Arriving at the Gala dinner
The entire Houston Rockets team has started all out practicing. Chuck Hayes said: “I have been training together with our team mates these 2 days, and I’ve a first hand experience of the abilities of Luis Scola. He has excellent footwork in the interior, and his shooting touch out from the 15-feet ranges is also great.”
photos from sohu.com and cimg2.163.com
HOUSTON — Tracy McGrady hit a home run for a local elementary school.
The Rockets’ seven-time All-Star hosted his third annual T-Mac Celebrity Softball Tournament on Saturday, raising nearly
$200,000 for the renovation of a reading and learning center at Kashmere Gardens Elementary School in Houston.
It was the largest amount of money that the Tracy McGrady Foundation has raised in the event’s three-year history.
McGrady invited several big-name guests to participate in the tournament, including teammates Aaron Brooks, Steve Francis, Chuck Hayes, Luther Head, Mike James, John Lucas III and Kirk Snyder.
Indiana’s Jermaine O’Neal, the Clippers’ Sam Cassell, Denver’s J.R. Smith, Miami’s James Posey, Boston’s Glen “Big Baby” Davis, former NBA star Nick Van Exel and model/actress Vida Guerra also participated in the charity softball tournament.
The Tracy McGrady Foundation began the charity weekend by raising $20,000 during an auction at a comedy show.
McGrady fetched $8,500 by auctioning off a Kid’s Clinic with himself, while the charity also raised an additional $3,000 for a date with Guerra.
The free agent power forward agreed to return to the Rockets on Friday, signing a multi-year deal with the team. Terms of the deal were not disclosed per team policy. The signing bolsters the team’s front court heading into next season, giving the Rockets a pair of power forwards under contract. Carl Landry, the team’s second round pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, remains unsigned.
“Chuck was a big part of our success last season,” Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said. “We are happy he will be part of our future for some time. His abilities to rebound and defend at an elite level are critical to winning.”
Hayes, a 6-foot-6 power forward, emerged as a starter last season thanks to his rebounding and scrappy play. Despite entering the league as an undrafted rookie, Hayes started 43 games and became a constant in the lineup next to Rockets star center Yao Ming. He averaged 5.6 points and 6.7 rebounds, finishing second on the team in rebounding.
Hayes is expected to compete for playing time with Luis Scola.
With the addition of Steve Francis to the Rockets roster, there are now a possible 21 players to choose from. (that is if Deke and Chuck are signed). Only Morey knows what options are available for trades so the Rockets fans are all asking, “Who will be on the team come October?” Mogrod at Clutchfans.net
I give you the PotterRockets!
I have been wanting to add a photo gallery to the site for some time. Over the past few years I have gathered heaps and heaps of Chuck photos that I can now share with everyone. Like I said in my “About” page, this is sort of an online fan scrapbook and like any fan I have “clipped” photos. Keep in mind, none of these photos are mine, I simply copied them from various sources. At the moment I have already uploaded 150+ and I am working to get the rest of them off my hard drive and into the gallery.
So if you haven’t checked it out yet, spend a little time perusing the pictures on http://gallery.chuckhayesfans.net
The following is the fourth in a series of weekly stories on Rockets.com examining the team, position by position. Next week: The Centers.
SEASON REVIEW: Who would have guessed that an undrafted and undersized power forward would emerge as a reliable starter for the Rockets during the 2006-07 season?
Chuck Hayes, a once seldom-used option who spent time in the NBA Developmental League, emerged as a regular starter during his second season in Houston.
Despite his 6-foot-6, 238-pound frame, Hayes used his relentless energy and glass work to play a key role in the Rockets’ 52-win season. The forward was the team’s best low-block defender and finished the season as the team’s second-leading rebounder with 6.7 boards per game. Hayes was an ideal fit in the starting lineup next to Yao Ming since he could help the center on the defensive end and add offensive rebounding.
Juwan Howard, who was recently traded to Minnesota, provided veteran leadership off the bench. He added scoring with his midrange jumper.
WHAT WENT RIGHT: Despite his not-so-imposing frame and limited shooting range, Hayes managed to become an important cog in the starting lineup. He started 43 games, collecting four double-doubles and pulling down double-digit rebounds in 13 games.
Besides taking on defensive assignments against bigger players over the course of the season, the forward consistently came up with key rebounds. He also made a ton of scrappy plays. Hayes might have made his biggest play of the season in the playoffs when he drew a charge from Utah’s Derek Fisher to lift the Rockets to a Game 5 victory.
On the offensive end, Hayes was successful finding open space when Yao was drawing double and triple teams. The forward also became an effective scoring option by running the pick-and-roll with Tracy McGrady.
Howard, meanwhile, provided a scoring lift off the bench and was a big reason why the Rockets were able to stay afloat when Yao missed almost two months with his leg injury.
WHAT WENT WRONG: The Rockets had a power forward that could attack the offensive glass and a power forward who could provide an offensive jolt.
Unfortunately, the Rockets didn’t have a power forward that could effectively did both.
Hayes contributed on the offensive end by finding openings under the basket, but he wasn’t a scoring threat outside of the paint. Since that was the case, most defenses played off the forward and focused their attention on Yao. Howard had more luck making defenses wary of his jumper. But he wasn’t as much of a threat on the offensive glass as Hayes.
Besides those issues, the Rockets had trouble matching up against some of the league’s more athletic frontlines because of their own size and quickness in that area.
OUTLOOK: Juwan Howard has a new home, but Chuck Hayes could be back in a Houston uniform next season.
Since the Rockets aren’t deep at power forward, Hayes, a free agent, could certainly return to a team where he’d get plenty of playing time. He does need to improve his offensive production by developing a midrange jumper, but his other intangibles are valuable.
Justin Reed, who came to the Rockets in the trade that sent Howard to Minnesota, can play some power forward. But he’s most comfortable in the small forward slot.