Rip Hamilton starts for Bulls

Updated: December 20, 2011, 10:30 PM ET
By Nick Friedell | ESPNChicago.com

DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Richard Hamilton started for the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday against the Indiana Pacers at United Center.

He scored 13 points and added six assists in the Bulls' 93-85 win.

"It's fun," Hamilton said before the game. "I think it's a great chance for me to get out there with the guys and play in a game situation. I haven't played in one since last season. It will be good to get out there with the guys and learn [with] each other and things like that."

The Bulls acquired Hamilton Wednesday after he was put on waivers by the Detroit Pistons, for whom he played the past nine seasons. Hamilton signed a two-year, $10 million contract, with a team option for a third season.

He didn't play Friday against the Pacers.

Ronnie Brewer, who started Friday, came off the bench Tuesday.

"It gives us a catch and shoot game," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "It gives us size at his position and experience. He knows how to read defenses. He's seen just about every defense there is and he knows where the holes are, so hopefully we can take advantage of that. It's how he fits into the team. He has to do his part."

Hamilton said he believed that Bulls fans would embrace him Tuesday night, even though he spent years playing for the rival Pistons.

"It's funny, because when I was at the autograph session (Monday) night, a lot of fans came up and said, 'Hey, I used to hate you, but now I love you.' So it's kind of like a love-hate type of thing," Hamilton said. "But I'm happy to be on this side of the fence and give fans something to cheer about."

Thibodeau did not want to fully commit to Hamilton as the starting shooting guard when the season opens up against the Los Angeles Lakers on Christmas Day, preferring to wait and see how the veteran guard performs Tuesday night.

"We're going to see how everything goes," Thibodeau said. "We're still trying to figure out what's best for the team. As of right now, that's what we're planning on, but we'll just see how it goes."

Brewer said Thibodeau discussed the move with him and the veteran understood the coach's decision.

"He wants to just get a different look," Brewer said. "It's fine with me. I'm comfortable playing with either group. Last year I played the entire season with the second unit, 'Bench Mob' and we had great chemistry. That's one of the things that (Thibodeau) talked about. It's still preseason. I'm still going to continue to work hard. The team is still going to continue to work hard and we're just trying to get better."

Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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