Teammate Reggie Jackson said he was planning to head to Toronto to support Drummond in tonight’s game. “He definitely deserves to be an All-Star,” Jackson said. “I’m going to be cheering for him, rooting for him. It’s been too long, so happy to have a representative here in Detroit. Our success and turnaround has been heavily on his shoulders. “We’re appreciative of everything he does, night in and night out. I’m still disappointed he wasn’t voted a starter, but at least we have a representative.”
Storyline: All-Star Selections
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No date has been set, but Hamilton will be the next Piston from the 2004 NBA title team to have his jersey retired, a person with firsthand knowledge of the organization’s thinking told the Free Press on Wednesday night. It’s probably too late this season to plan such an event, but it’s quite apparent the bridges Hamilton burned when he was paid not to play for the Pistons after the NBA labor lockout in 2011 have been repaired. Billups campaigned for it. “Rip has to be next,” Billups said during a news conference before the game. “I would love for him to be next week, next month. Rip Hamilton holds so many records here. He had a long run here. He did a lot of great things in the community here. I’m looking forward to that day.”
Besides, Hamilton said he has the only honor that matters — a championship banner that hangs in the Palace. “My jersey is up there,” he said. “That’s from winning that championship. That banner. That’s what we played for. As a kid, you grow up, watching the NBA, you grow to say, ‘You know what? I want to win a championship.’ “You don’t grow up saying, ‘You know what? I want my jersey retired,’ because it’s so far-fetched. And winning a championship is so far-fetched. But when you can win something like that, with a group of guys, that’s a special feeling.”