Detroit Pistons Fan's View: Best Wishes to a Departing Rip

Yahoo Contributor Network

What's with all these former Detroit Pistons -- the latest being Richard "Rip" Hamilton -- moving on the play with the enemy, the Chicago Bulls?

First, after the old Bay Boys era, there were Dennis Rodman and John Salley (in a far less prominant role than the Worm), winning additional championship rings in Chitown.

Then, from the '04 champs, Ben Wallace headed for Chicago, and although laughably, for Pistons' fans like me, Big Ben really sucked for the Bulls and never really regained himself until he returned to a second stint with the 'Stones.

Now, in the latest development, none other than Rip Hamilton will switch to a blood-red Bulls uniform after having his contract bought out by the Pistons.

The Hamilton switcheroo to a team in the same division scares me. He made be fading a bit at age 33, and his shooting the past two seasons was in the 42 percent range, compared to anywhere between 44 and 49 percent during his salad days. But Rip stays in great shape and still is capable of some big games, I except he will light up the Pistons a few times this season.

It seems that team prez Joe Dumars still hasn't forgiven Hamilton for all the drama concerning Rip's infamous fallouts last season with the coach, John Kuester, even though Kuester is long gone. In choosing to keep Tayshaun Prince, it seemed that Joe D dealt Rip sort of a backhand slap when saying of Tay, "We feel like he's the type of guy who will lead the right way under the right circumstances." In other words, Hamilton isn't that type of guy.

If Hamilton can accept playing fewer minutes and coming off the bench, he will make a great reserve or sixth man in Chicago. With his fantastic off-the-ball movement and spot-up shooting, he can be an ideal complement to penetrating point guard Derrick Rose.

One potential problem may be that Bulls Coach Tom Thibodeau emphasizes defense, and while Hamilton hustles and tries, he never will be mistaken for Gary "The Glove" Payton. We'll see how that works out.

All in all, good luck to Rip Hamilton in his new digs. Our Pistons couldn't have won that 2004 crown, in the greatest NBA Finals upset of all time over the Shaq/Kobe Lakers, without him.

View Comments