Have you ever wondered if Derrick Rose’s teammates blame Tom Thibodeau for the former NBA MVP’s torn ACL? At least one holds Thibs responsible for the decision that altered one of the most promising careers and young NBA cores in the past 20 years. I spoke with former Detroit Pistons great and Chicago Bulls guard Richard “Rip” Hamilton.
The former NBA champion, who was on that team, didn’t hold back with his critique of Thibodeau’s decision to have Rose and other Bulls starters Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, and Carlos Boozer on the floor with just 1:10 left in a playoff game Chicago had in control. I asked Rip a question about the decision to have Rose and the other starters in the game.
To be honest with you, he shouldn’t have been in the game. He shouldn’t. I mean, when you look at it right, and especially you know, I won in Detroit right, and we always understood if we do our job in the first three quarters. We can rest because we all know that in order to win a championship, you got to be healthy; you got to be prepared, and you got to try to get as much rest as possible. That’s number one especially when you were number one seed. If we put Philly out the game early, it’s time to bring guys to the bench. So I do believe that Derrick should have been on the bench at that time. Why? Why? Why is he in the game? I mean, I was scratching my head just like everybody else in the city of Chicago. There’s no reason why none of them guys should have been in the game. Because when you looked at our team, just looked at our team, we had a great bench too. So there’s no is no way Derrick should have been on the floor.
Take a look at the entire interview here. This segment begins at the 10:20 mark:
Rip ‘Surprised’ Thibs Doesn’t Get More Flack
Hamilton also mentioned, he’s surprised Thibs, the current New York Knicks head coach doesn’t get more flack for his decision to have Rose on the floor.
Rose had missed 27 of 66 regular season games that season with a variety of lower-body injuries. Many saw Rose’s injury as inevitable, so it stands to reason, why didn’t Thibs look at it that way and protect his star and reigning MVP?
Clearly, Rose hasn’t held this against Thibs. He has chosen to play for him on two more occasions (once in Minnesota and currently with the Knicks). Still, it’s hard not to imagine how that decision and the events that followed shaped Rose’s career, life and the future of the Bulls organization.
Is Richard Hamilton a HOFer?
During the interview, I spoke with Hamilton about his chances of making the Hall of Fame. Hamilton made it clear, while gaining enshrinement would be nice, he already exceeded his athletic goals by making it to the NBA, playing with Michael Jordan and winning an NBA championship.
According to Hamilton, when former teammate Ben Wallace was inducted into the Hall of Fame, he felt like he and the other members of the Pistons 2004 championship team made it in as well.
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