no longer capable of being a big part of a championship quality team. And since this team is likely years away from competing, it made all the sense in the world to move you.  You want to be angry at the front office?  I have no problem with that.  But to take out your anger on your teammates and fans–half-hearted effort, getting tossed from a handful of games, while still collecting about $30,000  A DAY (which is essentially my yearly salary)? Go away and save the bitching for anyone who could possibly care about your fragile ego.  (Maybe Mommy would lend an ear?…)

    • Jan 5, 201210:46 am
      by Murph

      Reply

      Bitter much?

      My guess is Rip was directing his frustration toward the idiot coach who benched him 23 games in a row with no explaination.

       

  • Jan 4, 201212:51 pm
    by JT's Hoops Blog

    Reply

    Finally Rip will have his revenge for the Pistons treating him so crappy last season

    • Jan 4, 20121:03 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Yes. I can’t wait until he gets his revenge for the mean Pistons paying him more than anyone else on the team.

  • Jan 4, 201212:54 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    Glorious article by Ellis. Even-handed and satisfying. It’s important to remember that: (1) the chip on Rip’s shoulder has always been there (Sheed aside, Rip would have ran away with the team lead in techs every year) and helped us win a lot of games. Big ones. So when it becomes crystal clear that they wanted to trade him, you can wish all you want that he’d take it in stride, but that would have been out of character; (2) now that the Stuckey experiment is over, we see what he is… a part-time ballhandler with good size whose only marketable skill is drawing fouls as he misses layups. So anyone who doubted Joe’s faith in him has been fully justified, and the team has paid a hefty price for his poor judgment; (3) even if Rip was too much of an ingrate (and he was) Joe Dumars is 100% to blame. Nobody with a shred of basketball acumen would have guessed the various moves he’s made since November 2008 would have worked out any differently.
     
    Above all else, I’m glad that Ellis’s article sheds light on the real problem in Motown. As I’ve been preaching for years, it’s impossible to place any real blame on Kuester or Rip or Iverson or anybody else who was merely working with the shitty situations they’d been put in. Joe’s the one who put all the pieces in place and left everyone in a position where success was not an option. Period.

    • Jan 4, 20121:01 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Check the part I excerpted though. Even at his best, it is debatable as to whether Hamilton was ever a top 10 SG in the league. Very good, fringe all-star player, but never among the very elite at his position. Hamilton’s over-inflated image of himself was a problem. Not the biggest problem, but a problem.

      I have a hard time buying the “organization disrespected me” meme. The organization paid him more money than anyone else on the team and made him a team captain when Billups left. If he’d wanted to, Hamilton could’ve retired here just like Prince probably will. He didn’t want that, and that’s fine. But the victim stuff is a bit much.

      He was a good player with limited value who was paid exceedingly well for that skillset. Was there some scapegoating of him by the front office in the media? It’s a good bet. It happens everywhere in losing situations. But I have no doubts that had he wanted to be lifer here, he would’ve been.

      • Jan 4, 20123:08 pm
        by Laser

        Reply

        Scapegoating? FUCK yes. By the front office, the media, Feldman… er, I suppose he’s part of the media too. But you get my idea.
         
        I never said Rip’s self-image was realistic. He is a very limited player who needs a system catered to his specific needs in order to thrive. He was never worth anywhere near the extension Dumars gifted him four years ago, not even at his peak. I was just saying that it’s not like this diva personality came out of nowhere; he’s had an ego and a bad attitude forever. These same qualities that helped him become a ferocious competitor and valuable member of the team just happened to bite the Pistons in the ass when Joe decided to throw the roster into utter chaos.
         
        Also, I pray to God Prince doesn’t retire a Piston. What a bullshit posterity move would be that for Dumars? Place a nice little feather in his own cap after fucking this team in every hole imaginable, when Prince remains one of the VERY few tradable veteran assets the team has at a time when it has no aspirations whatsoever to contend. The responsible thing to do would be to trade him for useful building blocks. That’s what a good GM would do, because it’s in the best interest of the team. They say Joe’s downfall has been having too much loyalty, and that’s probably been true at times, but this is not about loyalty. If he lets Prince retire here and squanders one of his precious few trade chips, make no mistake: It’s about posterity.

        • Jan 4, 20123:30 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          I mean, I don’t think there was some sort of “I want you to retire a Piston” specifics involved in this. I just think it’s the likely byproduct of this deal. Dumars could still try and trade Prince I guess, but he wouldn’t have given Prince a four-year deal if he wasn’t comfortable keeping him for the duration. Same with Hamilton’s extension — I don’t think he would’ve ever been opposed to trading him, but he wouldn’t have extended him if he didn’t mind at the time keeping him on the roster for the duration of that contract.

          It’s not like he’s handing out the contracts saying, “I promise to keep you here forever.” But Hamilton before and Prince now were both given more money/years here than they could’ve got elsewhere. You don’t do that if you aren’t comfortable keeping them. It’s not like Prince is making himself into more of an asset with that long-term deal and a balky knee. My guess is he’s here for the full four years, unless he’s a salary throw-in when the deal is close to expiring.

      • Jan 5, 201211:23 am
        by Murph

        Reply

        In his heyday, Rip was definitely a top 10 PG in the League.  But the beauty of Rip’s game was how efficiently he scored, when combined with Billups at PG.  He scored efficiently playing along side Rose last night, also. 

        What is a “fringe all-star” player?  Is that a player who is only named to the all-star team three times, like Rip?

        While I don’t think the Pistons organization disrespected Rip.  I definitely think John Kuester and his coach staff disrespected Rip.  In fact, I think they more than disrespected him; they tried to ruin his career.

        I think in his prime, Rip was an excellent player with excellent value.  That’s why he led both his NCAA championship team and his NBA championship team in scoring. 

        I’m glad  as a member of the media, you are finally admitting to scapegoating Rip.  That’s more than your buddy, Feldman, will admit to, and more than that idiot Goodwill will admit to.

        • Jan 5, 201211:51 am
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          “In his heyday, Rip was definitely a top 10 PG in the League.”

          His best season was 05-06 when he shot 46 percent from three and averaged 20 a game. Guys who were definitely better than Hamilton then: Bryant, Wade, Ginobili, Michael Redd (pre-injuries), Ray Allen, Paul Pierce. Guys Hamilton was in the convo with at the time: Vince Carter, Joe Johnson, Iguodala, Jason Richardson. Honestly, I think all of those guys except Carter were a bit better at the time, but if we’re being generous, Rip at his peak was probably somewhere in the 7-11 range among SGs in the league. That’s a fantastic career, no doubt, but he was never the player he thought he was in his own mind.

          “What is a “fringe all-star” player?”

          A fringe all-star is someone who isn’t a given to be in the AS game every year. Hamilton was good enough to get in three times, but he also was never a guy considered a lock to make it the way a lot of other names mentioned above were in their careers.

          “While I don’t think the Pistons organization disrespected Rip. I definitely think John Kuester and his coach staff disrespected Rip.”

          Check Hamilton’s comments from last night. It’s clear he pins all of his ill-will on the front office, not the coaching staff.

          “I think in his prime, Rip was an excellent player with excellent value.”

          I’m not arguing this. But his prime was about four years ago. He’s still a useful player on the right team, but he’s not and hasn’t been the same player that made those AS teams for a couple seasons now.

          “I’m glad  as a member of the media, you are finally admitting to scapegoating Rip.”

          Whoa … that’s quite a leap. The media didn’t scapegoat Rip. I said the organization might have attempted to based on what was leaked.

          But that isn’t to say Hamilton didn’t act like an asshole. Reporters are in the locker room. They are connected to sources on the court, sources on the coaching staff, people in the front office. Why do you feel you are more informed than someone like Goodwill, who is around the team every day, who travels with them, and who talks to the key people, to evaluate what was going on behind the scenes?

          • Jan 5, 20122:02 pm
            by Murph

            “In his heyday, Rip was definitely a top 10 PG in the League.”

            Let’s for the sake of argument say that Rip’s heyday lasted from 03-04, when he led his championship team in scoring, until 07-08 when he was named to the all-star team the last time.

            In 03-04, he was 7th among SGs in scoring, and among the top 7 scoring SGs, Rip’s FG% was 1st.

            In 04-05, he was 8th among SGs in scoring, and among the top 8, he was 5th in FG%

            In 05-06, he was 9th among SGs in scoring, and among the top 9, he was 2nd in FG%.

            In 06-07, he was 9th among SGs in scoring, and among the top 9, he was 2nd in FG%.

            In 07-08, Rip fell to 15th among SGs in scoring, but among the top 15, he was 2nd in FG%.

            To me, this is pretty sold evidence that in his heyday, Rip was definitely a top 10 PG in the League.

            From Hamilton’s quotes in the MLive article, it is NOT clear to whom Hamilton is referring  when he said:

            “All the sources and allegations that they put out, it hurt me, because I thought as long as I lay it all on the line for an organization, regardless, they’ll always have your back,” Hamilton said. “I saw that wasn’t the case.”

            Hamilton used “they.”  Hamilton did not specify who “they” were.  IMO, “they” were John Kuester and Pat Sullivan.

            The person or people who put out the allegations and tried to ruin Rip’s career, are the person or people who leaked the anonymous stories to the press.  Patrick, I’m guessing you know who those people are.  Please enlighten us, and end the speculation.

            Sorry. I thought a member of the Detroit area media might actually be taking reponsibility for his  role in the Richard Hamilton debacle of last year.  My mistake.

            From the quality of Vince Goodwill’s articles, I do not have a great deal of respect for him as a knowledgable sports writer.  IMO, his articles are often misinformed, shallow and draw the wrong conclusions.  To be honest, I don’t even read his articles anymore, because I find the quality so poor.   Therefore, I trust my own opinions concerning the Pistons’ player personnel more than Goodwill’s, regardless of how connected Goodwill claims to be.

          • Jan 5, 20123:04 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            “To me, this is pretty sold evidence that in his heyday, Rip was definitely a top 10 PG in the League.”

            That’s fine. I don’t agree, I think he was just outside that top 10 mark. But it’s not egregious to put him in the bottom of the top 10 either. The bigger issue, though, is that I don’t feel like he was ever the best player on the Pistons during their peak. Ben Wallace and Chauncey Billups were better. Some would argue Rasheed Wallace was even more valuable because of his defense. At any rate, he was probably 3-4th best and then 2nd-3rd best on the team when Ben left. When he was in a position as the team’s best player, his production slipped. Not his fault entirely, the talent around him was worse and that would affect the performance of any player. Like I said, I don’t think he was a bad player. But I damn sure think Hamilton’s opinion of his value is a lot different than the reality of the situation.

            “Hamilton used “they.”  Hamilton did not specify who “they” were.  IMO, “they” were John Kuester and Pat Sullivan.”

            Well, I guess with combining that comment, Ellis’s column linked above and Hamilton’s “I never had a problem with Kuester” comment, I’m inferring that ‘they’ meant the front office. I could be wrong, but that’s how I’m interpreting it. Rip has never shied away from giving his opinion about a coach. He was up front about not getting along with Curry. I think if he thought Kuester was leaking stuff about him, he would say that.

            “The person or people who put out the allegations and tried to ruin Rip’s career, are the person or people who leaked the anonymous stories to the press.”

            Tried to ruin his career is being a bit of a drama queen, no? People were trying to shift responsibility for a horrid organization/locker room. Varying levels of blame can be heaped on a lot of people, starting at the top. This happens in every losing environment in every sport. Stories get leaked. Players, coaches, execs have their names sullied by people with agendas and axes to grind. No one was trying to ruin his career, people were trying to save their own asses. Hamilton landed a great multi-year contract for a guard his age, pocketed some nice money on his buyout and is starting a title contender. His career is just fine.

            In all honesty, Hamilton worked his channels too. I believe Terry Foster wrote a couple columns during the season where Hamilton was the obvious source. Everyone plays the game man.

            “Patrick, I’m guessing you know who those people are.  Please enlighten us, and end the speculation.”

            You are guessing wrong. I’m not a working journalist anymore. I’m not long out of the game, so I like to think I still have a connection or two that I trust to make my opinions somewhat informed, but it would be a lie to say that I have anything resembling sources.

            “Sorry. I thought a member of the Detroit area media might actually be taking reponsibility for his  role in the Richard Hamilton debacle of last year.  My mistake.”

            Haha … the media was responsible? Please. These are people responsible for the debacle: 1. Joe Dumars for giving Hamilton a ridiculous extension while also paying Ben Gordon and for not intervening when it was clear his coach couldn’t handle the personalities in the locker room 2a. John Kuester for being a spineless, horrible communicator who couldn’t manage said personalities 2b. Hamilton for playing half-assed, for hurting his team with unnecessary technical fouls and for helping cause a factioning among players in the locker room. The media reported what they could get people to talk about.

            Did the whole story ever come out? No, but it never does. The team’s beat writers did an OK job of trying to piece together what they could in probably the league’s most dysfunctional environment. I mean, you can see obvious examples of the team’s spin to save face and you can find beat writers who did have actual locker room sources telling a different story than the team’s narrative. Ellis’ full stories linked to in that second link aren’t online anymore, but if you read it at the time, it was pretty clear he was talking to players as his sources.

            “Therefore, I trust my own opinions concerning the Pistons’ player personnel more than Goodwill’s, regardless of how connected Goodwill claims to be.”

            I certainly disagree with the analysis/conclusions of other writers all the time. But it’s an arrogant move, IMO, to question the actual reporting/sources without having real knowledge of that myself. It’s one thing to interview the same or similar sources and say, “that guy’s way off.” But minus the ability to do that, it’s hard for me to question the integrity of a journalist or say he’s misinformed by his sources.

          • Jan 5, 20126:56 pm
            by kamal

            Patrick, the only players better than Hamilton during his years in Detroit were Kobe, Wade, Allen, Iverson, McGrady, and Carter.  And when you factor in Rip’s playoff success, you could really only go with Kobe and Wade for sure.  Ginobili has stretches where he looks like a juggernaut, but he was a reserve player who missed a lot of games and beat up on opposing team’s second units.  Check his minutes per game.  Pierce is a 3.  I don’t care what he would start the game off as, he was always a 3.  

            Rip didn’t have the talent as the other guys, but he was a big game player.  People always say Chauncey, or Ben or Rasheed or even Tayshaun were more valuable than Rip.  We will never know for sure because Rip was always there when we were good.  He didn’t get hurt in key games.  He rarely laid eggs in crucial playoff series.  We don’t know how the team would’ve fared with Michael Redd or somebody.  

            A lot of fans took Rip for granted.  People assume if he were traded instead of Chauncey and he and Iverson battled for starting pg duties, the team would have went back to the ECF.  I don’t believe that.

          • Jan 5, 20129:09 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            “the only players better than Hamilton during his years in Detroit were Kobe, Wade, Allen, Iverson, McGrady, and Carter.”

            Paul Pierce (he was a two before they traded for Allen) and Ginobili were better. Iguodala was probably better too, factoring in his defensive capabilities.

            “And when you factor in Rip’s playoff success, you could really only go with Kobe and Wade for sure.”

            Hamilton was a good player who had playoff success because he was on a great team. Was he an important component of that success? Sure. Was he the driving force? Hell no.

            “Rip didn’t have the talent as the other guys, but he was a big game player.”

            I’m not arguing that. He clearly got a lot out of his more limited physical skills (frankly, you could say that a guy like Iverson, for example, got even more out of his limited physical skills than Hamilton, but I digress). Those other guys are still slightly or way (in a few cases) better players though.

            “People always say Chauncey, or Ben or Rasheed or even Tayshaun were more valuable than Rip.”

            Ben Wallace and Chauncey Billups were. Rasheed Wallace is debatable — his defense made him extremely valuable, but his inconsistent offense and below average rebounding somewhat counteract that defensive presence. Hamilton was much better and more valuable than Prince.

            “We will never know for sure because Rip was always there when we were good.”

            Comparing the statistical impact of all of the players on the championship team helps us evaluate. Billups and Ben Wallace clearly had more impact based on virtually all the advanced stats available.

            “He didn’t get hurt in key games.”

            Everyone in Detroit’s starting five was durable. Prince didn’t miss a game for like five years. Ben Wallace played hurt all the time.

            “He rarely laid eggs in crucial playoff series.”

            He was a good, important player in his prime. I have never said otherwise.

            “We don’t know how the team would’ve fared with Michael Redd or somebody.”

            That’s a different argument. I’m not saying subbing Hamilton for any player above would’ve made the Pistons better necessarily. Who knows how that would’ve affected the dynamic of the team. What I’m saying is, individually, there were probably at least 8-10 SGs who were better than Hamilton during his prime. He probably falls in the 9-11 range somewhere for me if I were pressed to rank them.

            “People assume if he were traded instead of Chauncey and he and Iverson battled for starting pg duties, the team would have went back to the ECF.  I don’t believe that.”

            I’ve never once heard someone say this, and I’ve read thousands of Pistons related comments on this site and MLive over the last few years. First of all, Denver didn’t even want Hamilton, so that’s kind of a weird assumption to make.

            But if we’re arguing whether the Pistons would’ve simply been better if they kept Billups and didn’t have Hamilton? I would bet that they would be. Billups has been a far superior player to Hamilton since the trade. Hamilton plays a position and role (wing scorer) that is easier to fill than Billups does as a point guard.

            Hamilton at his peak was a very good player. But there are limitations to his game. He needed to play in a system with a good passing point guard and big men who are good screen setters in order to flourish. When those elements were gone, his game went in the tank as evidenced by his shooting percentage the last three years. That’s the difference between Hamilton and the others — Wade, Bryant, Pierce, Allen, McGrady have all played on really bad teams and still flourished individually, even if the supporting talent around them was weak. Hamilton was really good with really good supporting talent and he was an average or a bit below player when he had bad supporting talent.

            He was a very important piece of a championship team, but there was a clear pecking order of importance on that team, and he wasn’t at the very top of it.

  • Jan 4, 20123:07 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    I, for one, am very happy the Bulls played last night.   I like the way Frank has been subbing the guards in and out at times to keep them playing hard and I hope he utilizes that strategy tonight against Rose and maybe even gets Bynum in there too.  Our three headed monster PG can hopefully frustrate the MVP and I’ve seen Stuckey’s size give him major problems before.
    And it’s BG’s former team too and I think he might actually be flat out better than RIP this year.  Sorry RIP……as Laimbeer once memorably said when he got a call from former teammate Rick Mahorn who’d been traded to Philly, “You are now the enemy”.
    BRING ON THE BULLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    I’VE GOT MY FORK AND KNIFE READY!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jan 4, 20123:28 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    Laser, you are nuts.  If Prince retires a Piston it will be in several years from now and the entire landscape, for better or worse, will be very different.  Further, Dumars, himself, could outlast Prince’s playing career by decades in terms of posterity so why would he be thinking about such a thing now? You’re acting as if Dumars is as aged as King Lear or Jerry West when you spew      such drivel.
    Personally, I have always hoped that Prince would retire a Piston, but if an absolutely superb deal came along, I would understand and be in line.  I doubt that will happen so I’m very happy to see him retire a Piston.  That said, Prince has a lot of basketball left and when Big Ben retires, Prince figures to be the only veteran on the team who has even sniffed getting deep into the playoffs let alone win a championship.  I’d be much happier to see Daye traded at this point than Prince and feel confidant that Prince/Jerebko, whichever would start from year to year, can ably man the small forward position for the next four years.

  • Jan 5, 20129:35 pm
    by kamal

    Reply

    Hey Patrick, I appreciate you going back and forth with me.

    A few things.

    1.  Pierce played the 3 in Boston.  Delonte West, Szczerbiak, and Gerald Green were the shooting guards.
    2.  Ginobili was never better than Rip, IMO.  He came off the bench and missed a ton of games.  He’s never been a big time scorer and he played with an all time great post player who kept the opposing bigs from sliding over to challenge his drives.  Plus, always had Duncan to rely on if he had a bad game.
    3.  It’s easy to say Chauncey has been superior to Rip since they have split up.  Chauncey went to a team with a dominant scorer who he could feed the ball to.  Rip was stuck playing with 2 guards masquerading as point guards.  Rip never played with a point guard once Chauncey left.  Chauncey got to play with Melo (a top 3 scorer in the league).  It’s not like Chauncey was playing with Willie Green and Rip was playing with Chris Paul.
    4.  And as for those Advanced stats that “prove” Chauncey and Ben were more valuable than Rip, I don’t put much stock in them.  Chris Paul’s career high in PER is higher than any season Kareem Abdul-Jabbar EVER had.  Enough said.

    I know I’m never going to change your mind on Rip and you’ll never change mine. Rip and Chauncey should have never been broken up.  The team around them should have improved.  That’s on Joe.

    • Jan 5, 20129:44 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      “Rip and Chauncey should have never been broken up.”

      Don’t disagree with you on that.

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