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Pistons fined, but did Rip Hamilton make his own bed?

Feb 26, 2011, 4:39 PM EDT

Detroit Pistons  v Toronto Raptors

Rip Hamilton and Chris Wilcox have been fined by the Pistons for missing shootaround in a “sleep-in” protest yesterday, according to Ken Berger of No word on possible penalties for the other three Pistons who missed shootaround, nor those who were late. (Update: Austin Daye and Rodney Stuckey were both fined for being late. No fines for Tracy McGrady, Tayshaun Prince,  or Ben Wallace who had legitimate excuses.)

Even stranger, Berger reports there is no indication that management will fire John Kuester despite this disaster. The Pistons instead will continue to work on a buyout offer.  And that’s where things get really difficult. Because apparently, Hamilton’s already turned down such an offer before.

ESPN’s Marc Stein reports that before the deadline, the Pistons had arranged to finally trade Hamilton to the Cleveland Cavaliers using the Cavs’ trade exception.  The Cavs would have then bought out Hamilton, and he would have had his choice of either the Bulls or Celtics to go and join a contender. Hamilton turned down the offer.

Yeah. Turned it down. After all this. After the screaming tirades and being benched and non-communication and all of that, Hamilton turned down a way out.

In the movie “Groundhog Day,” Bill Murray’s character says “You make choices and you live with them” in reference to the fact that he no longer has to do so. Apparently Hamilton thinks he’s going to be able to wake up at the end of this season and do it all over again.

Stein also reports that internal sources claim the “protest” was overblown, that  the missing practice players were mostly sick or not in attendance because of miscommunication. Until this whole thing is sorted out, count us in the skeptical category.

If Hamilton has actually turned down such an offer, even if he’s not getting the full amount (Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News reports the amount at $16 million of the $24 million the Pistons still owe him, plus he’d end up making whatever the Bulls or Celtics would pay him, he’s being ridiculous. You signed a contract and are owed the money as long as you play for the team. If you’re no longer willing to play for the team, you have to surrender some amount. If the team wants to bench you for your behavior, so be it. You get paid, they get their roster spot. Kuester’s obviously made this situation untenable.

But Hamilton needs to deal with reality, and act like a professional to reach a solution with the Pistons.

  1. khandor - Feb 26, 2011 at 6:24 PM


    Please show where you think Richard Hamilton has ever indicated – by word or action – that he is “no longer willing to play for” the Detroit Pistons?

    I have yet to see him do, or say, anything like that.

    • jmclarkent - Feb 26, 2011 at 6:43 PM

      Agreed. Rip didn’t deactivate himself.

  2. rmfields - Feb 26, 2011 at 7:13 PM

    Rip deserves better treatment. Being stuck on the bench as a DNP – Coaches Decision is a huge slap in the face for the 33-year-old vet.

  3. djeg07 - Feb 26, 2011 at 7:21 PM

    was worthless in dc and looks to be worthless again. Hamilton’s days as a star or starter except on a team like cleveland or even a team like the suns are over. He could help a contender but not in starters role any longer. Also please lose the damn face mask this aint hockey.

    • mharenza - Feb 27, 2011 at 7:47 AM

      I am not a Rip fan, but I have to disagree with you. I can think of several playoff teams he would probably get an opportunity to start for….some even possible contenders. Although his days of being a “star” are over, he still has a lot to offer a quality team.

    • cordae - Feb 28, 2011 at 9:55 PM

      I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer but…….i dont think he’s trying to make a fashion statement with the mask. No one wants to suffer from a broken nose……..twice…

  4. nateboomer - Feb 27, 2011 at 1:42 PM

    Stay strong Rip. Yes you could have handled the problems better you and Kuester had and still have; but so could they. Seems everyone’s blaming you. My question is did you bench yourself for Iverson 2 seasons ago? Did you send yourself to the bench this season to witness yet another losing effort by this team with you on the pine? Everyone needs to man up and straighten this jazz out. Go Rip! Go Pistons!

  5. rapmusicmademedoit - Feb 27, 2011 at 6:40 PM

    i would have taken the trade if i was RIP……………. RIP has a ring, what does the coach have, Dumars
    blew everything up after trading for AI, Danny Ainge my be headed down the same road in Boston.

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