Rip Hamilton’s Strange Journey in Detroit Continues

by February 07, 2011

On Saturday night, Hamilton was caught off-guard when head coach John Kuester played him for the first time in 13 games. The Detroit News thinks GM Joe Dumars had a big hand in Rip seeing the court as a Piston again: “No one is speaking publicly, and Pistons coach John Kuester failed to praise Hamilton in the same manner he does Tracy McGrady, Tayshaun Prince and Ben Wallace … In Hamilton’s case, Kuester seemed downright dry after the game, even though Hamilton’s 15 points helped the Pistons to their sixth road win of the season. It seemed like a situation that was out of the coach’s hands. ‘He did a nice job,’ Kuester said. ‘We were down a player with (Rodney) Stuckey out. He made some shots.’ … It’s possible Pistons president Joe Dumars stepped in to intervene, especially after Ben Wallace’s pointed statements after Friday night’s win over the Nets about Hamilton’s treatment … Dumars usually lets his coaches and players handle their own conflicts, preferring not to step in. But Dumars spoke to Fox Sports Detroit’s Eli Zaret before Saturday’s game, saying he hopes Hamilton and Kuester work things out. He also said the coaching staff has tried to get Hamilton back into the playing rotation before Saturday, and he resisted. Even though Hamilton has been on the trading block, Dumars told Zaret the Pistons have no plans to trade their all-time leading playoff scorer. And with the ownership situation still unsettled, Hamilton won’t be bought out.”