By a) Mike Stone

Although it had to happen, I was sad when the Pistons did the inevitable and waived Rip Hamilton earlier this week. Yes, I admit it; Rip was my favorite Piston during the recent glory days of this franchise. I don’t know if it was the Philadelphia bond we had in common, but we always seemed to get along and have good conversations.

Putting aside my bias, Joe Dumars had no choice but to waive him. It was obvious he did not want to be here and it would not have made sense to have him battle with a third straight coach. Rip never was the same player, both on and off the court after the Pistons traded Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson. He was lost without his backcourt mate, both on and off the floor and it showed both on and off the floor.

That being said, I am alarmed that there are so many people unwilling to give Hamilton his just due. In fact I can’t believe that having his jersey retired upon his retirement is even an issue. No, he is not a superstar, but if Vinnie Johnson’s number 15 is in the rafters so should number 32. Hamilton led the team in scoring eight of his nine years as a Piston and he was even better in the post season, averaging over 20 points a game in his 7 playoff seasons. He was clutch too, who can forget his winning basket in New Jersey to force a game 7 during the 2003-04 Eastern Conference semi-finals or the way he outplayed his hometown rival Kobe Bryant during the finals that same season. While the Bad Boys probably would not have had their success without the “Microwave”, there is no way the Pistons go to six straight Eastern Conference Finals without Hamilton.

Rip Hamilton will not and should not have a place in the Basketball Hall of Fame, but he should always have a spot in the hearts of Piston fans everywhere. YESSIR

Comments (2)
  1. Kyle says:

    It sucked the way #32 left, he was an amazing Piston. No question he should go up in the rafters at the Palace. If people in this town talk about putting #91 up in the rafters at the Joe, then I think RIP deserves the honor. Remember, NO #32, NO 2004 Championship, NO 6 straight conference finals apperances and another 2005 Finals apperance and NO “Lets go to Work” attitude. Detroit wishes #32 the best, good luck RIP.

  2. Chris says:

    Rip had to go, for the team and himself. Maybe the most prolific scorer this team has ever seen, his jump shot was money and everyone knew it. No one appreciates his style of play anymore, gritty, constantly moving off picks to get the best possible look. Everyone thought the midrange game had gone by the wayside, but he made it fashionable again in his time as a Piston. Growing up I molded my game around Reggie Miller, so naturally I gravitated towards Rip. Lastly I completely agree with Stoney and Kyle NO #32, NO 2004. Thank you for all you did for Detroit Basketball, Rip. YESSIR

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