Hamilton still waiting for answers from Pistons
By TOM CANAVAN NEWARK, N.J.
NEWARK, N.J.— Richard Hamilton is still waiting to find out whether he has a role with the Detroit Pistons.
No one in the Detroit organization has told Hamilton why he hasn’t played for five straight games, the guard said during a short interview before the Pistons’ game with the Nets in New Jersey on Friday night.
Hamilton was rumored to be part of a three-team trade with the Nets and the Denver Nuggets that would have brought him to New Jersey.
The Pistons opted nine days ago not to play the 11-year veteran amid talk his days in Detroit might be numbered. Coach John Kuester has said he was simply trying to shake up his rotation when Hamilton was benched. He lost his starting job last month.
However, the proposed deal to bring Carmelo Anthony to New Jersey came to a crashing end Wednesday when Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov told his team to break off talks because the negotiations became too public, took too long and were hurting the team.
“You wanted closure,” Hamilton said of the trade talks that lasted a little less than two weeks.
Hamilton said he tried to be the best professional possible during the talks and to remain fit.
However, not playing was tough.
“You know they sat me down and you hear all these different allegations for why they sat me down and things like that,” said Hamilton, who will turn 33 in February. “It was crazy to me because I want to play basketball. I want to get out there and perform, that’s all I have been doing since I have been in the NBA.”
Hamilton, who was averaging 13.2 points, said he never questioned Kuester about not playing, and neither Kuester nor Pistons president Joe Dumars talked to him about it.
“It’s the same thing as the whole situation went on, no one is telling me what is going on,” Hamilton said. “It’s one of those things, you give to your team for the last nine years your blood, sweat and tears and you never expect nothing like that to happen. But it happened.”
The Pistons came into the game against New Jersey having won three of four.
However, Hamilton indicated there has been a lot of turmoil on the team this season and showed his displeasure Friday night, when he provided his own transportation to the Prudential Center instead of coming with the team.
Hamilton refused to say whether he would have been OK playing for the Nets. When asked directly whether he wanted to be traded, Hamilton deflected the question.
“It’s not my decision,” he said. “That’s a question you have to ask them in that locker room. I have no control. I can’t go and say I’m going trade myself. I have no control over that.”
Jan. 21, 2011