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Former Piston Rip Hamilton: 'The game is fun for me again' - Detroit Free Press

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Former Piston Rip Hamilton: 'The game is fun for me again' - Detroit Free Press
Apr 16th 2012, 06:00

Once again Rip Hamilton finds himself atop the Eastern Conference standings, but this time it's with the Chicago Bulls instead of the Pistons.

Having rebounded from a sprained right shoulder injury, a sore left groin and a sore right groin, the 34-year-old shooting guard is rounding himself into shape for a playoff run with the Bulls after playing in just 22 of the Bulls' 60 games as his teammates have compiled the best record in the NBA.

Hamilton, who spent nine seasons with the Pistons, had 20 points Tuesday against New York and seven Thursday against Miami.

He scored 13 in 21 minutes in the Bulls' 100-94 overtime win over Detroit on Sunday. "It has been fun, and the game is fun for me again," he said before the game at the Palace.

"We're good. Coach T (Tom Thibodeau) has done a good job of getting us prepared, and it's really like we have two starting fives. The guys off the bench come in and they're ready.

"They're allowing me to go out and get a rhythm, and with eight or nine games left in the regular season they know we still have a lot of basketball left, so it's allowing me to get my groove back."

Hamilton said like his 2004 championship teammates, the players all get along and stopped the comparisons there.

"We all complement each other, and we all like each other," he said. "It has been fun. I've never been a guy that had to dominate the ball. So I just move and come off screens, and I think they were surprised at how well I pass the ball. They appreciate that."

Hamilton will play in career playoff game No. 121 when the Bulls start their title run. Hamilton's other 120 playoff games were all with the Pistons.

"It is weird how time flies," he said. "When you're with an organization for so long and then you go to another team you realize how long you've been in the league and how many games you've played. I realize I've been around for a long time (12 seasons) and to have played in as many games as I've played I've been lucky."

Contact Perry A. Farrell: 313-222-2555 or pafarrell@freepress.com.

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