Richard Hamilton Interview
The Detroit Pistons, after being down 0-2 to the San Antonio Spurs in the 2005 NBA Finals, have won the last two games to tie the series. Every single game has been decided by 15 or more points. Here's Pistons shooting guard Richard Hamilton the day after Game 4 was played:
Q. Where do you guys get your resolve and resiliency to bounce back like you have this whole season?
Richard Hamilton: Like I said, with us, we always want to stick together. We're a team that loves each other on and off the court. We feel as though that we're going to win, we're going to win this thing together. If we're going to get out of tough times and things like that, we're going to get out of it together. We just stay connected, man. We've all got each other's back and things like that.
Q. They have been doubling Tayshaun and trying to get the ball out of his hands, what have you guys done defensively to counteract that?
Richard Hamilton: Well, I think the one thing that we try to do is get him in positions where, you know, he can make plays. A lot of times they try to double team him off the post and things like that, so sometimes get to the post a little bit quicker. Sometimes you have to face up a little bit more so you can see the defense and then actually back the guy down and things like that. I've been telling him certain things that I think he can do with facing his man up a little bit and backing him down and he's been watching tape and seeing different things he can do better.
Q. Are most of the doubles coming off Ben?
Richard Hamilton: Sometimes, yeah, they do. They try to, you know, make Ben into a scorer. They leave him open a lot and things like that but one thing Ben has been doing the last couple of games has really been making them pay for that.
(Phone ringing) Yeah, Rasheed, I'll call you back. (Laughter) He's a nut.
Q. We've heard a lot about how Rasheed's sense of humor is a big thing in your locker room, what does he give you specifically grief about?
Richard Hamilton: Man, he's crazy man. I say he's a big kid. Like I said, I don't think last year we win the Championship without Rasheed Wallace.
When he came to our team, he did so many great things for us, helping us out on the court and off the court. He's silly. He makes everybody laugh, man. When he's acting a certain way in front of y'all guys, we get him in the locker room and we just hammer him, like, what are you doing, man? So he's a silly type dude, man.
Q. Does he have a thing with you or with Chauncey, a thing they will get on you about?
Richard Hamilton: He always talking about, like with me, like where I'm from, Coatesville and he's from Philly, he always used to say man, like when I talk about him, man, you need to post up or something like that man, this guy's got your heart out there man. Man, you grew up watching me play, man, you know where I was from, you were from a smaller town than I was.
He's a silly dude man.
Q. Given your team's record in San Antonio the last few years, how imperative is it to win Game 5?
Richard Hamilton: It's important. Like I said, this is actually our last home game. So we look at it as a game that, you know, we want to give our fans something to go ahead and cheer about. We want to go out there and continue to feed off the energy that we've been giving them the last two games and that they have been giving us. It's important for us to go out there and try to win.
Q. How would you describe the relationship that Coach Brown has with his players?
Richard Hamilton: Oh, we have a great relationship with Coach. Like I said, when Coach came here, there was certain things he wanted everybody to change and things like that. It was tough at the beginning. As the season went on and we started winning and things like that, and he started understanding us and we started understanding him. It's been great ever since. The times that he was not out there and he had his little injury or whatever you want to call it, you know, we needed him out there. So when he came back out there, he got right back in the mix and we continued to win.
Q. Before Rasheed got here, back when he was in Portland or wherever and you maybe didn't know him as well, did you think any different of him? Did you think he was a flake when he was throwing his head bands and whatever?
Richard Hamilton: I always thought he was silly. He's a silly type guy, man. I knew 'Sheed, so it was nothing new. I never knew how great of a teammate he was, because a guy that you believe it one of the top power forwards in the game, he will believe that he demands the ball every time down the court because he can, if he wants to get that ball down the court. He's talented enough to get it down the court. But he's willing to sacrifice his game to win a championship.