DETROIT — As the Chicago Bulls roll into Detroit for their matchup tonight with the woeful Pistons, one man is returning home. Richard Hamilton, who has spent most of his 12 year NBA career calling the Motor City home, returns tonight for the first time in nearly a decade.
“It’s gonna be weird,” said Ben Gordon who is ironically a former Bull. “Anytime you see a guy move on that I feel like he was not only a good teammate, he was one of my brothers. I’m glad he’s happy.”
Hamilton was one of the key members of the 2004 Pistons team that won the NBA Championship. Since then all but Tayshaun Prince remains in Detroit. Prince has seen everyone from Ben Wallace to Chauncey Billups and now Richard Hamilton return donning opposing jersey’s. Seeing that many teammates go may be one reason Prince is taking a cold and indifferent stance to Hamilton retiring in in a Bulls uniform.
“It won’t be hard, I’ve had the situation with Chauncey, with Ben, with ‘Sheed,” Prince said. “It [just] wasn’t something I planned on seeing.”
Prince wants Piston fans to remember the glory days with Hamilton when he helped restore some pride to the city of Detroit. But he also acknowledges that fans may take a repellent stance due to the way things ended between Hamilton and the organization.
“You’ll hear a lot of claps, but you’ll hear a few boos here and there,” Prince said. “It happens to most of the guys. … You’ll hear some boos because you’re in a different uniform.
“Everybody knew he wanted to go in a different direction; things happened that shouldn’t have happened. The situation with selling the team took a while for that to happen.”
Hamilton makes his return to the Palace tonight when the Pistons host the Bulls.