As A Sea of Blue said… I guess his heart was just too big.
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.”