Trade Limbo Creating Bad Blood Between Rip, Pistons?
Rip Hamilton‘s team has yet to find a willing trade partner, so he’s forced to hang around like an unwanted member of the family. It’s a tough situation for both parties, and the tension is palpable. From the Detroit News: “Pistons coach John Kuester is saying all the right things. Kuester knows there could come a point, with his team chasing a playoff spot, he might need Hamilton, due to injury or any other unforeseen circumstance. ‘You’re talking about a guy that’s a tremendous competitor and he wants to (play),’ Kuester said. ‘I’m sure he’s very proud of the way the guys have been working. He’s part of the Detroit Pistons. You see his work ethic and he’s trying to do things the right way. You never know when his number is going to be called.’ Hamilton’s teammates see themselves one day being in that situation, and empathize with what’s going on. That the Pistons seem to have found their chemistry (winning four of six) with the way things are doesn’t make it easier. ‘I know he’s bothered by it,’ forward Charlie Villanueva said. ‘It’s not Rip. It was a matter of us learning to play well. It was bad timing.’ … The Pistons realize soothing over hurt feelings in the absence of a trade will be difficult. ‘Rip has done so much for this franchise, it’s sad to see that. At the same time, it’s a business,’ Villanueva said. ‘Just for him, I know he wants to play, he wants to contribute. If not here, then somewhere else. I hope this is resolved sooner rather than later.’”