He was a 26-year-old, awe-struck kid from suburban Philadelphia too giddy to fully grasp the magnitude of the moment.

When Richard "Rip" Hamilton approached his idol at midcourt following the decisive Game 6 of the 2004 Eastern Conference finals, he was at a loss for words. Fortunately, Hall of Famer Reggie Miller carried the conversation.

"He just told me, 'You know what? I'm passing the torch to you,' and it was just a crazy feeling," said Hamilton, whose Pistons were on their way to an NBA title. "I'm thinking to myself, 'You're Reggie Miller, and I'm a guy still trying to make a name for myself.'

"But once Reggie said that, I knew there was nothing that a team could do to stop us as a team or to stop me personally."