Pistons Fans Chanted for Benched Rip Hamilton

by January 18, 2011

Detroit is keeping Rip glued to the bench to avoid a potential injury before he gets shipped out of town, but the paying customers want to see him out there. The Detroit News reports: “But so was the ‘We want Rip!’ chant from the fans at Monday’s holiday matinee game. It wasn’t particularly loud, and since it didn’t come until there were 2.8 seconds left in the first quarter, it’s hardly what you’d call a groundswell. But such is the level of fan apathy with this Pistons team at the moment: Most of them are too bored to be angry right now, though I suppose the fact that this was “Kids’ Day” helped soften the message Monday. And Hamilton? Yeah, he looks and sounds as bored as ever, a three-time All-Star sitting on the bench, waiting for a three-team, 15-player trade that’s stuck in limbo. He’s neither gone, nor forgotten, try as everyone might on both counts. ‘It’s something they wanted to go with,’ Hamilton said Monday, after he’d earned a ‘DNP – Coach’s Decision’ for the fourth consecutive game. ‘It’s out of my control. I’m just here. I show up. And I do what I’ve been doing for the last nine years, and that’s coming out and being professional and trying to help my teammates.’ That’s his version of this sad comedy, at least. It ignores the obvious insubordination we all witnessed earlier this season, and everything — from the backbiting to the ‘buffoonery,’ as Tayshaun Prince so accurately put it last week — that has gone on with this passive-aggressive bunch the last few months. But really, all that’s irrelevant now, because it’s obvious that Kuester is done playing Rip, and vice versa. There are no games left to be played here, clearly, and everyone’s ready to move on, just as soon as that Russian billionaire can convince Carmelo Anthony and the Denver Nuggets to play along with this blockbuster deal they’ve hatched.”