(WTNH)–Richard Hamilton already has his name in the “Huskies of Honor” at Gamel Pavilion. Now, his jersey number will be hanging in the rafters in Detroit, too.
The Pistons announced Friday that they will retire Hamilton’s No. 32 in a ceremony on February 26, when the team hosts the Boston Celtics.
The 38-year-old spent nine seasons in Detroit and was a key member of the 2004 NBA championship team. (He was also a key member of UConn’s 1999 championship team).
Rip, along with Chauncey Billups, Ben Wallace, Rasheed Wallace and Tayshaun Prince, led the Pistons to six straight Eastern Conference Finals appearances from 2002-08.
Detroit reached the NBA Finals twice in that span, upending the heavily-favored Lakers in five games in ’04 before bowing to the San Antonio Spurs in seven games the next year.
Hamilton averaged 18.2 points and 3.9 assists per game during his time in Detroit. He was a three-time All-Star, and he’ll be remembered for his relentlessness running off screens, his silky-smooth jump shot and the clear plastic facemask that he wore every game after breaking his nose for the second time in 2004.
“Detroit is where I celebrated the greatest achievements in my pro basketball career, and to be recognized by the organization in this way, I’m honored,” Hamilton said in a press release. “I look forward to sharing this experience with all the fans who supported me throughout my years as a Piston and look forward to celebrating in the Palace one final time. Yes, sir.”
“Rip’s numbers speak for themselves,” said Pistons owner Tom Gores. “He was a top performer year in and year out, from the regular season through the playoffs and especially during the championship run of 2004. He was relentless on the court and equally passionate about his teammates and the community. We are excited to honor his success.”