At 36, Richard Hamilton wants to return next season


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.

Which 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.

PBT Extra: Who is coming out of the Eastern Conference?

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The Toronto Raptors will finish with the No. 1 seed and all the best metrics in the East, but they have a history of playoff flameouts. The Boston Celtics’ have been hit hard by injuries. And the Cleveland Cavaliers have LeBron James but also a dreadful defense, this is the most vulnerable a LeBron led team has been since he bolted Cleveland seven years ago.

So what team is coming out of the East?

We get into that in this latest PBT Extra. A poll on Twitter found most of you think the Cavaliers, but personally, I think the Raptors — who have been better defensively all season than the Cavs — may finally have their year.

LaMarcus Aldridge drops career-high 45 points, Spurs beat Jazz in OT

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SAN ANTONIO (AP) — LaMarcus Aldridge had a career-high 45 points, helping San Antonio overcome Donovan Mitchell‘s 35-point performance for Utah in the Spurs’ 124-120 overtime victory over the Jazz on Friday night.

The Spurs won their sixth straight and beat the Jazz for the first time in four meetings this season.

Utah’s 12-game road winning streak came to an end, but only after Mitchell had 14 points in the fourth quarter, including three 3-pointers in the final two minutes to force overtime.

San Antonio remained sixth in the Western Conference with the same record as fifth-place New Orleans, a half-game behind Oklahoma City for fourth. Utah remained eighth in the West.

After free throws by Spurs guards Manu Ginobili and Patty Mills and a dunk by Jazz center Rudy Gobert put San Antonio up 114-111, Mitchell drained his third 3-pointer of the fourth with 3.6 seconds remaining to force overtime.

Mills, who finished with 23 points, had six points in overtime as the Spurs capped an undefeated six-game homestand.

Aldridge averaged 32.2 points and 9.0 rebounds during the winning streak, including two double-doubles.

Aldridge scored 28 points in the first half on 12-for-16 shooting, including a 3-pointer.

Utah missed its first six shots and was 4 for 14 as San Antonio grabbed a 19-8 lead midway through the first quarter. Mitchell settled the Jazz, scoring six points to cut the Spurs lead to 29-21 heading into the second quarter.

Mitchell was 14-for-35 shooting while falling six points shy of his season-high.

Derrick Favors added 22 points for Utah and Ricky Rubio had 20.

Ginobili finished with 18 points for the Spurs.


Stephen Curry leaves game with knee injury


In his first night back from an ankle injury that forced him to miss six games, Stephen Curry limped off the court not to return after in third quarter Friday night after JaVale McGee fell into his knee.

He limped to the bench then eventually to the locker room after the injury.

The severity of the injury is not yet known and should become clear on Saturday after an MRI.

Curry scored 29 points and grabbed seven rebounds before being forced to leave the game, and the Warriors held on to win the game.

Obviously, if Curry is out heading into the playoffs, that changes the dynamic in the West, where the Houston Rockets were already right on the heels of the Warriors.

Pacers use late surge to beat Clippers, close in on playoffs

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Bojan Bogdanovic scored 28 points and the Indiana Pacers used a late 9-0 run to hold on for a 109-104 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night, putting them on the precipice of clinching a playoff spot.

The Pacers won for only the second time in five games but can clinch a playoff berth with one more win or a Detroit loss.

Los Angeles’ fading playoff aspirations were dealt another blow. The Clippers are now three games behind Utah for the final postseason spot in the Western Conference. Utah was playing later Friday.

Lou Williams led Los Angeles with 27 points and DeAndre Jordan finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds as the Clippers lost for the fifth time in six games.

They certainly had a chance to turn things around.

After the Clippers rallied from an 18-point deficit to take an 88-87 lead with 7:36 left in the fourth quarter, the teams traded the lead 10 times before Victor Oladipo made one of two free throws to leave it tied at 100 with 2:17 to play.

Bogdanovic broke the tie with a 12-footer and the Pacers followed that with seven straight points before Williams made a layup with 12 seconds left to end the run.

The Clippers were making shots early but couldn’t pull away from Indiana.

They led 28-27 after one and allowed Indiana to use a 9-2 spurt midway through the second quarter to erase a six-point deficit and take a 40-39 lead.

The Pacers scored the final five points of the half to break a 53-all tie and broke it open early in the third when Oladipo made his first three shots of the game, including two 3-pointers to make it 66-55.

Indiana then poured it on. Thaddeus Young‘s layup with 9:02 left in the third made it a 12-point game. Milos Teodosic‘s basket briefly halted the run, but the Pacers scored the next nine points to make it 75-57 with 6:19 to go.

Los Angeles closed the third quarter on a 12-5 run to get to 82-76.