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Tag:Richard Hamilton
Posted on: January 24, 2011 3:01 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2011 3:22 pm
 

Pistons' Hamilton 'offended' by coach Kuester

Detroit Pistons guard Richard Hamilton says he is "offended" by how he's been treated by coach John Kuester. Posted by Ben Golliver. rip

Stop me if you've heard this one before: Detroit Pistons guard Richard Hamilton is unhappy with his situation and with coach John Kuester. If this sounds familiar, it's because Hamilton has done a superb job of letting everyone know exactly how upset he has been recently. Back in December, he didn't go through a Pistons practice. Earlier this month, he was benched and then went off on Kuester after the game, only to be benched again and again as trade rumors involving Hamilton being moved to the New Jersey Nets swirled. 

On Monday, the Detroit Free Press reported that Hamilton says he feels "offended" because Kuester did not approach him directly to iron out their differences, instead relying on an intermediary.
Hamilton told the Free Press on Sunday morning that Kuester's attempt to reach out to him consisted of Jerry Hendon, the team's security head, coming to him a minute before the team was meeting to go over strategy for Saturday's game with Phoenix to tell him Kuester wanted to talk to him.
"I felt offended that he sent Jerry instead of coming himself or sending an assistant coach," Hamilton said. "I could tell Jerry was uncomfortable and I said no."
He didn't say how or when, but Kuester told the media Saturday evening that he tried to make a connection with his shooting guard. Hamilton hasn't played in seven games since becoming the subject of trade talks with New Jersey and Denver and lost his starting position to Rodney Stuckey.
"We made overtures and one of the things that's important is he is somebody that's on our team now," Kuester said before Saturday's game. "We know that and we've reached out to him."
One thing is self-evident: These two guys are badly in need of a conflict mediator. 

When you're upset and feeling disrespected, as Hamilton clearly is, it's easy to perceive every minor incident as a slight, projecting negative motivations upon the source of your anger or frustration.

Generally speaking, Kuester doesn't owe Hamilton much of anything. He's the coach, his playing time and rotations decisions are final, and he's charged with managing the egos and personalities of an entire team, not cow-towing to an individual player, even if its a respected veteran. 

With that said, Kuester isn't faultless here, by any means. He knew weeks ago that he was going to make a season-shifting decision in his use of Hamilton.  That he didn't convey that news directly, respectfully and in a fully explained manner to begin with led to the hurt feelings that continue to manifest weeks later. Given how obviously upset Hamilton has become, Kuester really had two choices: reach out directly to Hamilton to squash the beef, or keep him away from the team indefinitely until he calms down.

That he sloppily attempted a middle road turns this into a "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me" situation. Kuester needs to re-assert his authority or the headlines will continue.
Posted on: January 19, 2011 9:17 pm
Edited on: January 19, 2011 9:18 pm
 

Nets F Troy Murphy requests trade

New Jersey Nets forward Troy Murphy has requested a trade according to Nets GM Billy King. Posted by Ben Golliver. troy-murphy

It's one of the oldest and best tricks in the book: Wait until there's really big bad news that you're forced to deliver, and then provide all the rest of the bad news along with it. Even young children are masters of this tactic: Waiting to reveal a poor grade on a test until after their parents are already ticked off that they threw a rock through a window, for example. 

Such is life for the New Jersey Nets, who early Wednesday withdrew from the Carmelo Anthony trade negotiations, removing any short-team hope that their fanbase had for salvaging another dreary season. Nearly lost, but not quite, in the storm of Anthony news, was a Sports Illustrated report that Nets GM Billy King publicly acknowledged that disgruntled power forward Troy Murphy has requested a trade.
Troy Murphy has requested a trade, Nets GM Billy King says. Murphy will be allowed to stay away from the team until they can deal him. King also confirmed the obvious at his press conference: Any deal with Detroit is now dead, too.
The proposed trade with the Pistons would have sent Murphy to Detroit for guard Richard Hamilton, a precursor to the trade with Denver that would have landed Anthony in New Jersey. As Hamilton's contract is fully guaranteed through the end of next season and his production has fallen off considerably, New Jersey has no reason to take on his contract now that they're set to enter a full-scale rebuild without Anthony in the picture.

2010-2011 has been a tough year for Murphy, as a back injury limited him early on and he never seemed to appeal to new Nets coach Avery Johnson. He hasn't started since Nov. 9 and hasn't appeared in a game since Jan. 7. An offensively-skilled and versatile stretch forward acquired from the Indiana Pacers in a trade that sent Courtney Lee to Houston, Murphy may or may not get his trade wish granted.

With their season already in ruins, whether or not Murphy is content and/or productive is a non-factor for the Nets, simplifying this situation significantly. New Jersey doesn't need to worry about him being a distraction or not playing hard. Cast him away. Who cares. Nobody. Every minute he doesn't play is another minute for rookie forward and top 2010 draft pick Derrick Favors.

The worst case scenario for New Jersey with Murphy has always been to simply allow his expiring contract run out at the end of this season. Murphy's $11.97 million cap number -- he's the team's highest-paid player -- would come off this summer, giving New Jersey plenty of room to pursue a top-tier free agent or multiple targets. 

The pre-deadline market for expiring contracts is unclear right now, as everyone was sitting around and waiting for the Anthony trade to kickoff the player movement season. If New Jersey can dump Murphy for a rotation player, they would certainly do it, but simply waiting out the duration of his deal would also have its advantages. Unlike with Anthony, the Nets hold all the cards here. Not that they're great cards to hold, but it's a microscopic consolation after a tough day.
Posted on: January 15, 2011 6:10 pm
Edited on: January 16, 2011 1:20 pm
 

Hamilton sits again; is he done in Detroit?

Posted by Royce Young

If anything is signaling a potential three-way trade looming, it's Richard Hamilton.

With the Pistons involved in a rumored deal that would send Carmelo Anthony to New Jersey, Hamilton has received two consecutive DNP-CD's. The first, ticked Hamilton off. Teammate Tayshaun Prince called it "buffoonery." The second? Hamilton almost seemed resigned to the fact his time in Detroit may be done.

He told the Detroit Free Press when asked if he's played his last game for the Pistons, "I don't know. I really don't know. The way it's been going, I don't think so. But you never know. I just say it's one of those things where I stay ready."

That's not to say Hamilton doesn't want to be playing. The Pistons, well, stink, and Hamilton is one of their better players. "Do I want to play? Yeah. Do I want to be on the floor competing? Yes. Am I doing that right now? No," Hamilton said. "So I want to play. I want to get out on the floor. I want to be able to get the opportunity to do what I love to do, and that's play basketball."

While the benching appears to have everything to do with the potential trade, Hamilton is almost taking it as a legit benching. Which why shouldn't he? He's been sat down and he's one of the team's best players. Nobody else involved in the trade talks has been benched, so Hamilton probably doesni't see why he is.

As good a player as Hamilton is, he's clearly on the way down. He's averaging a career-low 13.2 points per game on a career-low 41 percent shooting. His contract has been something the Pistons have wanted to get off the books for a while and with his skills obviously declining, maybe coach John Kuester is just trying something new with a struggling team.

Then again, maybe it has everything to do with Melo.

You'd think Kuester and general manager Joe Dumars would let Hamilton know what's going on though. He was a key part of the 2004 chamionship team and has spent 12 years in Detroit. You'd think he was at least owed an explanation instead of just a silent benching. Maybe that would at least help him understand, either way. If this is about Melo, fine. If it's because he's not played well, fine too. But at least he'd know. And so would his teammates.
Posted on: January 13, 2011 12:21 am
Edited on: January 13, 2011 12:35 am
 

Pistons' Hamilton, Prince go off after loss

Detroit Pistons veterans Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince teed off after Hamilton received a DNP-CD on Wednesday night for the first time during his Pistons career . Posted by Ben Golliver.

Back in November, we described the Detroit Pistons locker room as a house divided, where young players and veterans didn't mix much, and where frustration ruled the roost. As rumors regarding an ownership sale continue to swirl and the team finds itself in the middle of mega trade rumors this week, the toxic atmosphere is only getting worse.

On Wednesday, the Pistons lost to the Memphis Grizzlies at home, 107-99, and veteran guard Richard Hamilton unexpectedly received a DNP-CD. As you might imagine, he wasn't too thrilled, and neither was his 2004 NBA title-winning teammate Tayshaun Prince. Following the loss, Hamilton implied that he was disrespected and Prince apparently took issue with the intelligence of Pistons coach John Kuester. 

MLive.com quoted Hamilton saying that the DNP-CD caught him by surprise. 
“Tonight was a different situation,” he said. “This is probably the first time in my career that, when I put on a jersey, I didn’t play. I really can’t answer that right now. All I know is as long as I put that jersey on, I’m going to go out and play hard and be ready when my number’s called.”
“I came to the game with my same routine, that I was going to play,” Hamilton said. “Nobody warned me or told me anything. I just came out ready to play the game. “I was definitely surprised. Do I think it was a level of disrespect or unfair or anything like that? I’ll leave that to y’all.”
"Buffoonery. Do you all know what that means?" Prince reportedly added regarding the decision, according to the Detroit News on Twitter.  

The Detroit News also noted that Hamilton "stood away from his teammate during timeout, talking with longtime teammate Ben Wallace," during the game.

Kuester only said that Hamilton's benching was a coaching decision, according to the Detroit News. "We shortened the rotation and changed the lineup. That was it. Everybody's gotten a chance."

Hamilton's name has surfaced regularly in the Carmelo Anthony trade talks, and the Pistons were reportedly ready to send him to the New Jersey Nets for Troy Murphy. The deal was contingent upon Denver agreeing to trade Carmelo Anthony to the Nets, though, and those talks fell apart earlier this week. 

Hamilton's situation is a frustrating limbo for any player to be in, especially one who has known much better days, is nearing the end of his career and understands that his role going forward is only going to diminish. For Hamilton, the Nets represent hope and change, if you can believe it.

With the loss, the Pistons fell to 12-26 on the season. They are currently in fourth place in the Central Division.
Posted on: January 7, 2011 9:33 pm
Edited on: January 7, 2011 10:17 pm
 

Nets involving the Pistons in 3-way Carmelo deal?

Posted by Royce Young

Just over 24 hours ago, we told you about how the Nuggets were possibly involving the Cleveland Cavaliers in a three-way deal that would send Carmelo Anthony to New Jersey. But as the world turns with this Carmelo crap, things have changed. I'm telling you, this is never going to end.

According to The Bergen Record, the Nets are in talks with of course the Nuggets, but have also involved the Detroit Pistons. Let me warn you, this gets a little complicated. But reportedly, the Nets would send Derrick Favors, Devin Harris and at least two first-round picks to Denver and Troy Murphy and his expiring contract to the Pistons. On top of that, ESPN.com reports the Pistons would have to take on Johan Petro's contract as well as send the Nets a first-round pick.

The Nets would of course get Anthony, but also a couple of surprise pieces. In addition to Carmelo, New Jersey would bring in Chauncey Billups from Denver and Richard Hamilton from Detroit. The Pistons have been shopping Hamilton and his remaining two-year, $25 million contract pretty hard this season.

The report says that more players would be involved to make the salaries line up, but this is just one of the many, many scenarios New Jersey is pitching. Also, reportedly the Nets are trying to trade straight up with Denver for Carmelo.

As Ken Berger has reported, the Nets have had an offer of Favors, Murphy and first-round picks on the table for a while. But as Berger has said, that type of trade might not happen until closer to the Feb. 24 trade deadline. The Nuggets aren't psyched about paying Murphy's salary right now, but might warm up to it when less is owed to him.

At first glance, this is a pretty tremendous deal for New Jersey if it were to happen. To unload Murphy, plus get Anthony, Billups and Hamilton? The question wouldn't be if this were a good deal for the Nets, it would be, "Are these guys contenders now?" Billups, Hamilton, Carmelo, Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez -- that's a pretty darn good starting five, is it not?

The Pistons move Hamilton -- something they desperately want to do -- and get a nice expiring deal in return. The Nuggets probably feel like they could've had more, but Harris, Favors and picks isn't bad at all. I'm not sure they're going to do much better than that.

However, Chris Broussard of ESPN.com tweeted that while the deal has been discussed, it's not happening in its current form. The Pistons aren't willing to give up Hamilton and a first-rounder for Murphy and Petro. And nor should they be. Pretty cruddy deal on their end.

Again, this is just the latest scenario that's surfaced that would move Anthony out of Denver. It doesn't mean this is The Trade that will happen or that in 24 hours we'll be hearing this went official. But it's clear the Nets are motivated to make a deal happen. They don't want to hang around until the deadline. They want to make this move now. And they're willing to call just about any and every team out there to get them involved to make it happen.

Posted on: December 24, 2010 12:08 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:50 pm
 

NBA naughty & nice: who gets cash, who gets coal?

Everyone wants to receive cash for Christmas, and everyone hopes Santa Claus doesn't leave coal. We hand out cash and coal to the NBA's teams, cash-coal players and executives based on their pre-Christmas performances. Posted by Ben Golliver Christmas Day: when your greatest hopes either come true, or come crashing down on top of you. You either get what you want, or hate what you got. Christmas expectations can be a mother, just like expectations in the NBA. The NBA Facts & Rumors staff sat down and tossed out this question: Who in the NBA deserves cash (what we all secretly want) and who deserves coal (what we all not-no-secretly fear)?   Who was nice and who was naughty? The results are in. Check them out below.

CASH

Matt Moore -- Indiana Pacers: Darren Collison isn't the man in Indiana, not yet. He doesn't need to be. But what was an incomplete and inconsistent team last year is much more solid thanks to the contributions of the players the front office decided to add, and the ones they decided not to get rid of. That the Pacers are within range of the playoffs demonstrates that their moves were sound. James Posey provides leadership, Collison provides another PG weapon along with T.J. Ford (how many teams have point guard surpluses?), and Roy Hibbert has continued to flourish. Good job all around by Larry Bird and the Pacers front office.  Royce Young -- Amar'e Stoudemire: When the big summer free agency bonanza started, not many had Amar'e Stoudemire as a big prize. Most actually felt like Chris Bosh was the real power forward that should be on everyone's wish list. However, it's turned out Stoudemire has been everything the Knicks wanted and needed. He's exciting, has the star power to last in New York and most importantly, has led a pretty good turnaround for the Knicks. Plus, don't ignore what Raymond Felton has meant to the team. His offseason signing was seen as something to bridge the gap until the Knicks could get something better, but he's turning in an All-Star caliber season so far. Ben Golliver -- Wesley Matthews: Not like he needs the money after inking a five-year contract this summer, but Portland Trail Blazers guard Wesley Matthews has earned it, thanks to rock solid play in the first third of the season. Stepping into the starting lineup in place of small forward Nicolas Batum, and then sliding over to two guard when Brandon Roy went down to injury, Matthews has proven to be a versatile dynamo on both sides of the ball. His relentless optimism and hustle, along with renewed spirit from LaMarcus Aldridge, have been the main reasons Blazers fans haven't totally abandoned ship during another injury-plagued season. From unknown to overpaid to properly valued, it's been a rollercoaster ride for Matthews, but he deserves all of the recent praise, and more. 

COAL

Ben Golliver -- Paul Westphal: The Sacramento Kings are the league's worst team, and it's not by accident. The list of Westphal's sins is a mile long. He hasn't harnessed promising rookie DeMarcus Cousins, and he hasn't even provided him with very good direction. He's failed to honestly assess and remedy the team's offensive failings. He's watched as star guard Tyreke Evans has taken a step back after a Rookie of the Year campaign. He's reportedly "lost the locker room" after juggling his lineups so often. He's lost lots and lots and lots of games. No one, save his immediate family, would be upset if he was ousted in Sacramento in the near future, and that's the definition of a man that's earned himself some coal.

Matt Moore -- Joe Dumars: There's a song "A Change is Gonna Come." Apparently Joe Dumars has never heard this song. In the midst of a failing economy with too much money on the books and a disastrous season before, Dumars elected to stay the course. And that's led the Pistons right into the rocks, even worse than last year. Rip Hamilton is clashing with teammates, John Kuester's clashing with everyone, and the Pistons are struggling, even as they have recently shown signs of life. The Pistons don't just need to make moves, they have the ability to with the talent they have and the contracts on roster. Joe Dumars gets coal not for doing something naughty, but for not doing anything nice at all.  Royce Young -- New Jersey Nets: The Nets figured to be players in the market last summer but missed out on all the big name players. They felt obligated to do something, so they made a couple moves to try and bolster the roster. Potential scorer Travis Outlaw, Jordan Farmar, and Anthony Morrow were signed, plus they traded Courtney Lee for Troy Murphy who appeared to be someone to help inside. Instead, the Nets are 9-21 and Murphy has been on the end of the bench for most of the season. The Nets whiffed on the big names in free agency and look to have missed on the players they did get. 
Posted on: November 10, 2010 1:42 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:40 pm
 

Pistons, young and old, play like strangers

The Detroit Pistons are caught between the past and the future, without a workable present. Posted by Ben Golliverdetroit-pistons

Tuesday night ended for the Detroit Pistons with a shirtless Richard Hamilton seated, hunched over a box score placed between his legs on the locker room floor, silent, oblivious to his teammates and the world for at least five minutes. Hamilton just stared and stared and stared at the numbers, which, once again in this young season, revealed a franchise stuck between the past and the future, with a hodge-podge present that simply doesn’t function.

The Pistons had just been worked by the Portland Trail Blazers, 100-78, with Portland’s litany of injuries not affecting their ability to dominate the game on both ends, and the glass. Pick just about any statistic on Hamilton’s box score and Portland dominated the category. Rebounds: 45 to 33. Assists: 26 to 16. Shooting: 50% to 42.5%. If Hamilton was searching for a silver lining, he wasn’t immediately finding one, and by the time he finally trudged off to the shower room, some of his younger teammates had already cleaned up, dressed, conducted their post-game interviews and headed to the waiting bus.

You need not spend more than a few minutes glancing at Detroit’s roster to realize this is a team divided, a group that, even with maximum effort and improvement from all of its rising players, isn’t constructed for short-term success. “We played like strangers,” Pistons coach John Kuester said after the game, making reference to his team’s ability to register just five second-half assists, but the statement fairly encapsulated the 2010-2011 Pistons as a whole.

Hamilton and old guard championship teammates Ben Wallace and Tayshaun Prince occupied one side of the post-game locker room, heads down, voices monotone, after the loss. Prince didn’t mince words when discussing his frustration. “It’s everything. Not just one thing. Everything. It’s always that way when you’re not winning. Even our wins didn’t feel like wins. When that happens, you know it’s a problem.”

A problem for Prince, perhaps, but his younger teammates on the other side of the locker room didn’t seem as touched, as Charlie Villanueva laughed and smiled, second-year forward Austin Daye exuded a flat air of relative indifference, and a shell-shocked Greg Monroe looked like he was trying to escape his decision to turn pro as he hustled quickly out of the locker room with headphones drowning out the world.

The night ended with that distinct divide, but it started that way too. Two hours before the game, Daye, Monroe and DaJuan Summers worked through their shootaround routines together, looking to develop skills under the tutelage of the team’s assistant coaches, and to enjoy a few laughs. Only after the young trio ceded the court did Prince and Wallace take the court, briefly and mostly in silence, to get their blood going before the game.

Asked to define the team’s identity after he completed his pre-game workout, Daye stuttered briefly before admitting the group feels like two halves of a team that haven’t yet joined together. “We’ve got older guys, younger guys, we’re trying to mesh it all together,” Daye said. He also pointed to himself, Monroe, Villanueva, Rodney Stuckey and Ben Gordon as possible core pieces for Pistons president Joe Dumars going forward. “He’s just trying to get a good nucleus and we’ll see where he goes.”

The in-game product evinced this generation gap, as Detroit’s offense was predicated almost entirely on which one of four perimeter players would shoot a jump shot, while Wallace was tasked with claiming any and all rebounds by himself. On defense, the Pistons leaked points, giving up 36 in the first quarter to the Blazers, the most Portland has scored in a quarter all season long. Multiple times Prince snapped at Daye for either missing a rotation or losing contact with his larger opponent, Portland power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who ate the lithe Daye alive on the block, to the tune of 19 points and 17 rebounds.

Prince said he was only trying to help Daye. “I’m talking to him a lot because he’s in a tough position. Usually when you’re at a disadvantage, guarding a bigger guy, playing out of position, you want him to stay in contact with that guy so he can work the boards at all times. We’re asking him to do a lot. Not only asking him a lot to do a lot on defense but also keep a 7-footer off the boards every game. His job is harder than everybody else’s.”

Daye’s task isn’t just harder than everyone else’s though, it’s impossible. A pure shooting prototypical small forward who has worked to develop his NBA range, Daye is mismatched against just about every NBA power forward when the Pistons play him at the four spot in their undersized starting lineup. The positional switch is by necessity, so that Daye can get enough minutes to develop with Hamilton and Prince ingrained as mainstays, but given the directionless path Detroit is on, the lineup feels short-sighted. For his part, Daye says doesn’t mind it. “The playing time is a lot better,” he said with a smile before the game. Better to be playing out of position, than not playing at all.

But  the playing time would be even better for Daye, who is averaging 21 minutes a night, should the Pistons move either Hamilton or Prince in a midseason trade, allowing him to transition into a more natural perimeter role. League sources tell CBSSports.com that trade speculation surrounding Prince is accurate. Watching him slowly pull on his leather boots one by one after another defeat, it seems like a move is in the best interest of all involved parties. 

Should either Hamilton or Prince be moved, a big man capable of manning the glass and establishing a low post presence would seem to be the clear target. “It obviously hurts just having Ben as our only primary rebounder out there … I’m pretty sure all but one game we’ve been out-rebounded so we’ve just got to do better,” Prince said.

But he didn’t sound convincing when he uttered those words. Surely he realizes that Detroit’s biggest problem, rebounding -- they’re currently ranked No. 28 in the league in overall rebound rate -- is a matter of personnel and not effort. “Doing better” is not a viable solution for this team's rebounding ails. Better players is.

Nevertheless, after an extended post-game conversation with his team, Kuester finally faced the media and was asked how the Pistons might play more consistently throughout the course of a game. “I can’t pinpoint what we can do, but I do know we have to become better,” he said.

And that said it all. Hoping to do better, but with no specific plan to make it happen.

There really are no answers for this group, no matter how long you stare at the box score or how you juggle the lineups. It’s time to hit the trade market, and get started on the future.

Posted on: November 8, 2010 3:20 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2010 7:12 am
 

Pistons still rumbling about trading core pieces

Posted by Royce Young

It doesn't look like Joe Dumars is going to be able to pull of fhis coal-for-silver trade of Richard Hamilton for Josh Smith because Atlanta isn't dealing, but that doesn't mean the Pistons aren't out in the market right now.

The Pistons would prefer to blow up the roster and move out some of the more expensive veteran pieces they have like Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince. Hamilton will be difficult to deal because his age (32), plus his contract (runs through 2013). But Prince on the other hand, has a pretty enticing deal and as a guy that could contribute on a contender, is probably Detroit's best bet to make a move.

Sekou Smith of NBA.com has heard a trade rumor involving the Hawks and the Pistons, this time not involving Rip Hamilton. It's a swap involving Prince and possibly Will Bynum for Jamal Crawford and Jeff Teague.

An interesting deal for sure because the Hawks could certainly use a defensive-minded veteran stopper like Prince, plus his expiring contract frees them up some financially. Crawford wants a contract extension and has made that clear with a pay-me-or-trade-me demand over the summer, but the Hawks didn't budge then after getting several calls on it. So to make a move now would really just indicate that Atlanta is looking for some cap flexibility.

Plus, Mike Bibby isn't going to be around that much longer and trading a potential future point guard in Teague seems a little curious. Sure, Will Bynum is a decent piece to get back, but I don't know if he's starting material.

In the end, it's probably nothing more than a whispered rumor that won't happen, but it's clear the Pistons are at least shopping their veterans. And a likely player could definitely be the Hawks. Something to keep an eye on, at least.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com