Rip Hamilton to have Pistons No. 32 jersey retired

Rod Beard
The Detroit News

Auburn Hills — Another member of the Pistons’ 2004 championship team is going to have his number 32 retired.

Richard “Rip” Hamilton, the shooting guard who spent nine seasons with the Pistons will be honored at a ceremony on Sunday, Feb. 26 at The Palace, at halftime of the game against the Boston Celtics.

Hamilton is the third member of the “Goin’ to Work” championship team in 2004 to have his jersey retired, joining Chauncey Billups and Ben Wallace, who were honored last season. The Pistons are in their last season at The Palace before moving to downtown Detroit to play at Little Caesars Arena.

“Our franchise has a great legacy and it’s important to recognize the players who made our organization successful both on and off the court,” Pistons owner Tom Gores said in a statement. “Rip’s numbers speak for themselves. He was a top performer year in and year out, from the regular season through the playoffs and especially during the championship run of 2004.

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“He was relentless on the court and equally passionate about his teammates and the community. We are excited to honor his success.”

Hamilton, 38, had a 14-year NBA career, with three seasons in Washington before coming to the Pistons in 2002 in a six-player trade that included Jerry Stackhouse. With the Pistons, Hamilton averaged 18.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists, leading the team in scoring in eight of his nine seasons.

During his heyday, Hamilton was regarded as one of the most unique shooters in the league, because of his midrange jump shots and constant motion. He was the spark that led the Pistons to six straight trips to the Eastern Conference finals and back-to-back appearances in the NBA Finals, including the title in 2004 and was a three-time All-Star.

“Detroit is where I celebrated the greatest achievements in my pro basketball career and to be recognized by the organization in this way, I’m honored,” Hamilton said. “I look forward to sharing this experience with all the fans who supported me throughout my years as a Piston and look forward to celebrating in The Palace one final time. Yessirr.”

Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard