Posted by: Kingsguru21 | February 24, 2010

Kings lose to Pistons 101-89; Hawes is benched in the process

The first part of the story is self explanatory. This team isn’t consistent, and while I don’t see much to really belabor the obvious on this one.

Hawes? Yeah, let’s belabor the obvious. He ticked Paul Westphal off. Why? The assumption is that the story the Bee ran on Tuesday morning set Paul Westphal off. This Bee Blog entry by Jason Jones cleared the story up somewhat. (Zach Harper also had a great fantasy story up at Cowbell Kingdom.)

Over the summer, Hawes skipped Summer League, and that only not made PW unhappy, but Geoff Petrie too.

There was a mis-understanding over the summer about Hawes not showing up, and essentially Hawes didn’t feel the great need to tell PW or Petrie. Apparently the flip side to that is PW feels the same way to Hawes about playing time. As the saying goes: What goes around comes around. Hawes got what’s comin’ to him.

I’m not saying it’s right. I’m not saying it’s the right move by PW. But there is a way to act and there isn’t a way to act. Apparently the way Hawes acted wasn’t appropriate. If May went to PW, then Hawes should have to. With regards to Tyreke, I’ll get to that in a moment. Hawes isn’t good enough to act like a primmadonna. Which is what he does sometimes. He acts petulant. Which is unfortunate, but it happens with 21 year old sometimes. (And 23 year olds in the case of Tyrus Thomas.)

With regards to Reke, I’ll say this. When you’re putting up 20-5-5 (or have during the season), you’re far more consistent. And, not to point out the obvious, but Reke is a star. He can get away with saying something about his coach every once in awhile if it’s in the good of the team. Hawes? He ain’t a star.

That being said, I think PW made a mistake in calling out Hawes. Not because it may not have worked (in terms of the benching motivating Hawes), but because I think he’s trying to push Hawes into being something on the court he really isn’t.

Listen to what Donte Greene said. I’ll say this: I know I’m not shocked by having PW’s back if only because this coaching staff showed more faith in him.

TZ just put out a piece about PW’s power within the organization. (I won’t even go there.)

Here is the thing. Anyone who calls Hawes temperamental wouldn’t be lying. But, so is JT and PW loves him unconditionally. Why? Tyreke Evans.

This whole episode is stupid, and I think a lot of it has to do with PW feeling that JT has more value. But, there is always a back end to these deals, and this may be it.

For days, I’ve been talking about Troy Murphy. The rumor that Amick put out was that the Pacers wanted a young piece plus an expiring contract. Let’s say the Kings wanted to give up a young player this summer because the mix needs to change. Sam Amick talks a bit about the upcoming summer on this RotoRadio show, (h/t to Zach Harper) and mentions that the Kings A) like Bosh and B) their Free Agency shot may start with David Lee.

If you’re the Kings, why would you want Lee when you can have Murphy for a season? Especially when Murphy has a year left on his deal that expires in 2011?

The point here is that if Hawes doesn’t ever pick it up, and he may not, there isn’t much risk in throwing him off the side of the boat. But if you don’t throw JT off the bus (while doing what you can to keep his value high), and you can get an improvement over JT in the trade market (like a Troy Murphy trade) or get a better player through the draft (always possible–I won’t bore you with my Derrick Favors thoughts), wouldn’t you have to consider that?

I know it seems crazy but the endgame of next summer already exists within management (and probably PW) and if you’re going to rip a player and show him for what he is, isn’t it easier that Spencer Hawes is the guy you rip publicly? JT isn’t well known nationally for his temper tantrums, and if you listen to Amick talk about the Kevin Martin trade on RotoRadio, he clearly says (again) that the decision to trade Kevin came about very close to the deadline. Amick also mentions that Rodriguez wasn’t all that happy in Sac because he felt he was being used to make Beno Udrih work a bit harder on the game. (I think this is right.)

Again, I think the possibility that Hawes shouldn’t have said anything if he didn’t want to piss the dragon off is a reasonable position. Hawes PT is decided by PW, and Hawes has little status within this organization like he once did. May went to PW and explained it to him. I suspect that Hawes didn’t, and that’s what got him benched. (Snarky? Yes. Inappropriate? Probably. Will it matter? Maybe.) Even then, Hawes is no longer the talented youngster who the organization can live with some unruly behavior from any longer.

Whether Paul Westphal is right or not, it’s incumbent for Spencer Hawes to become more consistent on a nightly basis. And he has to do that within the context of the team. Right or wrong, that’s the reality.

On the other hand, does it make sense that Spence would be consistently more of a low post guy when his talent is at the high post?

This may have been about communication, but the problem lay far deeper in the root of how PW believes what the cure will be to fix the ailing Baby Royals. I suspect that the personality of Spence along with his game are the real issue’s here. Which is unfortunate, but after the trading of Kevin Martin last week I can’t imagine why this would shock anyone in the Kings fanbase right now.


  1. Yes..I think that’s exactly right. You hit the nail on the head squarely, pookey, good post.

  2. […] I would say that for all the hand wringing about what PW did in sitting down Hawes, people are forgetting some important things about that incident. 1) Sean May went and talked to PW after the quote in the paper knowing that PW would (and did) take it as a question of how he went about doling out playing time. May went to PW and explained why he said what he did. 2) What Tyreke Evans said was true: How easy is it gain rhythm when players are in & out of the lineup? 3) Spencer Hawes didn’t (because he didn’t want to,didn’t think he had to, or didn’t get what he did wrong (any of the 3 apply) go to PW after his quotes and explain himself. To me the issue is moot at this juncture. Spence never showed himself to be anything other than what he is. I don’t think JT is any wonderful prize in comparison to Spence, but it’s hardly like Spence is perfect or hasn’t had problems with head coaches. […]

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