As it turns out, there was no need to worry about which Piston starter would become a sixth man. Michael Curry asked Rip to come off the bench, and his veteran shooting guard accepted the demotion with nothing but class and grace.
From the Detroit News:
“A lot of people have made a lot of things about this,” Hamilton said. “Regardless, you want to win games. Me and Allen both know that. They told me I was coming off the bench, that it was something MC (Curry) wanted and I said, ‘Fine, cool.’
“The bottom line is you want to win games. If this is the best way we can win a championship, then I am all for it. The thing is, we have two great scorers, me and A.I. We have to figure out how both of us can be our best.”
The move will allow Detroit to start with a bigger lineup – a strategy that netted them eight wins in ten tries while Hamilton was out with a groin injury – and not be at a disadvantage on the boards and defensively.
Will Rip stay cool, and give the Pistons get a deadly scorer off the bench heading into the second half of the season and towards the postseason? As always, stay tuned to find out.