Rip Hamilton on Michael Jordan: ‘You Playing With the GOAT, He Pass the Ball, You Want to Knock It Down. You Just Don’t Want to Let Him Down’

Published 11/24/2021, 9:41 AM EST
Michael Jordan of the United States before the United States 97–49 win over China during the men’s Basketball competition on 29 July 1984 during the XXIII Olympic Summer Games at the The Forum in Inglewood, California, United States. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Allsport/Getty Images)


Playing with Michael Jordan can result in two kinds of feelings; either it inspires you to greater heights, or it is the most intimidating task in the world. Till 2003, the NBA revolved mainly around Jordan, and his stint with the Chicago Bulls is etched in league history. His record of winning two three-peats will perhaps never be broken. After the Bulls, MJ went over to Washington for few years, where he played alongside multiple talents, including Richard “RIP” Hamilton.

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43-year-old Hamilton had a 14 season career in the NBA. During this time, he was fortunate enough to play with Jordan, during his fading years. After 2002, he moved to Detroit, where he also won his only ring. But he has always stated that being Michael’s teammate was like a dream come true for him. After all, ‘His Airness’ was a 14-time All-star, and one of the league’s most respected and formidable guard-forwards ever. And Hamilton spoke about how Jordan pushed him towards achieving greater things.

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“RIP” Hamilton on how he was obligated to perform for Michael Jordan

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In his two seasons with the Wizards, Michael Jordan averaged around 21.5 points. On the other hand, Hamilton aged like fine wine, improving every year. A potent guard-forward himself, he amassed 20 points on average in the 2001-02 campaign. Although intimidating, playing alongside one of the sport’s greatest would’ve been an absolute privilege for him. In a recent interview, the 3-time All-star revealed how he riled himself on whenever he received a pass from Jordan, as he couldn’t afford to miss.

“It was the greatest experience of all time. I mean I was able to pick his brain each and every day. I’ve seen how he attacked the game. He was one of the guys that really validated my mid-range jump shot. In practice, working out with him; one day I’m guarding him, he takes two hard dribbles to the basket, pulls up and he’s like yo rip, master that, get that in your game. That’s the hardest play in the game to guard.” He went on to rubbish claims that Jordan has a negative impact. “You playing with the GOAT, he pass the ball, you want to knock it down. You just don’t wanna let him down.”

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It is fair to say that playing with Michael Jordan was one of RIP’s greatest experiences. With all the controversy surrounding him and Scottie Pippen, Hamilton’s kind words certainly come in support of the king himself. What do you think?

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

458 articles

Sankalp Harikrishnan is an NBA and Tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, football and table tennis. Sankalp idolises Roger Federer and Stephen Curry, and has an inherent love for statistics.

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