It was a bittersweet night on Wednesday when Rip Hamilton returned to the Palace of Auburn Hills for the very first time in anything but a Pistons jersey. The buzz in Detroit was, will Rip get a standing ovation, will he get boo’s, what will his legacy be in Detroit after he help raise a Championship Banner in the rafters in 2004?
I’ll get to the answers about all of that in a moment. Right now I’m going to be real.
You’re reading the words of a Detroit Pistons season ticket holder. A Detroit Pistons blogger who started her blog before people even knew what blogging was. A person who was in the building when they won their championship in 2004 and sat through playoff games at the Palace when Isiah Thomas and the Bad Boys dominated the league. With that said…
I believe that Rip Hamilton did wonders in Detroit. Rip Hamilton began his brilliance in Detroit. Rip Hamilton shot the lights out in Detroit. Rip Hamilton deserves to have his jersey retired in the rafters one day in Detroit.
But it’s not as easy as all of that.
Rip’s departure left a bad taste in this fans mouth.
In a place where the teams hard work and determination defined the team, Rip’s attitude as soon as his backcourt mate Chauncey Billups changed drastically. He first had issues with Allen Iverson and coming off the bench (though I don’t blame him for that). He then seemed upset with the signing of Ben Gordon. But when he sat for multiple games because of a feud with Coach John Kuester and was I’m sure one of the organizers of a Player mutinly, you could see that it was time to sever ties.
He didn’t want to be in Detroit and you could tell.
When he didn’t want to take buyout from the team last season because he was unwilling to go to the Cavs it only made things worse. So when the Pistons were going to amnesty him this season, he and his agents finally decided to work on the buyout so he could go to the team that he wanted to…the Bulls.
Rip works with Chicago and he needed a brilliant PG to feed him the ball off screens. He’s going to have a hell of a season in Chicago and I wish him well.
But…as a Pistons fan don’t come back and dog the organization in the media. The Piston made sure they didn’t let whatever nonsense that happened behind closed doors out in the public last season, so why do it now Rip? Why tell the media after last night’s when asked if you sold your house in Detroit you tell them you sold it three years ago? Why say that you weren’t treated fairly by the organization when the gave you a sweet contract when you clearly weren’t worthy of the numbers.
Why say that “just ask my reamates they know the real me,” when third year SF Austin Day said this before Wednesday nights game, “he wanted to be in another jersey for a while and he got what he wanted.”
Back to his return.
Rip’s return was met with a heartily round of applause from the Piston fans at the Palace of Auburn Hills. He received a standing ovation from the small crowd at the Palace in a building that led the league in attendance for years. Most were very happy to see him, but there are always a few boos. He put up 14 points in a Bulls victory over his former team. He is happy.
I appreciate Rip’s game, I thank him for helping make Detroit the perennial playoff team and will always cherish the Championship.
But what I learned from Rip’s last few seasons in Detroit? That Richard Hamilton is not true to the Pistons Red, White and Blue…he’s just more Red.Natalie Sitto www.need4sheed.com Twitter @Need4Sheed_com