Veteran guard Rip Hamilton and the Bulls are paying the price for his determination to play against his former Detroit Pistons teammates Wednesday. Hamilton aggravated his groin injury and didn't play Friday against the Orlando 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. [On Thursday], it was bothering me.''

Coach Tom Thibodeau made it clear he decided to play Hamilton against the Pistons 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.''

Derrick Rose, who played despite suffering a bruised left elbow against the Pistons, let it slip after the Bulls' shootaround that Hamilton wouldn't play against the Magic, even tough Thibodeau said his availability would be a game-time decision.

''It's going to hurt 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.''