Richard Hamilton, waived by the Bulls last year, continues to count on Chicago’s books.
But he wants to be more than a cap hit.
The 36-year-old wants back in the NBA as a real live player.
Hamilton, in a Q&A with David Alarcon of HoopsHype:
What are your future plans? Do you see yourself playing again in the NBA?
RH: Yeah, yeah. I think for me, personally, I have to see how my body responds after the summer. I want to play another year and hopefully get an opportunity to play on a team with a chance to win a title.
Did you receive interest from NBA teams?
RH: This season? Yes, yes. I’ve had a couple calls from teams.
RH: Oh! I can’t tell you (laughs). I can’t tell you that, but there are opportunities for me… but I’m waiting for the right situation. Like my agent told me, I’m in the situation where I can actually pick where I want to go.
Early in the season you were reportedly on the Timberwolves’ radar. Was that true?
RH: Yeah, it’s true (laughs).
What type of contract are you looking for?
RH: I made a whole lot of money in my career. I’ve been truly blessed to financially be OK and I also got the opportunity to win at a high level. So for me is just the love of the game. Just get the opportunity to play.
Just 10 players have sat our a full season of professional basketball (in any league) and then returned to the NBA the following year at Hamilton’s age or older:
- Rasheed Wallace
- Mikki Moore
- Kevin Willis
- Dana Barros
- Olden Polynice
- Arvydas Sabonis
- Michael Jordan
- Michael Cage
- John Long
- Bob Cousy
That list might actually be shorter depending whether Olden Polynice signed with the Las Vegas Slam during the 2001-02 (I can’t verify, so I included him) or whether you consider John Long’s time with Magic Johnson’s All-Star team participating in a pro league.
But counting those 10, the average comeback lasted 31.5 games – and that’s skewed by Michael Jordan’s 142 games with the Wizards. That’s nearly as many as the other nine players combined, and only Jordan and Sabonis (78 games for the 2002-03 Trail Blazers) saw action in more than 32.
After sitting out a full season at his age, Hamilton faces long odds of returning to the NBA. His chances of actually contributing if he gets a contract are even slimmer.
But Hamilton has some experience to draw on. He saw first-hand the player who did it best.
Hamilton was Jordan’s teammate in Washington.