Over the years, the Pistons have not had much turmoil that manifests itself in the media. As fans, I think it’s something that is easy to not notice, but it’s really unprecedented compared to the anonymous sniping that goes on in the media in other organizations, even occasionally among winning teams.
Not surprisingly, this is not a trend the organization wishes to continue. First, Hamilton defended himself to reporters. From Vince Ellis of the Freep:
And for those who believe, like commenter Frankie D expresses here, that Hamilton will become a scapegoat for the team’s poor play, I wouldn’t be so sure. Joe Dumars released a statement defending Hamilton:
“Rip and I had a great conversation,” Dumars said about a 20-minute chat after practice. “He’s the last guy that I need to worry about competing. He’s been a warrior here for a long time, and I trust him as much as anybody on this team. Rip is our captain, and I love Rip Hamilton.”
That’s an unusual step for Dumars to make a public statement on something like this, so he must firmly believe that Hamilton was not, in fact, faking his illness as the person quoted in the Goodwill story seems to suggest. And I have to think that Dumars, who has always been guarded with what he says to the media (despite the occasional, uh, slip-up), is going to come down hard on whoever leaked the info, even if it happens behind closed doors.
So to recap: the Pistons are as confusing as ever.
Tags: Richard Hamilton