Rip Hamilton benched since Jan. 10
NEWARK, N.J. -- The fallout from the blockbuster-that-wasn't continues for Richard Hamilton.
And if the Detroit Pistons' swingman still wants to be traded, he isn't making his wishes public.
"I just wanted closure to it," said Hamilton, benched Friday for the sixth straight game, an 89-74 loss to the New Jersey Nets. "With all the stuff going on ... I just wanted closure."
Hamilton was a key part in a three-team, multiplayer deal that would've sent him, Denver Nuggets superstar Carmelo Anthony and point guard Chauncey Billups to the Nets in exchange for a package of players and first-round draft picks.
But even after Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov nixed the deal Wednesday night, Hamilton has continued to sit. And he doesn't understand why.
It's kind of one of those things where you give a team your blood, sweat and tears for the last nine years, you never expect anything like that to happen, but it happened.” -- Pistons guard Richard Hamilton
"That's not my decision," Hamilton answered when asked if he wanted to be dealt somewhere else. "That's a question that you gotta ask [management] in [our] locker room, because I have no control. I can't just go in there and say 'I'm gonna trade myself.' I have no control over that."
Pistons coach John Kuester repeatedly has said that he's not been playing Hamilton because he's just been looking to change the rotation. Hamilton last played Jan. 10.
But the franchise is up for sale and dealing Hamilton as part of the proposed Nuggets-Nets trade would have resulted in a savings of more than $17 million for Detroit.
"I still haven't spoken to anybody about it," Hamilton said of his benching. "Just like the trade speculation, nobody told me what was going on. It's kind of one of those things where you give a team your blood, sweat and tears for the last nine years, you never expect anything like that to happen, but it happened."
Hamilton, who still has two years and $25 million remaining on his contract, said he's tried to be a professional throughout the tumultuous situation, which has left him without answers.
"With all the speculation and talk, it's one of those things where you wanted closure to the whole situation," Hamilton said. "It's different for me than everybody else's situation. I just said, you know what, try to be the best professional [you can be], do what I gotta do and just stay fit and working out.
"It was crazy to me because I wanted to play basketball. I wanted to perform. That's all I've been doing for as long as I've been in the NBA. It was just tough."
Asked if he wanted to play for the Nets, Hamilton responded, "I really can't answer that question."
Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com. Information from ESPN.com's Marc Stein was used in this report.
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