NBA / Oct 28, 2009 / 3:41 pm

Rip Hamilton tells his side of the Iverson/Curry story

Rip Hamilton

Right after “Take advantage of any opportunity for free food,” one of the golden rules of this whole journalism thing is that you have to let both sides tell their story.

Over the last year, a lot of people have been telling Rip Hamilton‘s story for him. Concerning his reaction to the Chauncey Billups trade, his role in the collapse of the Allen Iverson era in Detroit, or his role in the firing of Michael Curry, the generally accepted chain of events goes like this: Rip was hurt by and overly sensitive about CB getting moved, so in turn he never accepted Iverson (and the rest of the Pistons’ followed his cue). And when A.I.’s arrival led to Rip being asked to come off the bench, he led a veteran’s revolt against Curry and got the coach dumped after one season.

Meanwhile, Rip rarely talked. But in a recent interview with the Memphis Commercial Appeal, he finally told his side:

“M.C. lied to us a million times,” Hamilton said of Curry. “He sat me and A.I. down one time and was like, ‘I’m going to lean on both of you the whole year, just don’t go to the media. Say you’ll do whatever for the team and blah blah blah.’ This was a week before he brought me off the bench. He lied. So I feel for what Allen said.”

He added: “I think the person that we had didn’t know how to take advantage of (our roster). Instead of taking advantage of it, he killed it.”

Hamilton also discredited the idea that the Pistons, although upset about losing Chauncey Billups in the trade with the Nuggets, were unwilling to accept Iverson as a teammate. Asked if he ever had any problems with Iverson, Hamilton said: “Oh, no, no, no. We loved him, he loved us. We were all friends, we were all brothers. Like I said, certain people make it complicated when it shouldn’t be complicated.”

While I still lean toward the original idea that Rip was a key player in the Iverson/Curry mess, everything he says is believable. In other interviews, Iverson also identified Curry (and the Pistons front office) as the main culprit in the failed experiment without throwing his former teammates under the bus.

Tonight A.I.’s new team, the Grizzlies, and the Pistons open their seasons facing each other. Iverson has yet to play in a Memphis uniform due to a hamstring injury, but over the weekend said he think he can go tonight; knowing A.I., even if he’s in pain, he really wants to show Detroit what they gave up on.

Whether Iverson plays or not, the events of last season will be a storyline talked about throughout the game. After that, maybe everyone will move on and eventually forget about it. But probably not. Either way, Rip’s focus will shift to simply keeping his starting job and his shots away from Ben Gordon.

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  • Ansonious

    They should go small with a line up of Stuckey, Gordon, Hamilton, Prince, Charlie V.

  • http://smack! JOB33

    @ Ansonious
    Is 1 basketball enough for that lineup? Might need 2 or 3

  • BiG ShoT BoB

    @Ansonious…Better yet do you really want to put Tayshaun on Randolph?

  • JBaller

    Gordon’s always been great off the bench. They need to start Rip. Is Big Ben their starting center?

  • Jah

    I’ve got Zee-Bo on my fantasy squad…I’m calling 19 pts., 12 rebs., 1 stl., 3 ast., ~ 50 FG%!

  • Da_Griff

    Z bo will give you 12 pts, 9 rebs, 45 FG%, 1 ast and 4 TO’s.

  • Da_Griff

    And if they counted BA’s, he’d get 3 of them too.

  • Da_Griff


    Are you on crack? That team would give up twice as many points as it scored.
    Brutal. Just brutal.

  • Kermit The Washington

    Dang, RIP…you finally found a home in Detroit, but now it’s time to go…

  • the cynic

    Why was Curry ever given a head coaching job? Was it because he was tight with Dumars?

  • sh!tfaced

    The Pistons options at center are Big Ben, Chris Wilcox and Kwame Brown.
    In other words, a Has-Been, a Never-Was, and a Has-Been that Never-Was, respectively.

  • Reddi Red

    @ Ansonious ——- that would never work.
    the current starting 5 is good and will handle MEM.

    @ JBalle —— big Ben is starting @ 4 and Kwame is starting @ 5

    @ Kermit The Washington ——- AMEN !!!!

    I predict a 101-92 win for the pistons with Kwame gettin 12pts/12rebs/2blks
    Also Rip shooting himself out of the game trying to make a point. lol

    Go Pistons!!!!!!!

  • http://www.pinpointbranding.net PJ310

    I still don’t see why Stuckey should start over Iverson or Hamilton.

    Dumars is not a good GM to me.

  • gregory

    I don’t know what Curry was supposed to do. He tried Iverson and Hamilton together. He also tried Iverson and Stuckey and Hamilton and Stuckey. He gave them all chances and the best combination over the longest stretch of games was Hamilton and Stuckey. You can’t start Iverson if your team doesn’t play well with him. The problem was trading for him in the first place. It screwed up their whole identity. They had been one of the elite teams because of offensive efficiency (low turnovers and good three point and mid-range shooting) and good defense. You had to be a really well rounded team or have a stud like Lebron to beat them. But Iverson, with his low shooting percentages and high turnover rate, was a horrible fit.

  • bluv

    AI on Memphis now so who cares, but I have no idea why the Cavs did not try the AI experiment. He could have scored points so Lebron would not have to carry the whole load.

  • Mack Brownee

    joe dumars is the problem in detroit; he’s been given a free pass for too long since they won one ring…picking darko was the start of their demise even though that’s the year they won it all; it’s been all downhill for that team ever since and his offseason acquisitions are not going to put them in contention for a ring

  • MB

    Mack, you’re retarted. How is Joe D the problem. For 5-6 straight years they had a legitimate shot at winning the championship. Other than the Spurs, who can you say that about? The Heat had to go grab Shaq to do it, the Lakers had to pilfer Gasol and the Celtics had to steal Garnett and Ray Allen. The other GM’s were given gifts, while Joe D had to be smart and piece together his teams from 2nd tier players. That’s why he is a fantastic GM. You #^%$#^ from out of state just can’t see it! Joe will be our GM for life!!!

  • Tim

    Pistons just won going away….by 20 something…and Rip and BG were taking their turns draining those silky jumpers….very nice to see…

  • Promoman

    While it’s a fact that teammates will go behind another’s back at any level (pickup to pros), it’s a wonder that any team Allen Iverson’s been on hasn’t turned on him as he likes to claim the Pistons did. With his ball-hogging, 1/2 assed defense, and track record for skipping and/or bullshitting when it comes to practice, and talking the talk while limping, Iverson’s been on track for making enemies for years. It finally happened when he landed on the Pistons. Rip’s probably trying to save face but Iverson sets himself up for getting hate from teammates.

  • http://www.thedopegame.com Pusha B

    it was a completely horrible idea to begin with to get rid of cb for ai. really, it’s two completely different style of players. look what cb did for the nuggets. bad bad move and now they’re paying for it.

  • bluv

    Nuggets lost to Lakers 2 years in a row…with AI and with CB…they just met in different rounds

  • egypt

    pusha b….. people dont seem understand it was a salary cap move…not a trade to make them better… obviously u dont trade billups for ai in that detroit system…they did that to get gordon and CV this summer… thats what AI gave detroit…