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Report: Rip Hamilton benched to avoid injury before trade

Jan 14, 2011, 11:38 AM EDT

Rip Hamilton

This really says all you need to know about the coaching situation in Detroit.

Coach John Kuester benched Rip Hamilton Wednesday night, and thanks to a history of odd lineups and other decisions out of Detroit in the last couple seasons that everyone assumed it was just another part of that list. Including other players.

The logical assumption when a good player sits — and Hamilton still qualifies — is that they don’t want him to get injured before a trade goes down. That was the case here according to Peter Vecsey in the New York Post. This was a Joe Dumars decision from on high, not a Kuester decision. Hamilton is part of the massive three-team Carmelo Anthony deal and Detroit wanted to protect its asset in the deal.

That makes sense.

But the fact nobody (including players) instantly leapt to that as the obvious reasoning — that it seemed reasonable it just could have been a coaching decision — sums up the state of the Pistons pretty well.

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