Spencer Hawes: "Sacramento was probably the best situation for me"
You had 19 points and seven rebounds in your summer league debut, a 73-47 win over the Chinese National team. What was it like for you?
Spencer Hawes: I was a little bit nervous going into it. But once you get in there and tip it off you realize you are playing basketball, it’s just at a higher level.
On the negative side, you had seven turnovers and seven personal fouls (10-foul limit), so do you have to take the good with the bad?
SH: I think I had a couple more turnovers than I liked and I have to attribute it to that. I have to slow down and not think so much. As for the fouls, it shows I have to adjust to the way they are calling the game. I will take all 10 of them.
SH: It was fun. I never went head to head against him. It was a good challenge. He’s extremely talented and a great player.
Your new coach Reggie Theus was watching the game. Did that make you nervous?
SH: A little bit. You want to leave a good first impression for him and get off on the right foot.
You went from finishing your college exams to going on pre-draft workouts to getting selected 10th overall by Sacramento. How has the adjustment been?
SH: It’s been tough but at the same time it prepares you well for what is to come. All the travel in the workouts, not sleeping at home, not getting that much rest, it prepares you for what life is going to be like on the road and in the league.
How excited are you to be a member of the Kings?
SH: I’m really excited. When I got drafted, I thought it was probably the best situation for me individually, especially in terms of developing and getting better and contributing. I think it’s a great fit and I can’t wait to continue playing.
As a bonus, you get to stay on the West coast. How do you feel about that?
SH: It’s nice to be a little bit closer to home. My mom and dad may be the most excited about that so it has its rewards definitely.
You had five individual pre-draft workouts for four teams. How tiring and stressful was it going through that?
SH: I don’t think it was all that stressful. When you're on the road that much and going from city to city and you really don’t know what you are going to do and how it’s going to go when you get there. I think that wears on you the most, just being on the road and not knowing what to expect as much as anything.
It seems that your versatility is your biggest selling point. Do you see it that way?
SH: I think my strength is my back-to-the-basket game and what I can do on the interior, but the way the game has changed you have to be athletic and have to be able to step out on the perimeter and I think that kind of versatility is something I’ve been working on and hopefully it will continue to pay off.
While you say you are enjoying being part of the Kings’ summer league team, how much are you looking forward to teaming up with the veterans in training camp?
SH: It will be great. I have a lot to learn from them and pick up anything I can from those veterans with all their experience.
Could your game be better suited for the NBA than it was in college?
SH: I don’t know about that that. The way teams can’t double as much will definitely benefit me. It will give me a little bit more space to operate to pass and score, that aspect of the game definitely will be beneficial.
Have you set any goals about playing time as a rookie?
SH: My goal is to help the team win. That is on coach how he wants me to contribute, but I will do whatever they ask.
How much did your one season of college basketball at the University of Washington help you?
SH: I think it was immeasurable how much it helped me on and off the court, getting bigger, getting stronger, refining parts of my game, being a year older, being able to grow up and being able to mature helped me out a lot.
Between now and training camp what is it you want to work on most?
SH: Hit the weights. That is the biggest thing. Get in the weight room and try to put on as much good weight as I can.
Marc Narducci covers the NBA for the Philadelphia Inquirer and is a regular contributor to HoopsHype.com
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