Richard Hamilton interview
It's 2008 NBA All-Star Weekend and Detroit Pistons shooting guard Richard Hamilton is on the East squad. Here's what Rip said to the media about his endurance, the weekend, trades to the West, the Celtics and more:
Q: The Celtics, good thing or bad thing for the Pistons?
Hamilton: It's a good thing. Any time you have good games, and you know, good rivals and things like that, you know, it's good for everybody.
Q: You're a guy who can run forever. Is that a genetic thing? Did you just run a lot as a kid?
Hamilton: Genetics, that's what my dad said. But I think it's definitely the way I take care of my body. You know, my dad always told me, what you put in is what you're going to get out of it. Never drank in my life, never smoked in my life. So just treating my body right.
Q: Do you do a lot of cardio work? Do you do more than the average guy?
Hamilton: I do a lot. I tell people when you see me on the basketball court, that's easy. The stuff I do in the off season, one thing I do is run with my dogs. I have two pitbulls that I run with. And if you know anything about a dog, you take them outside, they've been in the house all day, you take them outside first thing they want to do is take off. So I get out of the house and take off with them, and I run with them until they quit. If you know anything about dogs, they don't quit for a long time. So that tests my body on how good I am in shape.
Q: Are you starting to look forward to tomorrow or what?
Hamilton: Oh, I'm excited about it. Like I said, I've been trying to get in for the last couple of years. Now to have the opportunity to get in it, it's fun, it's exciting. Any time you can be part of the All Star weekend. You just want to go out there and have fun with it.
Q: Having two or three guys on the same team?
Hamilton: It's fun, man. I love it. Getting an opportunity to play with Chauncey to be in the All Star Game, it's a fun thing.
Q: So it's going to be all three guys play together.
Hamilton: Yeah, like I said, the great thing about it is all the success that you have on the court, now I get the opportunity to play in the All Star Game, it's a fun thing.
Q: Couple years ago you guys were behind. Then you three, four guys got on the floor, made a great comeback. Are you expecting that kind of stuff?
Hamilton: Like I said, when we all got an opportunity to get to play in the All Star Game, me, Ben, Chauncey and Rasheed, all at the same time was exciting. So now to get the opportunity. Ben's not with us anymore. But to have the opportunity with me, Chauns and me and Rasheed, it's a great thing.
Q: Big names are moving over to the Western Conference, are you thinking to yourself, "the more the merrier. Keep going?"
Hamilton: I love it. Especially when Shaq went to the West, you know. Like I said, teams are making moves on that side. As long as they keep going over there, you know, being in the East is a great thing.
Q: Yet, you guys are kind of slipping under the radar. Riding a win streak, playing terrific basketball right now. The thought process in the East is it's the Pistons, it's the Celtics, and it's everyone else. Do you guys guard against maybe a little overconfidence issue because you know perhaps the bottom end of the East is not as strong as the West?
Hamilton: We're never overconfident. I think we've been in situations where we won a championship. We've been in a situation where we lost a championship. We've been in a situation where we came short in the Eastern Conference Finals. So we know that we can't take anything for granted.
Q: How important is that? You mentioned that. There's a lot of teams making moves and a lot of teams they structure their teams. But you guys, the one consistent thing is the fact that you've all been together. How important is that year after year to go to battle with the same team?
Hamilton: It's very important. Because like I said, chemistry is everything. Doesn't matter who you have on your team, if the chemistry doesn't work, you can't win a championship. Our chemistry has been great. Like I said, we won a championship with it. I think right there we're right on the edge of winning another one. This year we've got more young guys that will help us bring a lot of energy, and help us get to where we're going to get to.
Q: And Maxiell is one of the many young players that infuse energy off the bench for this team. Do you look at your bench and say, this is different? This is different than it might have been years ago, because the young guys are really making contributions?
Hamilton: Oh, yeah. I think we all love it. I think the games that we lost two years ago is not because of talent, it was because of energy. People used to always say oh, you know, you try to play with a lot of energy, we would lose. We've got young guys on this team now that come off the bench and picks up right where the starters left off. I think that's a good thing for us.
Q: What were you thinking when the Celtics were making all these moves? When Garnett and Allen came to their team, and they had the so called "Big Three"? Were you thinking maybe this takes the spotlight off of us and puts it on them and we can do our thing?
Hamilton: We never thought about it, either or. We thought that Boston definitely got better with KG and Ray. So we knew that was going to be a challenge. But we never looked at it as anything else but. Now they're a tougher team than they were last year. A lot tougher team. So that was pretty much it.
Q: When you look across the way at the Western Conference, do you think to yourself a 50 win team might not make the playoffs in the West?
Hamilton: That's crazy. Unbelievable. When you look at Portland that had a great early start, and not even in the playoffs right now. The West has definitely been tough.