Monday, December 29, 2008

NBA Player's Minutes "Just Right"; Doesn't Want Any More Or Any Fewer

Detroit, MI (Dec. 29) - In a refreshing change from the whining typically engaged in by NBA players regarding the amount of minutes they play, Detroit Pistons guard Rip Hamilton says his amount of playing time is "just right" and doesn't want to play any less, or any more.

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it," Hamilton said after practice yesterday.

Hamilton averages 33:44, which he says couldn't be any better.

"If I play any more than 34 minutes, I get fatigued," the energetic Hamilton said, referring to his frenetic style of running through screens and moving without the ball. "But if I play less than 33 minutes, I don't feel like I'm in rhythm. So everything's just right."

Pistons coach Michael Curry said that when he took the job last July, he was informed of Hamilton's strict regimen and tiny window of optimum minutes.

Hamilton's minutes are right where they should be, and should never change, lest the All-Star guard convulse or collapse

"Oh yes, I was quite aware of it," Curry said after being informed of Hamilton's comments yesterday. "So we hired a special 'minutes coach' who keeps track of Rip's playing time."

The narrow margin of sixty seconds -- to ensure that Hamilton's minutes stay between 33:00 and 34:00 -- is still somewhat of a challenge, though.

Just last week, in a tight game against Oklahoma City, Curry had to pull Hamilton from the game in the middle of a fastbreak. A couple weeks prior to that, Hamilton was inserted into a blowout win over Washington with only 3.3 seconds remaining, to push his minutes played to 33:02.

"It's not always easy," Curry admitted, "but that's what Rip is comfortable at."

The last time the Pistons played Hamilton for longer than 34 minutes, in early December against the Knicks (he played 34:15), Hamilton went into convulsions and had to be removed during the next stoppage of play. In New Jersey earlier this season, Hamilton played just 32:21 and collapsed in the team shower afterward.

Curry says that he plans on playing Hamilton for 33:40 tonight against Orlando, "God willing."

Just in case, team doctors are standing by.

No comments: