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Saturday, February 26th, 2011 at 12:40 pm  |  47 responses

Report: Angry Rants Led to Rip Hamilton Benching

by Ryne Nelson

This season, Detroit basketball has not been Detroit Basketball. Few believed the Pistons would be a contending force heading into ’10-11, but none expected the team to sputter in this thick of turmoil.

At the center is a feud between Rip Hamilton and coach John Kuester. We know bits and pieces of the story — Rip’s been glued to the pine since January 10, players are protesting, laughing at Kuester’s ejections, etc.

But what caused it all?

Read what Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski uncovered:

About a week prior to his banishment to the Detroit Pistons’ bench in January, Richard Hamilton berated coach John Kuester in a jarring and expletive-filled diatribe on the practice court, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

As stunned coaches and teammates watched, Hamilton bellowed at Kuester that he had been a failure in his two seasons in Detroit, blown the opportunity the franchise afforded him and was nothing more than a career assistant coach, sources said. Despite Hamilton yelling within inches of him, Kuester didn’t respond.

Several of the team’s younger players were mortified watching it and privately told agents and associates they wished they had the courage to stand up, confront Hamilton and try to take control back from the disgruntled veteran. Nevertheless, Hamilton influences a powerful lobby in the Pistons’ locker room, including veteran leaders Tayshaun Prince and Ben Wallace.

The early January incident was the second time Hamilton had initiated a confrontation with Kuester this season, sources said, and it ultimately spurred the benching that led to such public acrimony.

Up until the point, Rip’s played the role of innocent victim. If we’re to believe Woj’s sources, he may be anything but.

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  • dma

    Remind me again why dumars has a job

  • MikeC.

    I’m going to berate my boss and see if I can get paid to not work.

  • Dagger

    The NBA’s promotion of players over teams, the rise of endorsements and the increasing power of agents or other middlemen over players that are now viewed not as parts of corporations but corporations themselves has brought us here. Players are, in effect, rebelling, thinking they’re bigger than their teams or their league. Better enjoy the playoffs, because it’s the last NBA basketball we’re likely to see for a while.

  • http://klatschendom.wordpress.com/ speedy

    Maybe Hamilton didn’t realize that Kuester can’t do more with a lousy team like the Pistons are today.

  • irondan21

    I think we need to destroy Detroit and start from scratch. City/teams are a mess.

  • 2KInsider

    This is way worse than any drama the Shaq/Kobe Lakers ever went through. The Pistons are lucky they are not in New York or L.A.

  • Cheech

    Cosign MikeC. However, I have my doubts it’s gonna go as well as Rip’s experiment has.

  • MikeC.

    ^^I don’t have a guaranteed contract. The only thing guaranteed to me for berating my boss would be a swift trip to the unemployment office.

  • Robb

    What amazes me is how nobody’s doing anything to solve this. If the problem is the Player they should’ve trade him. If the problem is the coach well then fire him, i mean he hasn’t done much anyway. This problems between Hamilton and the coach are pretty old so what are they waiting for at the front office? The team is a mess and nobody’s happy in Detroit, not the players not the coach and certainly not the fans.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    What the hell has Joe Dumars been doing all this time?

  • allenp

    Mike c
    Maybe you aren’t in the top one percent of your profession? I have found that those considered elite get a lot of leeway regardless of the field. And we are still making character assessments based on anonymous sources.

  • paul

    Say, what? The possibility that Rip got into it with his coach means that this is now all his fault? I’m sorry, but an NBA coach needs to have a thicker skin than that, and for him to punish Hamilton by not playing him is madness.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    ^ How else is he going to punish Hamilton and re-establish leadership of his team? Give Rich MORE minutes?

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    the team sucks, the coach has no clue what he’s doing, the and the president of basketball operations has done everything in his power to make sure they never see the success of their 2003-2005 seasons. Rip, the guy who’s been there for the longest and seen management completely take a hammer to everything that he and the guys have tried to build, has every right to be angry about the state of things in this organization. A guy with the character of Rip Hamilton doesn’t miss shootarounds for no reason, please believe that much. I really want to see him and Tayshaun and all of these guys in a better place this off-season because as long as Dumars is calling the shots things aren’t going to change.

  • tavoris

    this is all Iverson’s fault

  • greg

    benching him doesnt improve the situation. what he should do is be a head coach and talk to your player who is having a tough time. maybe there is something else goin on that some yahoo reporter doesnt know about.

  • MikeC.

    @allenp – I counter with this: Rip Hamilton is hardly in the top 1% of his profession.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    LOL @ tavoris.

  • allenp

    Mike
    Everybody in the NBA is in the top 1 percent of their profession? Think about the professional basketball landscape. Hell think about the basketball playing population in general. That makes it even more true.

  • http://sdfklf.com Jukai

    @MikeC: Uh, do you know how many people ball professionally and semi-professionally around the world? I’d say he’s top 1%. Everyine in the NBA could possibly be top 1%.
    @Article: That being said, I don’t necessarily BELIEVE this article (Woj is known to take normal things and dramatize them. He made a big deal of Lebron throwin his towels on the floor and having an employee pick it up, not saying that this is a semi-normal basketball activity in practice) but Hamilton’s actions deserve to be punished, one way or another.
    But you know what? The more I think about it, the more I -REALLY DON’T BELIEVE THIS ARTICLE-
    So you’re telling me Keuster has the balls to bench Hamilton for ten games, but doesn’t have the balls to speak back at Hamilton, or do anything to punish him now?
    This rings of BS, like most of Woj’s stuff.

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    He’s still mad that Michael Jordan didn’t give him any money in D.C. lol

  • Groves

    MikeC has made his first dumb comment on here since i’ve been around (quite a while). rip is top 1%, hell, matt carroll could be top 1% considering how many professional basketballers there are

  • http://slamonline.com Ugh

    Cosign to Groves and allenp.
    Also, berating your boss and being paid to not work are usually staples of government jobs.

  • Toronto

    The Pistons should’ve suspended him if he’d shown overt insubordination. They had just cause and would’ve shown the young guys that such behaviour would have financial and playing-time consequences. Them not doing that leads me to believe that A) it didn’t actually happen B) Dumars and Kuester really screwed the pooch on this one. They could’ve thrown the book at him and didn’t. And least traded him for 50 cents on the dollar.

  • dma

    maybe instead of disbanding New Orleans, the league should consider Detroit instead.

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    @tavoris and whos fault is it for signing him??? all goes back to Dumars

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    ^ Co-sign.

  • http://sdfklf.com Jukai

    If what David Aldridge says is true, I’ve lost ALL sympathy for Rip Hamilton

  • tavoris

    @Rick Kamla – it was sarcasm dude. Especially applicable now that it’s clear that AI was NOT the cause of all the turmoil in Detroit.

  • el_larsen

    rip must leaves .and then kuester.utah jazz style

  • Jahi

    What if you earn a lot more than your so-called boss? The coach isn’t the boss at the professional level, no secret there. That title belongs to the owner(s), and we’ve seen numerous times that sometimes the owner sides with the coach, other times with the player. However, not many ticket holders pay to see the coach. I’ve never earned more than my boss, but I have earned more than co-workers who thought they were the boss…..

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    Well, Hamilton was clowning that night at… “Brawlgate”.

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    @tavoris there was some truth to it though. the whole having Rip play garbage minutes definitely started his distrust in the organization

  • theDankerNuggets

    sounds like a classic clashing of the “old” and the “young”

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    I meant co-sign Black Rick about Joe Dumars. I got your sarcasm, tavoris–it’s obviously not AI’s fault for this mess when he’s not there, lol.

  • http://www.twitter.com/dfrance21 dfrance21

    I have no sympathy for Rip. They offered him a trade to Cleveland where they would subsequently buy out his contract and he refused because he wants every cent he signed for. That fine and well within his right, but don’t stay and be a jerk when they offered you a way out.

  • Naiym

    The NBA is really making me sick right now… how is this possible???…and then this foo.. (RIP) tweeted that he is discussing buy outs and that “Detroit showed him much disrespect” so he was making it public… Playing pro sports isn’t exactly like my job ( not at all) but why would anyone ANYONE still have any type of employment after this behavior..Oh yeah, because the League is now on an individual basis, promoting only big stars and one namers..and players like RIP actually think that includes him, so he’s acting out…after this CBA…everyone may need to pay attention in school for legitimate back up plans to playing pro ball…..cause i see big contracts ending with a ‘k’ instead of (.mil) probably not, but it should.

  • Adrian Zapata

    Who’s worse… Rip Hamilton or Albert Haynesworth?

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    So the owners should make billions and the players should make thousands?
    Sounds just like the NCAA, and we all know how popular college ball is with most fans.

  • Larry Brown

    Fire Kuester!!!!!!!!!!

    He’s the cause for all problems!!!

  • http://www.garrettelliott.com Garrett

    Do owners really make that much when all is said and done? They’re billionaires anyways, but does an NBA team contribute to their billions? It seems like it would be an expensive thing to own.

  • asgf

    Larry Brown is on the right page at 7 01. @Allen If your your own boss you should make your own money if you choose to work for an [other] organization you take what they give you. @ Dfrance I get what your getin at but your not going to buy your way out of one crap orginization to go to a worser one lol.

  • asgf

    Dagger i like what u brought up at 1 03

  • allenp

    The idea that owners don’t make big bucks is a lie spread by owners. They only lose money when hey behave stupidly.

  • slamfan4life

    BUYOUT———->CHI

  • http://hoopistani.blogspot.com hoopistani

    Man… Woj’s sources always get the scoops. Like the sources who told me that Michael Jordan is actually an alien sent to Earth to teach us how to play basketball. And the other source that said that yes, basketball didn’t exist before MJ and all that past history is fragmented. And of course the sources that said that the sources themselves are false.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    ASGF
    That’s how you get screwed. Players would be fools to allow themselves to be pushed into deals that don’t benefit them or don’t divide the pie equitably.
    Yes it costs losts of money to run an NBA team, but the cheapest ticket for most games goes for $20 to $30, while the more expensive tickets go from $300 to several thousand depending on the team.
    The owners also get cuts from their local television deals, merchandising deals, sponsorships and all other related sales. Then they get a slice of the leaguewide TV deals with Turner Broadcasting and ESPN. Not to mention a cut of the the subscription services from Direct TV and cable providers. Not to mention the league wide deals with individuals sponsors like Sprite, Kia and jersey makers.
    Remember the “NBA” is a just a corporation that dispenses revenues to the separate member corporations that are NBA teams.
    Some of y’all have no concept of the big picture.

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