After his first practice as a Bull, Richard Hamilton was asked why his numbers dropped nearly to career lows as he brooded through a difficult last season with the Pistons.

"Twenty-five minutes a game," Hamilton said with a laugh.

Hamilton's Bulls debut featured more of the same as the veteran shooting guard logged only 23 minutes. However, instead of issues with then-Pistons coach John Kuester — who, coincidentally, sat on the Lakers bench as an assistant coach — foul trouble plagued Hamilton.

"The ref got me with two early calls," Hamilton said. "Anytime you play against Kobe (Bryant), he's crafty. I just tried to stay with it."

On a day the Bulls displayed the same theme, Hamilton hung around to post six points, three assists and two steals after taking a seat just 2 minutes, 52 seconds after tipoff.

"He got a tough whistle," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "Sometimes that's part of the game too, and you have to deal with that. I didn't think it affected him in a negative way.

"He's been through it. He tried to help in any way he could. Even when he's not scoring, he's helping us because he moves without the ball."