Posted by By at 9 February, at 12 : 35 PM Print

Franchises deal with players in very different ways. The way the Washington Redskins handled both Albert Haynesworth and Donovan McNabb was bizarre to say the least. Although most of it was brought on himself, the Titans’ handling of Vince Young was strange at times. I’ve drawn a complete blank as to how to explain what the Pistons are doing with Richard Hamilton.

The three time all-star was absent for 13 consecutive games from January 12th through February 4th. Why? Well that depends on who you ask. Trying to ask general manager Joe Dumars won’t get you anywhere. He recently told Fox Sports Detroit that he does not want to get in the middle of it and would rather Hamilton and coach Kuester settle their difference between themselves. Asking Richard Hamilton will probably not help much either. He doesn’t believe there are any problems at all. Then there were the stories of the flu and now after playing this past Saturday it’s looking like he’ll will probably be back on the sidelines with a tweaked groin.

It seems pretty obvious at this point that Hamilton, Dumars, and Kuester won’t be caught on TMZ at any nightclubs together in the near future. Joe Dumars isn’t going anywhere. Despite a second poor season, it would appear that Kuester is safe. So that leaves Rip as the likely odd man out. Combining the extension hes signed in 2008 for $34 million over 3 years, the fact that he’s 33, and that he’s having his worst season since his rookie year in Washington and you get a player who will probably have little suitors in the trade market.

After fracturing his nose three times during the 2003-2004 season Rip began wearing a protective mask while on the court. Even after the injuries fully healed he’s continued to wear it while playing and has mentioned several times  to it being his “super man cape” and “a symbol of strength” for him. Now probably more than ever, that symbol of strength will have to come in handy as he deals with the most difficult stretch of his career.

Hamilton helped lead the Pistons to the NBA title in 2004. He’s led the team in scoring for 8 consecutive seasons, every year he’s been in Detroit prior to this season. He was elected to the all-star team for 3 straight seasons from 2006-2008. So how has a player who’s been so integral to the success of a franchise fallen so low on the team totem pole? Maybe after he’s traded or released the truth will come out.

One thing that is certain is that no one involved looks good right now. Hamilton doesn’t by saying that he thought it was a joke when Kuester told him he was going in the game. Kuester doesn’t because his main job as head coach is to put a team on the floor who has the best chance to win games, which in my opinion, includes Hamilton. The hands off approach isn’t making Dumars look great either. If coach and player can’t exist together, it’s his call to make on which one needs to go. As a player I liked watching at UCONN and followed throughout his career, I hope Rip and his endless running off of and around screens as well as his almost automatic mid-range jumper are again on display in arenas across the country. However, it’s looking more and more likely that most of those jumpers will no longer be falling in the Palace of Auburn Hills.

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One Comment

  1. Julian, 9 years ago Reply

    R.I.P. would seem more appropriate for Lebron old team. the Cavs are 8-45.
    the clippers are 19-32 and the wizards are 14-37.

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