home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


June 5, 2004

Richard Hamilton


Q. Everyone wants to know, how do you stop Shaquille O'Neal.

RICHARD HAMILTON: First of all, you kind of come out and you can't be scared. I think we've got a great core of guys, with Ben and Rasheed and Memo and guys that have all played in the League a long time and played against him a long time. I think they are all prepared to go up and step up to the challenge.

Q. Congratulations on your first NBA Finals, taking the hometown team there. How does it feel to not only be a guy that's played for an NCAA Championship but to have an opportunity for an NBA title?

RICHARD HAMILTON: It's crazy. Playing the National Championship, that's one of the greatest experiences that you can ever witness as a kid. Being in the NBA Finals is just as good, but it's much harder because you're playing against the best talent in the world night in and night out. It's the opportunity of a lifetime that you never expect to get here, but you know if you work hard enough, that you get here, you've just got to go out and take full advantage of it and that's what we are prepared to do.

Q. Give me one specific key on what you think will be the key to success for this series, other than playing the right way in general? What's one specific thing that you think you guys need to do?

RICHARD HAMILTON: Our defense. I think that's the one thing that we've stood up all year to do is come out and stop other teams. Now they have a lot of great players on their team but we know, there's five of them. If we defend and have each other's back, we should be in good shape.

Q. You sometimes get a little particular about things, where you are on the floor that, sort of thing, how would you classify the Staples Center as a shooting building, good, bad, how?

RICHARD HAMILTON: Oh, I love the Staples Center. I mean, I love playing in L.A. i think it's very open, a lot of lights. I've always said that it's a shooter's gymnasium, it's a shooter's court. I think it's a great place to play.

Q. Are you going to be okay with not seeing it until tomorrow, since you haven't seen it since November?

RICHARD HAMILTON: Yeah, like I said, any time that we come to L.A., we just played the Clippers or the Lakers, at the end it's very wide open. It's very bright. I think it's a good gym to play in.

Q. Who is the toughest defensive player you've gone against and where does Kobe rank in that regard?

RICHARD HAMILTON: I mean, I played against a lot of -- night in, night out you play against a tough defender, especially when you're a scorer. Kobe is definitely one of the great defenders in the League. He works so hard, he takes pride in taking a challenge, not just offensively but defensively. You know, he tries to bump you, tries to use his body and things like that. Just got to keep him moving, you can't let him get in contact with you and things like that.

Q. How is your game plan to go to play out against the Lakers that might be a little different than otherwise against the Pacers?

RICHARD HAMILTON: I think it's very different, in terms -- but in terms they are still the same because both teams are trying to win the NBA Finals. Going against the Lakers they have a great shot blocker in Shaquille O'Neal, and the Pacers had a great shot blocker in Jermaine O'Neal. They have great perimeter defense and the Pacers had the same with that, too. I think the Lakers are trying to get up and down and any team on the West that tries to get up and down, tries to get on the flow, tries to get on the brink. Pacers are more of a halfcourt team. Have to take one possession at a time and try to make it a slow game, so I think the Lakers are going to try to speed it up a little more.

Q. Can you talk about facing Kobe and your old friend from high school, and what that feels like going into the Finals?

RICHARD HAMILTON: It's fun. You love it, because we've been going at it since the ninth, tenth grade, playing on the same AAU, playing the McDonald's game together, and before I got to the league, you know, he was a person that I talked to and asked him about, you know, what the challenges are here, what I've got to do when I get here and how do I make a mark. You know, getting the opportunity to play against him, like we played in the Palestra together against each other, a championship and now get an opportunity for the whole world to see that. It's definitely fun. That just tells you how far both of us has come as players. I think we both are going to enjoy it.

Q. Can you tell me the influence you've seen on Joe Dumars putting together this team and this organization and how he has influenced you personally?

RICHARD HAMILTON: Joe has done a tremendous job. The thing about Joe is he knows the game. He knows basketball and he's not scared to take chances. The thing that he has done to this team in bringing me here, bringing Chauncey here, trading for Ben for Grant Hill and things like that, bringing in Coach Brown, he has a mind for this game. You know, he already has a vision in his head of knowing what he wants and what he expects from everybody on the floor. You know, I think he's been great. I don't think he gets enough credit that he deserves and I think he's done a tremendous job for us.

Q. On being on the same AAU team with Kobe, he mentioned you guys roomed together, at least at one point, any good anecdotes, any good memories of your time as teammates?

RICHARD HAMILTON: Oh, man, we had so many great times and great talks in the room before AAU games, and challenges. We used to be in the room sometimes and say -- I used to tell him, man, before practice we're going to go one-on-one so I can go at you. And he would tell me, Rip, you can't beat me and I would tell him, you can't beat me. We have a lot of stories. We was kids and when we was kids and love the game, we liked to challenge each other. I think we liked to push each other a whole lot, traveling together and playing on the same team. I learned so much from him, he probably learned some things off of me, but the things about it, we were just kids and we was having fun with it.

Q. Did you ever beat him in one-on-one?

RICHARD HAMILTON: We never finished. I think we stopped playing after the first point at the McDonald's game.

End of FastScripts...

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297