Detroit's Hamilton seeing more time on the bench

Detroit's Hamilton seeing more time on the bench

By A. Sherrod Blakely

BOSTON Dribble. Dribble. Dribble. Pull-up from the elbow. Swish.

Detroit Pistons guard Richard Hamilton has been doing this for years.

But these days, the swish doesn't come about nearly as often.

And his playing time?


The three-time all-star has not played (coaches decision) in Detroit's last four games, a trend that's expected to continue tonight against the Boston Celtics.

Hamilton's absence is especially noticeable in the TD Garden, a place where his battles with fellow UConn alum Ray Allen have been legendary.

Their battles became so intense, both had to shoot down rumors that they didn't like each other.

"He's somewhat come along in my shadow," Allen told CSNNE.com. "It's almost like the big-brother, little-brother you want to beat big brother all the time."

Said Hamilton: "Ray was a big part of me going to UConn. You look at UConn now, it has this reputation of producing NBA-ready 2s (shooting guards). It really started with Ray."

It is those battles with Allen and other upper-echelon NBA players, that have made Hamilton's demotion so difficult to swallow.

"The battles, like playing against Ray, it's always fun," Hamilton told CSNNE.com. "It's always great; it's a challenge."

These days, Hamilton challenges himself during and after practice, continuing to work on his game while the Pistons continue to search for him a new home.

It appeared the search was nearly over, with Hamilton a likely participant in the proposed blockbuster deal that will send Denver's Carmelo Anthony to the New Jersey Nets.

However, Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov told reporters in New Jersey on Wednesday that the he was no longer interested in trading for Anthony.

Really, I am not happy with the way the deal has gone until now, Prokhorov told reporters prior to the Nets hosting the Utah Jazz on Wednesday. It has taken too long. It has been played out in public. The uncertainty has taken a toll on the players. And I believe it has cost us several games games I believe our team for sure could win in this period of time. Prokhorov added, So I think the management of the team did a great job. But there comes a time when the prize is simply too expensive. I am instructing our team to walk away from the deal, and the meeting that was supposed to be held by our management in Denver with Carmelo is hereby canceled.Even with the deal involving Hamilton essentially killed, the Pistons still elected to not play Hamilton (coaches decision) in the first half on Wednesday.

"It's a crazy situation," Hamilton said. "You hear so many speculation things like that. I've never been a part of this my whole career, let alone have to go through something here in Detroit."

Hamilton is in his ninth season with the Pistons, 12th in the league.

He has been an integral part of Detroit being among the most successful NBA teams during the early 2000s, which included a 2004 NBA title.

But that Hamilton and that unprecedented success he was a part of, are both things of the past now.

Hamilton knows his days as a Piston are numbered.

He's cool with that.

At this point, the only thing he wants is closure to what has been the most trying time of his career.

"I just want an opportunity to play," he said. "You've been hearing rumors for the last two-plus years (about me being traded). So it's more evident now than ever. My job is to stay ready, keep myself in shape."

He does this by undergoing a rigorous post-practice regimen with Ben Wallace, who was also with the Pistons during their glory days of the early 2000s.

"It's fun, playing with a guy that I've been through wars with," Hamilton said. "I still get a joy out of it. But I'd rather be out there playing than doing this."

Still, there's no denying the success Detroit has experienced since the Pistons opted to take Hamilton out of the rotation.

In the four games with Hamilton not playing, Detroit is 3-1.

While it may appear that Hamilton's game can't help the Pistons, the soon-to-be 33-year-old still has enough skills to help someone win.

And that, maybe more than anything else, is what really bothers him about all this.

"It's not like I can't play at all anymore," Hamilton said. "But you know that, it's out of my hands. What's going on right now is not basketball. It's more than that. So it's like when you go against teams like this you want to be in the war with your brothers. But it is what it is."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn.

Isaiah Thomas likes video of Jalen Rose calling Paul Pierce 'petty'

Isaiah Thomas likes video of Jalen Rose calling Paul Pierce 'petty'

Just when all the video tribute controversy between Isaiah Thomas and Paul Pierce seemed to be dying down, Jalen Rose heated it right back up.

Live on ESPN's "NBA Countdown," Rose called Pierce "petty" for his comments on the Celtics potentially holding a video tribute for Isaiah on Feb. 11 when Pierce gets his jersey retired.

Jalen Rose called Paul Pierce petty right to his face... 😳

A post shared by DIME on UPROXX (@dimemagazine) on

Thomas tweeted on Tuesday that he (again) declined the Celtics' offer to hold the tribute for him so it wouldn't interfere with Pierce's night. But if you look at the likes on the Instagram video above, posted by dimemagazine, you'll see Thomas appears to agree with Rose on the matter.

It doesn't look like the video tribute drama is going to end until the Feb. 11 matchup between the Celtics and Cavaliers is over with.

Horford: Fighting in NBA 'needs to stop'


Horford: Fighting in NBA 'needs to stop'

WALTHAM, Mass. – Three Houston Rockets players entered the Los Angeles Clippers’ training room before being stopped by security but not before a profanity-laced exchange that’s sure to result in fines and possibly some suspensions.

Orlando’s Arron Afflalo threw a punch – and barely missed – hitting Minnesota’s Nemanja Bjelica which led to both players being ejected and for Afflalo will likely result in a suspension of some kind.

Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons got into it with Toronto’s Kyle Lowry, resulting in both players being tossed and apparently leading to Simmons signaling to Lowry that they could continue having their “discussion” in the hallway.

That hallway encounter never happened (Lowry said he was there, Simmons said he didn’t see Lowry so you believe who you want to), but the fact that it was even a possibility speaks to this being one of the more bizarre weeks in recent memory when it comes to potential fighting in the league. 

And remember … it’s only freakin’ Wednesday!

I asked Boston’s Al Horford about this.

“It’s very, very bizarre,” said Horford, now in his 11th NBA season. “I don’t think I remember any period of time, (with) all this chippiness going on. You want to compete, you want to play hard; that’s fine. But all the extra stuff, I think needs to stop. At the end of the day you need to focus on basketball. We’re here to play.”

Horford added, “I’m sure the NBA will address those things and fix them.”

No one was shocked that things got a little testy in the Houston-Los Angeles Clippers game which was played on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It was the first time Chris Paul, now with the Rockets, returned to Los Angeles to face his former team. 

The Clippers won 113-102, a game filled with trash talk from both sides. But apparently the chatter soon turned to chippy play with hard fouls delivered and taken in the latter stages of play with a total of five technical fouls called, two of which were on Blake Griffin which is an automatic ejection. 

Talking trash gone bad was a factor in the Simmons-Lowry bruhaha with the Sixers emerging with the victory. 

And on Tuesday, Afflalo and Bjelica had already been assessed a technical for an earlier run-in. Soon after, there was a collision between the two which pissed off Afflalo who swung with great force at Bjelica’s face. 

“We’re professionals,” Horford said. “We can’t get caught up in that stuff.”

Horford plays around the basket and is no stranger to banging around with the big, bad angry bodies. 

But as much as there will be times when he’ll want to snap, Horford has consistently resisted the urge. 

“It’s hard; it’s hard,” he said. “But we have to remember what we play the game for; I play to win. I’m playing for my teammates and sometimes you need to take a step back before you do something you regret. That’s the way I look at it.”