LOS ANGELES – Spencer Hawes made his return to the court last night for the first time since Dec. 12, getting 13 minutes of action.
The Clippers’ backup center is back from a knee injury and had some time Tuesday to hop on to The Beast 980, talking to Amy Bender and Steve Lyons about different topics.
One of the most interesting parts regarded his comments on team chemistry. A small portion of David Aldridge’s column yesterday on NBA.com included a quote from “someone who knows the team well” that the teammates don’t like each other.
Hawes talked on The Beast about how the team gets along.
“Any team over the course of any season, there’s going to be stuff like that,” Hawes said. “But as far as I’m concerned, this team, off the court, on the court, gets along with each other as well as any that I’ve been a part of. I think there’s a lot of competitive guys, a lot of guys that just want to win. Sometimes you see that side of it, but you don’t see the everyday of how we get along with one another.”
When asked if teammates need to get along to win, Hawes said it all depends on the situation.
“Winning obviously helps all that other stuff, but in our situation, guys on our team do get along,” Hawes said. “I think that’s part of what helps us continue to be successful.”
Hawes is still trying to get comfortable in his new role this season coming off the bench for a contender. He said it’s tough to get his rhythm and timing back playing a game for the first time in two and a half weeks with only one game of 3-on-3 practice to prepare him.
He also said it’s different trying to adjust and find his way, but he doesn’t blame team chemistry for anything. Hawes is grateful to be back, but even when he was out, he was raising spirits. One team executive said Hawes’ bold suit on Christmas helped boost team morale against the Warriors.
Hawes was asked if it’s tougher to stay together in basketball in other sports, being that there’s fewer players in the locker room, but he said that’s not the case.
“It’s hard for me to answer, because I’ve never really been a part of the other side of it, but I think it’s like anything else,” Hawes said. “You kind of form a bond. The big guys kind of stick together, the guards kind of have their thing. But I think like I said, it’s kind of a unique situation for me, the fact that across the board, whether it’s the veterans or the young guys, everybody kind of gets along and there’s a mutual respect.”