“I’m coming to do whatever the coach and the organization want me to do. If they want me to come in and play 20 minutes, I’m going to do that. If they want me to play 30 I’ll do that.
“Whatever the team needs, whatever the team needs, man, because the biggest thing I want is to win a world championship. I won it once, had an opportunity to win it again and didn’t. Now it’s the opportunity to feel good that you have a chance again. I’m excited.”
My take: This is the attitude Hamilton has to have for things to work out. If he’s being sincere, it’s a good sign and shows that the ugliness of last season — specifically his feud with the Pistons coaching staff — is behind him. It helps that, unlike the last few seasons in Detroit, Rip has a chance to be on a winning team again.
“I love the game of basketball. I think I can help this team in so many different ways, and I’m excited about it. They’ve got a great group of guys. Today, in the first day of practice, they really showed me they want to be out here. It wasn’t a thing where we all came out and showed up and everybody went through the motions. When the clock turned 10, 11 o’clock, they were ready to go. I liked it. I liked it a lot.”
My take: Welcome to Chicago, Rip. That attitude is what makes this team great. Everybody on this team, players one through 12, care. They really do. It’s rare. And special. If anything can bring the best out of Hamilton, it’s that attitude.
“I knew, my goodness, since I was 24, 25 and coach Larry Brown coached me, he really stressed defense. That’s how we won a world championship in Detroit. He really didn’t care about the offense. We knew we could shut teams down and in certain games your shot wasn’t going to fall and things like that, but you can’t let a team beat you by hustle and defense.”
You can’t see it, but I’m nodding vigorously.
The Bulls were already a great defensive team that, nine times out of 10, wins the hustle battle. If Rip can help improve the offense, this team will be scary good.