Chicago Bulls: Rip Hamilton

Bulls player review: Rip Hamilton

June, 3, 2013
Friedell By Nick Friedell
Nick Friedell looks at each player on the Chicago Bulls roster and how they fit in for the future.

HamiltonJesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty ImagesSome people probably wondered why Rip Hamilton didn't play more this season.

Rip Hamilton

2012-13 salary: $5,000,000 | Age: 35| Season stats: 9.8 ppg, 2.4 apg

Season recap: Hamilton's second season with the Bulls looked a lot like his first one. He was plagued by different injuries and was never able to stay on the floor long enough to make much of a difference. He struggled to find a chemistry with his teammates and was dropped out of the rotation during the playoffs only to resurface for Games 4 and 5 against the Heat.


Were you surprised how little Rip contributed to the Bulls?


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Season highlight: Hamilton dropped in 30 points in a November 26 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. That game marked the end of a solid stretch for veteran shooter over the first month of the season.

Season lowlight: Over the first 10 games of the postseason, Hamilton played a grand total of 10:20, which included eight DNP- Coach's decision.

Final grades: Regular season: D Postseason: C-

Notes: To his credit, Hamilton never came out and criticized Tom Thibodeau for his lack of playing time over the last two years, especially during this year's playoff run, but his signing will be viewed as a failure for Bulls GM Gar Forman. The front office thought Hamilton could be the missing piece alongside Derrick Rose but the veteran could not stay on the floor as his body continued to break down. Once Rose got hurt, the fact that Hamilton couldn't stay healthy became even more prominent.

Quotes:"It is what it is," Hamilton said of his future after the Bulls were eliminated from the playoffs. "I enjoyed it. I enjoyed every bit of it. For me, it's just one of them things like when you've got somebody as great as Derrick, and me playing in the backcourt with him ... it's one of them things like, 'Man, I wonder what would have happened.' But that's part of the game. It's part of the game you just try to figure it out."

What's next?: Hamilton will be bought out of the final year of his contract for $1 million. He will try to catch on with another team in the off-season.

Who will be back with Bulls next season?

May, 16, 2013
Friedell By Nick Friedell
Derrick RoseSteve Mitchell/USA TODAY SportsDerrick Rose will now have the entire summer to make sure his knee -- and confidence -- is right.
MIAMI -- For the second consecutive year, the Chicago Bulls head into the summer knowing that their team will look a lot different in October than it did at the end of the season.

The Bulls' core, led by a presumably healthy Derrick Rose, will be largely intact barring a major trade this summer. The same cannot be said about the bench. With that in mind, let's take a quick look at the Bulls roster and see who will likely be returning next year. And decide for yourself with our Take Him or Trash Him.

Derrick Rose: After sitting out the entire season as he recovers from a torn ACL, the 24-year-old superstar will have a lot of pressure on him to produce. As long as he is mentally ready to go, he should be fine. He's also the only untouchable on this roster.

Joakim Noah: The emotional big man enters into the third year of his $60 million contract. He played at an All-Star level this year but he knows he must find a way to get his foot problems in order.

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Hamilton wonders what might have been

May, 15, 2013
Friedell By Nick Friedell
Richard Hamilton, Udonis HaslemIssac Baldizon/NBAE/Getty ImagesRichard Hamilton came up big in what is likely his last game as a Bull, scoring 15 points in Game 5.
MIAMI -- As Rip Hamilton peeled off his Chicago Bulls jersey for what he knew was probably the last time, he couldn't help himself from thinking about what might have been.

Hamilton, who played just four games in the postseason, had just rattled off 15 points in 35 minutes in a 94-91 loss to the Miami Heat in Game 5. He kept keep coming back to the fact that in his two years with the Bulls he and the rest of his teammates had never been healthy at the same time.

"That was purpose of taking a buyout in Detroit," Hamilton said. "That was the whole purpose -- to try and win another championship. That was the reason. I (saw) a great opportunity to get that. With all the injuries and things like that that's a hard thing to swallow sometimes."

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Rip says he's healthy, finally gets a shot

May, 13, 2013
Padilla By Doug Padilla
HamiltonJesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty ImagesRip Hamilton was pressed into service because of Marco Belinelli foul trouble.
CHICAGO – Disputing his coach's assertion that he is struggling with an injury while wondering aloud about his role, Chicago Bulls guard Richard Hamilton walked that fine line Monday night.

He didn't want to question coach Tom Thibodeau's authority after the Bulls lost 88-65 to the Miami Heat to fall behind 3-1 in the Eastern Conference semifinals, but at the same time the veteran with 5,000 playoff minutes figured all that experience would have given him a chance to play more.


Should Rip Hamilton have been playing more?


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"A lot of stuff in life you don't understand," Hamilton said. "This is what I was brought here for. To not be able to play and help my teammates, it's hard, it's rough. But I try to stay positive. I don't try to rock the boat. I just try be positive with them and let [teammates] know what they need to do out there and things like that. Tonight I got lucky. I got to go out there and play."

He played almost 22 minutes, a total that more than doubled his playing time in the Bulls' previous 10 games of the postseason. He nailed an early 3-pointer and scored 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting.

His appearance in the second quarter was a bit of a surprise because coach Tom Thibodeau said Thursday that Hamilton wasn't "moving great" and that "physically he's not there right now."

A bulging disc in Hamilton's lower back caused him to miss the entire month of March, but he said that injury is way back in his rearview mirror.

"I feel good," he said and then repeated himself for good measure. "I feel good."

Sure, Hamilton isn't what he was when he logged 924 minutes in the 2004 playoffs while winning an NBA championship with the Detroit Pistons and another 1,079 minutes the following year when the Pistons made the NBA Finals.

But Hamilton figured his knowledge of playoff basketball would be utilized for more than 32 minutes in 11 games since these playoffs began.

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Rip not much help for banged-up Bulls

May, 10, 2013
Padilla By Doug Padilla
DEERFIELD, Ill. -- As injuries and illness have taken a toll on the Chicago Bulls during the first nine games of the NBA playoffs, nearly 10,000 minutes of postseason experience are wasting away at the end of the bench.

Rip Hamilton has played in just 10 minutes of two games so far in the playoffs, but coach Tom Thibodeau has avoided using his veteran. In what has become a theme for the Bulls, it is once again because of injury.

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Bulls feel similarities to last season

April, 20, 2013
Friedell By Nick Friedell
NEW YORK -- As the Bulls get set to open another postseason run Saturday night against the Brooklyn Nets, the similarities to last season's ill-fated run remain.

With all the injuries the team has dealt with and the fact that Derrick Rose is unlikely to play no matter how deep the Bulls go, Tom Thibodeau's players can see that their situation looks a lot like it did last season.

"It's kind of similar in a lot of ways," Bulls guard Rip Hamilton said. "It's kind of similar. It's like, if you look at both situations and you look at this year's situation, it's kind of like identical."

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Rapid Reaction: Bulls 118, Knicks 111 (OT)

April, 11, 2013
Friedell By Nick Friedell

CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls earned a hard-fought 118-111 overtime win over the New York Knicks on Thursday night at the United Center.

How it happened: Nate Robinson had a huge game off the bench for the Bulls, scoring 35 points, and Jimmy Butler had another big game, pouring in 22 points and pulling down 14 rebounds. The energetic pair led the way for a Bulls team that overcame a 17-point deficit while still playing without Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Derrick Rose. Given the way the Bulls have played over the last week, this is a win coach Tom Thibodeau and his team should savor as they head into the final four games of the regular season.

What it means: The Bulls win these kinds of games against high-level teams because they play together with no fear. No matter who is on the floor, no matter who is hurt, they believe they can win because Thibodeau has instilled confidence in them. Confidence is a trait that Robinson is never lacking. He always believes he can dominate a game and he always believes he can lead his team to victory. He plays with a swagger that can drive Thibodeau crazy, but it's the type of energy the Bulls desperately need down the stretch. To that point, Butler continues to improve day by day and is showing why so many people within the organization are encouraged by his success. Thibodeau clearly trusts in him more than he did earlier in the season, and he should. Butler has proven he can make a major impact against some of the best teams in the league. He has played 98 minutes over the last two games.

Hits: Rip Hamilton chipped in with 14 points, eight assists and three rebounds in 26 minutes off the bench.

Misses: Carlos Boozer had 13 points and 15 rebounds, but he and Kirk Hinrich combined to go just 6-for-22 from the field.

Stat of the night: The Knicks' 13-game winning streak is over.

What's next: The Bulls are right back at it Friday night when they face off against the Toronto Raptors.

Deng expected to play against Knicks

April, 11, 2013
Padilla By Doug Padilla
CHICAGO -- Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng, who missed the last two games with a bruised hip, is expected to play limited minutes against the New York Knicks on Thursday night.

After Deng went through Thursday's shootaround in preparation for a matchup with the New York Knicks, coach Tom Thibodeau said, "He did everything."

"It feels good to have a few people back and just knowing we're going into (the Knicks game) strong and trying to protect our home floor, trying to get a win," Jimmy Butler said.

Marco Belinelli, who has been nursing an abdominal strain, will also be in action Thursday night, as will Richard Hamilton, who returned to action Tuesday after a long stint on the bench while nursing a bulging disc in his lower back.

Joakim Noah, who has missed nine of the past 10 games with plantar fasciitis is out. Taj Gibson (knee) and Derrick Rose (knee) are also out.

Rip makes surprise return vs. Raps

April, 9, 2013
Friedell By Nick Friedell
CHICAGO -- After missing the past 19 games because of a lower back injury, veteran shooting guard Rip Hamilton will make his return to the lineup against the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night.

"Yeah, we're going to play him tonight," Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said before the game. "He's going to have a chance to play some minutes. Not a lot. He's come along. He's feeling better so we'll see where he is.

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Five Bulls sit out, Hamilton not close

April, 5, 2013
Friedell By Nick Friedell
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Bulls will be undermanned once again Friday night against the Orlando Magic as Joakim Noah (plantar fasciitis), Marco Belinelli (ab strain), Taj Gibson (knee), Derrick Rose (knee) and Rip Hamilton (lower back) will all be sitting out.

Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said the players were 'improving,' but he did acknowledge that Hamilton is probably the least likely to return at any point in the near future.

"He's coming along," Thibodeau said. "He's still ... he has a ways to go. He's the one guy that's not real close right now."

As for Rose, status quo remains the norm.

"The same," Thibodeau said of Rose's status. "Just steady progress."

Bulls find a way without Noah, Rip and Rose

March, 24, 2013
Friedell By Nick Friedell
CHICAGO -- Tom Thibodeau's team has lived by a simple credo for the past three years.

"Know your job and do your job."

The veteran coach spits it out to his players and to the media constantly. It's more than a cliche for the Chicago Bulls' veteran coach, it's a state of mind. He believes that his team always has a chance to win because his players are always prepared. He embraces the notion that no matter who is in or out of the lineup, the Bulls can always find a way to win because they are more prepared than anyone else. Derrick Rose, Rip Hamilton and Joakim Noah all out because of injuries? No problem. Thibodeau always believes his team will find a way ... and that's exactly what they did Saturday night in an 87-84 triumph over the Indiana Pacers.

The Bulls grinded out a game that few believed they could win. That line has been written and said so many different times in the Thibodeau era that it shouldn't come as a surprise anymore when the Bulls do pull off that kind of victory. As beat up as this team is, they still find a way to win games when fans least expect it. That's a credit to Thibodeau and the types of players he has playing for him.

"It took heart," Bulls forward Taj Gibson said. "Guys were doing what they do best. Guys were putting forth effort on defense, we were getting stops, we got a lot of big minutes out of Daequan [Cook] and Nazr Mohammed. Guys just filling the role. Nobody complained. We just kept running the right plays. Guys were just playing basketball, but we kept running the right plays with the right people, at the right time, and it worked."

Gibson continues to play well on a gimpy left knee, but he mentioned the two players who exemplified Thibodeau's credo perfectly on this night. Cook and Mohammed, two guys who have rarely played all season, came in and gave the Bulls a huge lift. They played with energy and made plays when their team needed them. Without Noah in the lineup, and without Nate Robinson down the stretch after he was ejected in the third quarter for a flagrant-two foul, Mohammed and Cook did what they had to do. They combined for 20 points and 12 rebounds ... to everyone's surprise but Thibodeau's.

"This is the way we have to play," Thibodeau said. "We have to do it collectively. A lot of guys stepped up. I thought Luol was terrific, he set the tone. Carlos [Boozer] got going and then got in foul trouble. He played tough. Nazr Mohammed gave us a lift. Taj played great. We needed everybody."

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No change for Rose, but Hamilton better

March, 22, 2013
Friedell By Nick Friedell
DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Derrick Rose's situation remains 'just the same,' according to Tom Thibodeau, but the Chicago Bulls coach did have some positive news in regards to injured shooting guard Rip Hamilton.

"(He's) feeling a little bit better," Thibodeau said. "He's going to do a little bit of shooting today, but he's feeling a little better so that's a good sign."

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Gibson hopes to play against Blazers

March, 20, 2013
Friedell By Nick Friedell
DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Chicago Bulls power forward Taj Gibson hopes to play against the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday after missing nearly a month because of a sprained MCL in his left knee.

"I felt great today," Gibson said after Wednesday's practice. "I had a great scrimmage, a great practice, it felt good to be back out there with the guys, just like old times. I'm just looking forward to trying to come back and play."

Gibson said if he feels good after warming up Thursday he will be ready to try and play again.

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Has Rip played his last game for Bulls?

March, 19, 2013
Friedell By Nick Friedell
Derrick RoseRob Grabowski/US PresswireInjuries stood in the way of Rip Hamilton and Derrick Rose establishing chemistry.
CHICAGO -- Has Rip Hamilton played his last game for the Chicago Bulls?

Even head coach Tom Thibodeau doesn't know at the moment ... but it's possible. Thibodeau was asked on Monday whether Hamilton's lower back injury could keep him out the rest of the season and the veteran coach's answer left open the possibility.

"There's an unknown," Thibodeau said. "It's (a) back so those are tricky, but we just have to wait and see."

The Bulls have been doing a lot of waiting and seeing since Hamilton arrived in December, 2011, just before the regular season started. At the time, Hamilton was thought to be the missing two-guard piece who would help the Bulls get past the Miami Heat and help open up the floor for Derrick Rose. But from the first week of that season on, Hamilton -- and Rose -- dealt with a seemingly never-ending list of injuries and were rarely on the floor together.

Hamilton missed 38 games last season because of various injuries while Rose missed 27 games because of injuries of his own and then tore the ACL in his left knee in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers. The sad part for the Bulls is that the pair showed glimpses of playing well together at times, especially during that memorable playoff game against the Sixers in which Hamilton racked up 19 points and Rose almost rattled off a triple double before injuring his knee.

The reality is that while Hamilton has had some nice games with the Bulls, he hasn't been able to stay on the floor long enough to make much of a difference. He's missed 21 games and counting this season because of various injuries and hasn't even accompanied the Bulls on their last few road trips. He is a forgotten man in the Bulls' locker room.

Whether he comes back on the floor or not, he will be viewed as an $11 million dollar mistake by the Bulls' front office: $5 million for last season, $5 million for this season and a $1 million buyout this summer. Hamilton has said in the past that he would like to play another couple years in the league but it would probably be best for all parties involved to move in different directions.

The problem for the Bulls is that after the final year of Hamilton's contract is bought out, fans will have lingering frustrations with the front office because of its decision to sign Kirk Hinrich. Like Hamilton, Hinrich is a veteran guard who has had trouble staying healthy the past few seasons. He has missed 22 games this season because of seven different injuries. He had missed 28 games over the two seasons before that, yet the Bulls decided to give him a two-year deal worth $8 million last summer. Like Hamilton, Hinrich has played well in short bursts at various points through the season, but he has struggled to stay on the floor. While the short-term nature of both contracts won't linger over the Bulls for years to come, their inability to stay healthy during the past two seasons will likely be their enduring legacy in Chicago.

Four Bulls out vs. Nuggets

March, 18, 2013
Friedell By Nick Friedell
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson, Kirk Hinrich and Rip Hamilton are all out for Monday night's game against the Denver Nuggets.

While Rose has missed all season while rehabbing his ACL tear, Gibson has been out since Feb. 26 with a sprained MCL in his left knee. Hinrich will miss his 22nd game because of a sore foot and Hamilton is fighting a lower back injury.



Jimmy Butler
20.2 3.2 1.7 38.7
ReboundsP. Gasol 11.8
AssistsD. Rose 5.0
StealsJ. Butler 1.7
BlocksP. Gasol 1.9