Keating's Corner: A saga of ep-Rip proportions

Keating's Corner: A saga of ep-Rip proportions

Published Feb. 9, 2011 9:41 a.m. ET

Feb. 9, 2011

It's Lindsay Lohan.

It just won't end.

The Pistons and Richard Hamilton are the epitome of a dysfunctional relationship. They are the gift that just keeps on glaring.

You know that couple who lives down the block or that you see at school functions, you can feel the chill between them as they walk by and nothing ever changes between them? At least they can make the case that they're staying together for the kids.

But here's the thing. You think you know what's going on at their place but you really don't.  

John Kuester knows what's going on but he's not saying. Rip Hamilton HAS to know what he's done to find himself in the doghouse's doghouse but continues to maintain, "It's a mystery."

Wouldn't you love to have been Tom Gores last night? The prospective buyer of this soap opera was seated in the owner's suite with current deed-holder Karen Davidson. With all this drama swirling around coach and former star player, Gores has already purchased the right to ask of Davidson, "What is THEIR deal, anyway?"

It's not really apples and oranges. It's apples and broccoli.

And the oldest equation in professional sports is addition by subtraction. You get positive results by subtracting a player who by his words or actions or fading play is just "in the way."

But in this instance, the formula includes division. Teammates have a feel for Hamilton as a player and as a person, and are privately (for the most part) or publicly (in the case of Ben Wallace) seething.

Wallace told the Detroit Free Press, "I think it's a slap in the face. That's the final punch thrown. What are you going to do now? Of course he's not going to play if you call and ask him to play. It's personal. Nah, he's not going to play. You're going to have to trade him now. You're going to have to move him."

But once you stopped playing Hamilton, you lost the chance to move him.  If he has no value to you and has a still oppressive contract attached to him, why would another team have interest?

Joe Dumars has been painted into a corner by John Kuester, but Dumars bought him the paint.

Interestingly, Wallace's declaration about his teammate was BEFORE Saturday.  

Hamilton said, "I thought it was a joke," when he heard his name called to go into the game against the Bucks. He did and played well, scoring 15 points on a 7-for-14 shooting night in Milwaukee as the Pistons won by 11.

And you allowed yourself to think ... "Our long Hamilton nightmare is over."

But as anyone in Michigan can attest right now, just because something thaws doesn't mean it's not going to instantly freeze up again.

Hamilton was unavailable for the Pistons next game, on Tuesday night, because of a groin injury he says was caused by not sufficiently warming up before his triumphant resurgent game in Milwaukee, and THAT was the result of a lack of communication with the coaching staff.

Please. Can't someone intervene here?  Can we get some parents involved? A Mideast envoy who isn't doing anything right now?  

And this from the coach: "It's simple math", Kuester said this week. "We've tried to make sure everyone knew where they stood."

It might be math. But it's hardly simple.