Watch this video on YouTube.]]>
Link after the jump
Cowbell Kingdom Podcast Ep 25
“It’s really quite extraordinary what a professional world-class athlete can do. I mean, he practically broke the treadmill. He just kept right on walking as we went faster and steeper. And his physical capacity is outstanding, as you would expect for a professional athlete, and we just don’t think there’s any reason to be concerned about his heart. I think everybody in the sports area is concerned because of stories of Pistol Pete Maravich and the story of Reggie Lewis in Boston, and so there’s a certain cautionary approach that’s taken and that’s the right thing to do.”
“There’s something that you need to understand and that is that athletes do have hearts that are a little bit different. They’re bigger, they’re a bit thicker, they’re very powerful hearts. They appear on these scans somewhat different than the hearts of those of us that are your average kind of weekend athlete.”
Free agent Chuck Hayes, whose four-year deal with the Kings was voided after he failed the team’s physical, has been absolved of any heart issues by the renowned Cleveland Clinic, his agents said Thursday.
Hayes underwent “a full day of exhaustive testing and exams” Wednesday, directed by Dr. Steven Nissen, the chairman of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, according to a statement released by agent Calvin Andrews of BDA Sports. On Thursday morning, doctors informed Hayes that “he does not have a heart problem” and that “their recommendation is that he can continue to play basketball without any concerns,” the statement said.
“I am happy to say I have a healthy heart and have been cleared to play immediately,” Hayes said. “I look forward to getting back on the court as soon as possible.”
Hayes’ preference is to revisit the deal to play for Sacramento, according to a person familiar with his thinking. The Kings on Wednesday rescinded an offer to free-agent center Samuel Dalembert, but that decision is believed to have been independent of Hayes’ second opinion because it was made before the final results were known, a source said.
Kings GM Geoff Petrie did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Hayes’ updated medical condition. Petrie is said to have been distraught over Hayes’ initial diagnosis, calling it “one of the most heartbreaking moments of my professional or personal life.”
Hayes’ $21 million contract was the second deal voided due to the discovery of a heart condition during the NBA’s abbreviated free-agent signing period. Celtics restricted free agent Jeff Green signed a one-year, $9 million deal with Boston but had the deal voided when his physical turned up an aortic aneurysm requiring season-ending surgery.
Hayes, 28, averaged 7.9 points and 8.1 rebounds last season with the Rockets, who signed Dalembert Wednesday after the Kings rescinded their contract offer to him.
Quotes from the Kings after the jump
The excitement about signing Chuck Hayes for the Kings wasn’t just that Hayes would improve the team defense.
It was that Hayes could have signed elsewhere but chose Sacramento. For a franchise looking for some good news this offseason, Hayes choosing to be a King was a sign things might be turning for the better.
So the news that a heart abnormality would cause Hayes’ contract to be voided hit the team hard. Hayes is a likeable guy and had quickly won over coaches and teammates.
“We’re not going to be able to replace him,” said Kings president of basketball operations Geoff Petrie. “He was one of the best defensive frontcourt players in the league and a really unique player we thought would facilitate some offense. We’ll take a look at what we can do but it’s not going to be the same.”
The Kings new offense was designed to use Hayes and DeMarcus Cousins as passers. Hayes had already taken the lead as a vocal and physical force on defense.
“In just the short week that we’ve been practicing and having Chuck on the team, everybody has realized what an important, respected person he would’ve been on our team. He’s still important and respected, but not going to be able to be running up and down with the team.
It just makes you ask a lot of cosmic questions, because that’s one guy that gave everything he had, every second, for himself and for the team, and for others. And it’s just really devastating news that he won’t be able to be with us.
Our prayers are for Chuck and his family. Like I told the team, family and your personal integrity and your relationship with God and health are the only things that are more important than basketball. And, obviously, what he’s going through is more important than basketball.”
Chuck Hayes is a beast. I can see Kings fans falling in love with this guy from day one. He sets nasty picks (which Donté Greene learned the hard way) and he is the type of leader the Kings need desperately. Because of his height and weight, long time Kings fans are going to have flashbacks of Byron Houston. But don’t be fooled, Chuck Hayes can ball and according to Coach Westphal, he will start alongside Cousins when the season opens.
Full Day 1 Recap
I am sure that everyone in Kings-land is going to love him just like the last two (three if you count the former T-birds of the d-league) teams have loved him. I can’t wait to see him and Boogie in the same line up. Should be a blast. Though I’m not sure I like this comment by Cuz
DeMarcus Cousins on playing next to Chuck Hayes versus Samuel Dalembert: “They’re basically the same player – defensive minded. Chuck’s just shorter. They’re basically the same player, Chuck just can’t block shots but he stays in front better.”
The boy still has a lot to learn
SACRAMENTO, CALIF., Dec. 09, 2011 — The Sacramento Kings today signed free agent center/forward Chuck Hayes to a multi-year contract……according to Kings’ President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Chuck Hayes brings a tremendous amount of professionalism and competitive spirit to the team,” said Petrie. “He’s been a winner everywhere he’s been. I really look forward to watching him add to our team defensively, his ability to pass the ball, move the ball and be a real stabilizing force out on the court. We feel lucky to have him. We look forward to watching him play with all of his new teammates.”
Hayes, entering his seventh NBA season (all with Houston), averaged 7.9 points (.527 FGs, .662 FTs), 8.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game in 74 contests year for Rockets, of which he started 63. Known for his toughness and defensive prowess, he has amassed career averages of 4.4 points (.518 FGs, .603 FTs), 5.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game through 424 outings. Hayes has recorded career highs of 21 points versus Phoenix (3/14/2011), 18 rebounds versus Utah (4/7/2010), 11 assists versus Golden State (3/23/2011), five steals (twice) and three blocked shots at Chicago (12/22/07).
“I’m excited,” explained Hayes. “It’s going to feel weird at first because this is all new to me, but there was change that was needed and change that I’m accepting and I’m embracing it. I’m a fan of this team. I’ve watched a lot of their games and know a little bit about all of the players. I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully, we can jump out of the gate and create some chemistry really quick. Going into my seventh year, I bring experience and veteran leadership to this roster that is young at the core.”
Hayes, who prepped at nearby Modesto Christian, enjoyed a stellar four-year career at Kentucky (2001-2005) where he posted numbers that ranked him 35th in scoring (1,211 points), seventh in rebounding (910), ninth in blocks (128), eighth in steals (170) and 16th in assists (292) on the school’s all-time list. He was named “Mr. Basketball” in California and a Parade All-American as a senior in high school while leading Modesto Christian to the state championship game (played at ARCO Arena).
“Chuck is a player who knows how to help his team win basketball games,” said Kings’ head coach Paul Westphal. “It was paramount for us to add a player like Chuck who is a young veteran who can play defense and has experience winning. He’s a great ball-mover. In a lot of ways, he’s a point guard from the center position. I think his addition will help all of our young, scoring players get more shots. He knows how to do that and he knows how to defend and we just couldn’t be happier.”
Also the interview with Westphal today…
Looks like it’s going to be a UK starting front court for the Kings!]]>
Nice photo of Chuck and the other Free Agent signed by Sacramento today, Marcus Thorton posted on the Kings homepage]]>
Suggested numbers… ummm yeah I got nothing maybe 40 – can’t they just un-retire 44??
Here are some of the best of the tributes….
DieHard Rocket – Favorite player since the championship days by far. Guy was such a worker…look at how his offense improved around the basket last year. Sad day.
DaDakota – A self made man, and quality leader. A player I will cheer for when he is not playing the Rockets.
TheresTheDagger – If ever any player deserved to be entitled the heart and soul of the team, it was Chuck Hayes.
Johndoe804 – I will forever rock my Chuck Hayes jersey.
phantoman – by far the most likable and dependable rockets player… 4yr/21m you deserve it the rox underpaid you for too long.
moestavern19 – Was at the Warriors game when he got the triple double. Never cheered so hard for anything in my life. This one hurts.
htownrox1 – Saw his first triple double. Pure heart and passion. Goodbye Chuck.
Another Brother – To the biggest heart that this team has seen since Hakeem, you’ll be sorely missed.
daywalker02 – Good luck big fella, You will be missed PS: Try not to shut down any Rocket post players
davidio840 – Hayes put it all on the floor every game he played. The best 6’6 center ever to play in the NBA. You will be missed
durvasa – My favorite Rocket since the championship years. I thought, or hoped, he’d remain with the team for life. I still think there is a good chance we haven’t seen the last of Chuck Hayes as part of the Rockets organization.
rn_xw – Thank you Chuck, from those 10 day contracts to the charge you took on BRoy(which made him retire btw) and the 22 game winning streak and the defense on KG. You are a true Rocket and I hope one day you come back.
RocketsRed14 – Good luck chuck Hayes aka chuckwagon aka the Modesto mauler. Hope kings fans appreciate Hayes as much as us rockets fans did.
napalm_black – This is really sad. Chuck was one of the main reasons that I watched Rockets games even when I knew the team wouldn’t win. That guy is pure class, pure heart, pure hustle. He exemplified what we want Rockets basketball to be. He was a success story. Etc etc. It’s going to hurt watching him play with a bunch of scrubs on another team. Farewell, Chuckwagon. First fire, then wind, now earth, all gone. (Bullardism, hehe).
eric.81 – Keep working on that free throw stroke and mid-range jumper, big fella. Show everyone that you’re worth even more than $21 million. Enjoy the riches that you have truly earned. Your passion, leadership, and toughness will be missed. Keep on rollin’ Chuckwagon!
Here is a link to the full thread –
(I will try to add some more when I have a bit more time)]]>