And so we have it: Curry Says Hamilton will come off the bench

by | Jan 20, 2009 | 66 comments

The Detroit News:

“The decision has been made.

Pistons coach Michael Curry announced Tuesday that he will begin using guard Rip Hamilton off the bench, with guard Allen Iverson and forward Amir Johnson starting.

The situation has been somewhat unsettled since Hamilton returned from a groin injury.

Curry toyed with a smaller lineup, with guards Rodney Stuckey, Iverson and Hamilton as starters, joining front-court players Tayshaun Prince and Rasheed Wallace.

Curry said Hamilton, who has never come off the bench as a Piston, will start the second and fourth quarters.

The new starting lineup will be Stuckey, Iverson, Prince, Wallace and Johnson. “

(Thanks to Amer ican Prince with the lightning fast link in the comments)


  1. Pistonsbaby01

    WRONG DECISION!! Should have been AI. I mean he was the last to Detroit. It’s only fair to bring AI off the bench. I feel bad for Rip. :(

  2. Mike

    According to what I read the starting Johnson will only start against teams with small lineups of which there are not to many but rather the lineup most nights will be Kwame, Sheed, Prince, Stuckey and Iverson

    “Center Kwame Brown will start against especially big teams.”

    I like the idea of Brown starting rather than Johnson because at least the other Pistons players on the court will pass the ball to Brown when he is open which is more than they do with Johnson.

    Free Amir – Trade him now to a team that will utilize his significant skills on offense and not try and turn him into the next “Worm”

    Anyone remember his first start in the NBA in 2007 against the Celtics, 20 plus points 10 plus rebounds and 2 three point shots made.

    Trade Amir now

  3. andrew

    great news, but somehow i see curry fucking up again and us playin not that much better than we were playin smallball, bynum and hermann should get more minutes, i dont even understand how hermann doesnt get minutes, hes the only back up SF and princes minutes need to be brought down to rest him for the playoffs, plus hes injured now anyways, but i can see how bynum-hamilton duo could work, bynum is tru PG and can find rip off the screens with his passes.

  4. Mike

    Wow, ai would have been the right decision to bench.

  5. ct piston fan

    I think Curry still needs to go. We did not need a 5 game losing streak to realize small ball does not work. However, I don’t think he would have handled it well had Billups still been on the team trying to decide who would be the starting point guard. Now lets see how a 1st year coach deals with damaged all star egos.

  6. Amer ican Prince

    Thanks for the nod Natalie. I’m fortunate enough to work in a pretty laid back work environment where people can take five minutes when they need it to relax. This is especially helpful for me because I’m kinda obsessively frantic. I can’t sit still or focus on anything for too long. So I’m constantly constantly taking a couple minutes to go on the internet and 9 times out of ten I’m typing in pistons in google search or visiting your site or something else pistons related. The people I work with say I’m a little obsessed compulsive about the Pistons. I’m thinking of checking into P.A. Pistons Annonymous.

    One time someone asked me what my favorite ice cream was I said “Rasheed Wallace”

    (To be fair to me this was due to me thinking about his 24 sec with Rasheed Wallace where he said his favorite ice cream was butter peacan and I shouted out the wrong thing)

  7. mobius909


    i might have done it the other way (ai to the bench), but this is good.

    rip to the bench = ginobili/gordon effect = exhausted guards for the opposing team, aka no rest. this should also help the teams we are losing to in the 4th quarter to no be so lively after being run around all game.

    also, i don’t see some scrub coming off the bench and going off for 25 on us either. i’m also smelling some sick will bynum passes to rip off the curl highlights. this could be VERY good.

    i wouldn’t say that ginobili and gordon are less of a player for going off the bench, in fact, ginobili is still an all star because he dominates so much.

    we now have the option to play small ball in the 4th quarter and not have to worry about free throws. unfortunately, afflalo may not stick around due to lack of playing time.

    in all, this means more dyess/maxx time. this is very good too because they are probably our most consistant scorers (per percentage) and two of our best rebounding options. look for those numbers to go up as we start to clean people off the boards sheet now, or at least be in the ball game for points in the paint.

    no go out there and get us a real center, joe.

  8. Mikey F Baby

    Thank God! Curry actually made a good decision. Ouor bench really needed a lift and Rip is professional enough to make the most of it. And AI should never come off the bench…ever ever.

  9. Amer ican Prince

    I agree with what you guys are saying Ai should of came off the bench. And believe the reason this happened is “Coach” Curry has his head up AI’s butt. But I say let’s ride this out. As mobius909 said this means more time for Dyess and Max.

    A) Rip, Bynum, (if he gets minutes) and Dyess and Max is probably the best all around. I have a feeling that is going to be a very effective unit. They are going to be moving the ball a lot more than the first unit.

    B) Rip actually looks better than AI if he plays hard. Cause then AI will look like the crybaby who didn’t want to come off the bench.

    The thing that does bug me is that Amir/Kwame is going to change based on matchups. Just keep some consistency Curry. Pick one starting 5 and stick with it. I would say Kwame gives you the better odds most nights.

  10. renagle

    One thing to remember: AI probably won’t be a Piston next year. This is a short term issue, one that has no real solution. Bless Rip for being the bigger man! Like AI as a baller, but, get a clue…teams win games, one man does not.

  11. Eric

    Curry takes this long to make a decision, then makes the WRONG one.

    Iverson should be the one coming off the bench with the 2nd unit, not Rip. Iverson can create his own offense and if he comes in with the 2nd unit he can ball-hog all he wants as long as he’s knocking down baskets.

    Rip, Tay, Sheed, and even Stuckey are familiar with working with each other, and Rip benefits from passes when he’s cutting around screens. Unless Bynum and Rip can mesh (and quickly) the 2nd unit will not benefit from Rip joining them.

    Worse, Iverson will either take away touches and scoring from the other starters, or he’ll not contribute as many points as he is capable of to allow the other starters some shots.

    That said, Rip probably doesn’t appreciate being demoted to the bench… nor does he deserve to be. This decision will cause bad feelings between Rip and Curry/Dumars, and will probably sour our future seasons long after Iverson’s out of here.

    Rather than letting Curry make this decision, Dumars should have made one to FIRE CURRY NOW.

  12. Th3 Answ3r

    @ Amer ican’s comment.
    At first, Hamilton said he wouldnt ever come off the bench when a reporter asked him. When the asked AI, he said he’d do anything to win (even coming off the bench). One day later, Hamilton said he’d do anything to make the team win. (SMIRK).

  13. pistons 4 life

    I didn’t really care if it was Rip or AI, but it had to be one of them. And why not Rip seeing as how he publicly stated that he would do it for the better of the team. I think it will be good for him because then he can play the game that he’s used to on this team. Run off screens and nail shots. He’s not really a 1 on 1 player and that’s what he’s been reduced to.

    The most important thing about this change is that we will now have the right number of bigs on the floor at all times, which in turn means that people who have not been getting playing time will get it now. The bench really needs to be playing more minutes. And the starters have been playing way too many.

    Lets wait and see I guess, but I just feel like this is what needed to happen for this team to get back on track and play the kind of basketball they were built to play. Shame on Curry for trying to change the identity of this team just because of AI. Go Pistons!!!!!!!!

  14. andrew

    for those of you who keep saying AI should have come off the bench:
    “He didn’t want Iverson playing alongside Bynum, leaving the Pistons vulnerable defensively with two undersized guards.” –
    this is good point, you dont want two 5’11 guards on the floor at the same time

  15. pistons 4 life

    One more thing, there sure are a lot of people who hate AI on this blog. I think since being traded here he’s been pretty good as far as his attitude and trying to fit into what the Pistons do. Sure I’d rather have him off the bench too, but the most important thing is that a change was made. It might have taken too long, but least it happened. Lets just wait and see how this works.

  16. Dominic

    I’m surprised nobody brought up Vinnie Johnson comparisons yet. New nickname perhaps? Vinnie Hamilton? lol just throwin it out there

  17. PistonsFan=]

    Okay well first of all i like the decision to go big.. but you know what still bugs me. is the decision to trade billups. we only have AI for a year what is he going to do for this team that we couldnt do for ourselves. If we had kept billups we couldve came in with johnson, maxiell or brown being the center and we wouldve been fine. Stuckey couldve come off the bench still and just got a lot more playing time because no offense as Stuckey is an amazing creator of his own shot..he doesn’t have the ability to find Rip,Tay or them on rolling screens or backdoors still..he catches them once in awhile but not all the time which is mainly what could make us score and stuff. so i think the trade was stupid. i like rip and think he was a great player and shouldnt have to come off the bench and as to ai i think he is good too but we really just didnt need you in motown.

  18. David

    i would have stucky iverson prince rasheed brown
    but i dont like how brown never dunks like the rest of the zoo crew
    boy do i miss wallace x2

  19. PistonsFan=]

    and just clarifing i like AI he’s an amazing player but just to say ive watched the pistons every night this season and the “2nd group” doesnt all come out at once. there are still some starters so AI couldve come off the bench and stuckey couldve still played. its not like every time rip comes off the bench bynum will follow him. so no offense it really shouldve been AI for all the years that RIP has put towards the pistons he shouldve never had to come off.

  20. Vanalope

    well at least small ball is finally dead, am happy about that, though I too would have preferred the AI bench scenario.

    Will see how this plays out, I don’t think it can be worse than the small ball line up. At least I hope that’s true.

    “One time someone asked me what my favorite ice cream was I said “Rasheed Wallace””

    LOL thanks for that AP, had kind of a crappy day at work and that quote cracked me up when I read it.

  21. Vanalope

    oh and hey Nat, you have a loss color boo boo next to the N.O. game from Sunday.

  22. KPrime

    Wrong move MC! AI should be the one to come off. You have better defensive matchups if you start Rip. As a defensive coach, I’m surprised. Amir should bring some energy back, which we desperately need at this point. We’re not getting it from our other starting big. I also feel bad for Rip, but hat’s off to him for making the true team sacrifice. Keep up the good work Natalie! Thanks for all you do!

  23. ..313..


  24. DK

    100% right decision. Stop DOGGING ON CURRY AND IVERSON. curry played small ball for so long because of the hamilton/iverson situation. Everybody needs to relax we are still 5th in the east and we have beaten all the top powers except for Boston( which was the case last year.)So we arent as bad as everybody is saying. The only real problem we are having other than the rotation is energy. And if you have been a real fan you would have been complaining about the same thing ever since Ben left. example the playoffs, we always just coast and it has costs us the last 4 years. to many game 7s. And when it comes to the hamilton/ iverson issue just look at the 5 game winning streak we had when hamilton was hurt and that should settle the debate. Stuckey and iverson are better suited for each other because they are 1 on 1 players who drive and kick, and with Amir out there only going to the rim to get tips and offensive boards fit perfect with iverson and stuckey. Hamilton is a good fit with Dyess and Aflac and maybe bynum because they are all pass first. So therefore hamilton should get the same amount of shots.

  25. Ripper32

    okay i dont care what anybody else thinks. but until this is fixed, i refuse to watch pistons basketball and even care for pistons basketball anymore. How can you bench your own capitain? from the looks of it, say goodbye to rip. if this lasts, rip wont. Hustons been asking for him for a long time now. rip wants to go, joe d doesnt have a choice

  26. Ripper32

    ps. if hes going to put amir in instead of rip, he’s gonna foul out b4 half time

  27. Amer ican Prince

    Dominic hahaha
    Rip “The toaster oven” Hamilton

    Th3 Answ3r
    You’re right. I wasn’t really talking about if the players were crybabies or not (though I think AI is better at handling the media than rip is. I was talking more about the perception of what people are going to see about the players. I don’t think AI is a crybaby (though his eyes always look watery for some reason) But sometimes the things he says are a little suspicious to me. He’s a warrior he plays through pain and everything I’m not knocking his toughness or nothing.

    Glad I could help Vanalope hope tomorrow is a better day for you at work

    andrew That is a good point about AI and Will Bynum, though I was kind of wondering just how much time Will was going to get in the new lineup.

  28. Th3 Answ3r

    Oh, okay Amer ican Prince :D.

  29. 4ever...

    Wow! After read all the comments, I am not surprised that a lot of them don’t like the idea that rip coming off bench.
    But, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more complainers, if AI was the one on the bench.

    This is a hard situation for both of them, no matter who sits. One of them is put on bench, doesn’t mean the one in the start line up automatically become a “crying baby”.
    I really don’t think if AI was the one coming off, he would refuse to play or break the team or whatever. Remember, he wants the championship more than anyone. And he treats every game as his last game. (Still remember he fell on his left knee very hard on the night against Hornet after a steal?)

    And indeed, how many those “piston lovers” really liked AI after the trade? I would say most of them have this thought in their mind once or twice: AI will not stay at piston next season. We just need him so we can get the salary cap benefit.
    Well, it is very possible that AI will leave piston, but it does not make him not part of piston team in the current season.
    I just want to say we should just wish the team good luck, hope the new lineup bring us more winnings, that is all!!

  30. ladyPiston

    What a slap in the face for Rip.

  31. KG

    Well its official im a fan of the fire curry club with him making this idiot decision. All the signs pointed towards AI off the bench. One he could relax and be himself and not have to fit into our game if he came off the bench. I really don’t see this working I really dont. Stuck works so much better with rip rather than AI. Somehow I smell Rip on his way out soon with this decision, because I don’t believe he is gunna be happy.

  32. Shaun


    he sucks at coaching!!!
    why the frick would he put rip on the bench
    i hate ai i hate ai i hate ai is the other chant!
    FORGET A.I. we love CHAUNCEY<3

  33. Ripper32


  34. Ripper32

    oh yeah…everybody should post something to Eli Zarett at tell him what you think. i let a lot out on him and asked that he’d get the message to curry but idk if it will actually happen…

  35. AIfan4life

    Great decision, now I hope bynum plays more too. He’s the only true pg this team has (did you see how quickly he racked up 4 assists, i believe all to rip, in the 2nd quarter last game). I know some of you pistons fans feel like AI should go to the bench because he’s the new guy and all the hard work and rips had with the pistons, but understand it is a business, an industry. and I and many idored AI in philly but sometimes you have to just move on, but if you think about it did he really deserve to be traded. i think rip will do well with the bench. he scored 12 points with them very quickly last game. do you realize he only had 1 basket the entire rest of the game, which was with both ai and stuckey in the line up. the bench deserve to play more, ai and tayshaun should be leading the way with about 35-38 mpg, and the rest should get a lot more balanced minutes, i’d like to see everyone play and contribute besides hermann and kwame if he’s sucking badly. and to those who thought ai to bench bc hamiltons a better defensive matchup 2, well it seems like it would make sense, but this teams defense was still pretty stout when rip was out for 6 games or so. the problem really has been on the offensive end, and hopefully these different rotations will eliminate any droughts and keep everyone fresher. plus we’ll have 2 bigs in at all times, the D is not gonna suffer with AI out there, he’s definetely improved(still tons of room for improvement, and thats what we’re going to need to contend for a championship). we’ve got the weapons, and alota good pieces. now lets just hope curry can figure out a way to use them correctly, and keep everyone happy and motivated and we should be right there in the end

  36. Sam

    I think this is a good decision no matter if it was A.I on the bench both are good and thank god small ball is dead…And I cant believe there so many A.I haters….I support A.I 100% and I wish he can come back cuz he really plays hard and gives his all…Just because rip is coming off the bench don’t mean he will not play he will play his minutes…and please don’t worry about the celtics or cavs…the top 3 will be tired by the playoffs no posey and PJ BROWN….Once the playoff come we will be better and ready to win… P.S look at the pistons bench compare to celtics are sixth man is RIP better then there starting guard Rondon and Allen lol..

  37. The Fan

    Why wasn’t Billups and McDyess Traded for somebody besides AI? Final verdict. Trade wasn’t bad… Who we traded for was.

  38. gMac

    Who gives a rat’s ass about which one of them comes off the bench. As long as we play some big guys to start.
    The BIGGER question – how is Curry going to finish up the game!!! We already saw the Thunders, out of all teams abuse AI with a bigger guard and forces MC to bench him in the last few minutes of the game.

    That’s still a huge problem. It’s like having Yao and Shaq on the same team, you just can’t play them both at the same time.

    We are fucked for the next season anyways. I say we just trade Rip before the deadline. Get some cash and draft picks. Let’s rebuild this team the right way.

  39. David

    Allow me to dream. AI should be traded, and it’s not because I dislike AI. Trade him for a strong defensive center or power forward. We have a lot of bigs in quantity, but the quality is lacking, due to age (Wallace and Dyess) and low basketball IQ (Amir and Kwame–An L.A. station gives out a daily Kwame award, which goes to the underachiever on any given day). Our backcourt is our strength. Afflalo should get 12 minutes a night at the 2, and 12 a night at the three.
    This is a lost year, but it should not cause anyone to jump the Pistons’ ship. Joe D will transform this team in the off season. Go Pistons! Win or lose!

  40. C-Quense

    BAD NEWS.Bench AI…
    I can’t believe that. Rip is our most important player for years.

  41. RIP CITY

    AI should have been benched, he would have had free reign with that second unit. But who cares? Unless the Pistons make it a close one in the Conference Finals, he wont be back. I still like our chances this year, though. Everyone is saying this is a lost year. Firing Curry or trading Rip isn’t the soloution here. Think about where the ’03-’04 Pistons were sitting right about now.

  42. blam


  43. Ripper32

    to all you dumbasses who think that it doesnt matter who sits down. imagine. you are the captain and you are asked to come off the bench.

  44. Chad

    Sweet, sweet victory.

    Let me taste your tears…

  45. Whatsittoya

    I am happy with Currys decision.GO OBAMA

  46. Walter5

    A.I. has to prove night in and night out that he deserves that starting spot.. he should be!
    Free Walter!!! Free Walter!!!

  47. DETstuckeyMVP

    Wow, good to see some real pistons fans out here. Look guys, when it comes down to it, some one had to go to the bench, thats a given, but in all reality, It had to be Rip. Most of you are acting like this is the end of the world. Come on, look at Manu, hes still and elite player, and a 6th man. You can be captain and come off the bench, its not like the basketball gods are going to come down and dimish the pistons. We all make sacrifices. Rip did the honorable, and smart, thing, and took one for the Team. Because in the End, its all for the greater good, an NBA championship!

    P.S. GO BAMA

  48. Iluvthisgame

    It’s not who starts that matters…it’s who finishes! Starting is nothing!

  49. mobius909

    finally, tay can get back to his sf ways.

  50. bobbysteels


    rip u suk!

    we need to trade him and his ridiculous mask for boozer=championship!

    stuck, ai, tay, booze, and sheed. no match in the east.

  51. aaron

    dont call it a bad decision unless you see how it goes guys… im a big rip fan but if it helps the team im all for it..

    JUST AN IDEA— but i know the raptors are trying to get rid of oneal.. and although he had that riot with the pistons a few years back, how would u all respond to seeing oneal and wallace unite again??

    maybe a 3 way trade with the rapters, miami, and detroit sending hermann to the raptors and johnson or brown to the heat… just and idea but i’d rather have a healthy oneal than a fresh off of surgery boozer haha

  52. Ryan

    Well if you want to here some more bad news. Then the Stoney and Wojo show from 1130 WDFN has been canceled. All the WDFN staff have been FIRED!

  53. Ripper32

    bobby, suck a bobula. boozer isnt shit

  54. Nate

    The sad truth is ego’s have overtaken the team concept with Detroit. AI or Rip on the bench will produce nothing but complaining, even if we’re winning because of it. If Rip takes advantage of this opportunity, to lead the second unit and run circles around the opposing team’s bench, he’ll contend with Ginobli and Gordon for the 6th man award. A decision was made, he’ll have to live with it. It’s not like he’s not getting paid millions to do it anyways. Put the ego’s aside and win! Win for the team, not for your place on it.

  55. Ariana

    I think it’s wrong. Rip has been on this team way longer then A.i. he thinks he can come on this team and be the boss.He think hes the shit but hes not. they made the wrong choice.

  56. Kian

    “I think it’s wrong. Rip has been on this team way longer then A.i. he thinks he can come on this team and be the boss.He think hes the shit but hes not. they made the wrong choice.”

    reading these kind of comments make me laugh and cry at the same time. what a bullshit. complete ********. it don’t matter how long he has been on the team. it just don’t. the only thing that matters is what makes this team succeed and therefore this is the ONLY right decision. i don’t say that because i think ai is better than rip (eventhough i think so), but ai honestly don’t get along as well with the second unit as rip does. and the ai/stuck combo is much more effective than the rip/stuck combo. it all makes so much sense.. and how can u say ai thinks he is the boss? did he make that decision? did he choose rip over himself for the bench. it wasn’t his decision. u guys really call urselfs pistons fans.. i don’t get this. even if a lot of u hate ai, take this on for the team! THE TEAM!

  57. Brian

    Hey Andrew. I completely agree with you on the fact that Hermann should be getting more minutes, but not for the reason of resting Prince for the playoffs. The way this team is playing right now, playoffs arent what we need to be worrying about. Prince has been one of the more consistent players.

    As for the move to put rip on the bench, im not to fond of it either. I hate the small ball, but I think a.i is the one that needs to be coming off of the bench. I think he would be much more effective. Not to mention that rip and stuckey have much more chemistry than do A.I. and stuckey.

    Lastly, screw amir. He is a nusiance to this team right now. Kwame should be the starting center every game, no questions asked.

  58. Alwayzreal

    This season is a wash……where is the loyalty?? The good old dayz are over at the palace. Here’s to rebuilding after Sheed,AI,Dice(freeagents) and Rip gets outta here this summer because basically they spit in his face and said f*** you by benching him…We don’t care that you been here longer,won a championship,been thru wars for us, franchise alltime playoff scorer….F U Rip and if you voice your opinion and don’t say the right thing to the media we will trade you in a heart beat which we already want to do by making this move just to disrespect you and have you come to me so I wouldn’t look like the bad guy here…
    Joe Dumars and Can’t Coach Curry

  59. Ratski

    Although it is a SMART call to have AI start (according to, I don’t LIKE the fact he’s starting over Rip. AI is one of those, what I like to call, “team stars”. He’s one of those players that is the only reason any team is good. Sort of like Kobe in LA, Ming in Houston, Garner for the Pacers, things like that. AI doesn’t belong on the Pistons, and I hate how the press is trying to make him the star of a team that HAS no star..

    That and Detroit belongs to Sheed, Prince, and Hamilton. Benching Rip is an ugly thing to do. It may be smart, but it’s pretty ugly.

    Now watch Rip score more than AI does

  60. Brian

    This is a bit comical. I see all these posts on the fact that people are pissed that rip is being benched. Nobody is pissed that he is being benched becuz he is a good player. Everyone is bitching that he is being benched over A.I. becuase rip has been there longer. Who gives a shit who has been there longer. It is all about who plays better. Granted I want rip to start as well, but not becuase he has been there longer but because he deserves the starting role. he compliments stuckey better than A.I. does.

  61. marc

    AI sucks.. that was a bad trade! AI is a Cancer of this team chemistry

  62. JAY220

    THIS IS THE DUMBEST MOVE I HAVE EVER SEEN WITH THE PISTONS. WHY WOULD YOU BRING RIP OFF THE BENCH? AI’s game is better suited for running with the second unit. He does play well with Stuckey, but I think Rip’s game necessitates a strong point guard being on the floor with him more so than Iverson’s. Plus, Iverson is a defensive liability since he’s so small. Most 2 guards can shoot right over the top of him like he isn’t even there. WHOEVER MADE THIS DECISION IS THE DUMBEST MAN IN AMERICA!!! ARE THEY TAKING ADVICE FROM THE LIONS!!!

  63. Johnny (#1 Stuckey fan)

    Everyone needs to STOP with the “AI should be coming off the bench” crap. Why would you put AI and Bynum in the same unit and be undersized that much? RIP was effective (as last game proved) with the second unit in there. He’s is taking it well, so should you all. Who was the one who carried us last game? Exactly… He might not do it every night but just remember this the Pistons are 10-3 when Iverson goes off for 20+ pts. Keep knockin him, that is what fueled his entire career people.

  64. N1ck

    Realize that the rebuilding has already started. Billups – AI trade is just the first step. You have to watch a bigger picture. Long term. This season is a victim of this. Hopefully the Pistons are soon to be no1 again.

  65. Jessiica

    Everyone should just stop complaiiniing about riip goiing to the bench and lets just watch the fiirst game that he starts on the bench and see how it goes then talk about it…everywhere I go to read about the piistons everyone is talkiing bad, sayiing that is not goiing to work or that is a dumb idea…seriiously lets watch a couple of games then start sayiing thiings…who knows i thiink thiis can actually maybe help us!!!!! Detroiit Basketballll!!!!!

  66. eralefe

    Its not about who is deserving to be bench but what lineup can give us wins, clearly we were good when rip was injured, now having him come off the bench makes us even better than during that run we had


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