ORLANDO, Fla. --- Rip Hamilton and the Bulls are paying the price for the veteran guard's determination to play against his former Pistons teammates Wednesday night. Hamilton re-aggravated his groin injury and sat out Friday night's game against the Magic.
"When I went back to Detroit there was no way I was going to sit out that game," Hamilton said. "The adrenaline alone was like, 'You're good. It's OK.' I don't care who would tell me how hurt I was. I was playing regardless.
"It pulled during the game. I wrapped it up during the game and stuff like that. Yesterday it was bothering me."
Coach Tom Thibodeau wanted to make it clear that the decision to play Hamilton against his former teammates was made because he thought Hamilton was healthy not because Hamilton wanted to play in the city where he starred for nine seasons and won an NBA title in 2004.
"He was feeling better so we thought he was better," Thibodeau said. "That's why he played."
While Derrick Rose acknowledged that he wouldn't fully disclose how much his bruised left elbow was bothering him, he did let it slip that Hamilton wouldn't play against the Magic after the team's shootaround, even tough Thibodeau said Hamilton's availability would be a game-time decision.
"It's going to hurt us when you lose a player like that but we're ready for anything," Rose said. "We've got other guys on the team ready to step in and play. We'll definitely miss him."
Hamilton injured his left groin against the Clippers on Dec. 30 and missed two games before returning and registering 14 points and five assists against Detroit.