Richard Hamilton, popularly called “Rip”, is a professional basketball player who plays as a switch man by doubling up as a shooting guard as well as a small forward. Hamilton went to the University of Connecticut for four years and in his senior year, led the team to an incredible NCAA championship title in 1999. His run carried the team along and also won him the Most Outstanding Player for the tournament.
Hamilton appeared in the 1999 NBA Draft and was the 7th overall pick by the Washington Wizards. He signed a 3-year contract with the team and was a regular fixture in the lineups. In his first year at the Wizards, Hamilton picked up 71 appearances of which he started only 12. Playing just 19.3 minutes per game, Hamilton notched up 9.0 points per game.
The following season, he started 42 of his 78 games and raised his scoring average to 18.1 points per game. Things were looking up for Hamilton as he was slowly becoming one of the star players for the Wizards and began starting almost all games for the team. In 2001-02, his third season at Washington, Hamilton was brilliant, scoring at 20 points per game with 3.4 rebounds in 57 starts of 63 appearances.
Hamilton was valuable enough to the Detroit Pistons, who traded him in the following season, that they got Hamilton, Bobby Simmons and Hubert Davis in exchange for Jerry Stackhouse, Brian Cardinal and Ratko Varda. Hamilton has been at Detroit since the 2002-03 season and started off his ride towards becoming one of the best shooting guards in the country.
Starting all 82 games in his first season with the Pistons, Hamilton was scoring at 19.7 points per game. In 2003-04, Hamilton broke his nose 3 times and was required to wear a protective face mask to play. Soon, the mask stuck and even when not playing with the injury, he was known to wear the mask, which Hamilton equated to “Superman’s Cape”.