You didn't play last season. Why?
Richard Hamilton: Actually, It was the first time in my career I was a free agent… So it was good because it was my decision. It was an opportunity for me to be with my kids. You know, be around my family, let my body heal from playing basketball for the first time since I was 7!
Did you consider retirement?
RH: I did, I did, I did. At this stage of my life it's just like, 'Hey, I've done everything, I won a NBA championship, I won in college, I've been in the All-Star Game and I did everything'. So this is like an opportunity for me to say, 'You know what? Let me put my other priorities in perspective – like my family, be around them – and after a year I'll take a look at and see if I still want to play.'
What do you miss about basketball?
RH: Oh, man… The playoffs! I miss the playoffs, I miss my teammates, I miss being in a locker room with a great group of guys.
Can you tell us about your last year in Chicago?
RH: It was a great time there. I think that what hurt everybody was the injuries. That changed everything for me and other people there. But you know, my goal was to win a championship and unfortunately we had a lot of injuries.
What happened with Tom Thibodeau? There were rumors about your relationship with him.
RH: I mean, it was never a thing with our relationship. At the end of the season, I was hurt so I missed the last six weeks going into the playoffs, and he felt the group that he had going into the playoffs was the group that he wanted to stick with. So it's a situation I cannot deal with. You know, it was frustrating for me because that's why they brought me there.
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).
Have you thought about playing in China or Europe?
RH: I don't really think it's all about the money. At this stage is about if I still got gas on the tank or I can still get the opportunity to compete at high level. I still love the game and for me that's the big thing. When I was a kid I always said, 'Hey, I want to play in the NBA for as many years as I can and then play in Europe when I'm done.' That was always a dream of mine. And now it's here, but I don't know what decision I will make at this point.
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.
Would you like to coach?
RH: No (laughs). It's hard work for a guy like me. It's a lot of work for coaches. They spend a lot more time in a gym. They don't see their wives and kids. So me being a coach… No, I don't think so.