Spencer Hawes

Catching Up With Spencer Hawes

Rowan Kavner

LOS ANGELES – Spencer Hawes was supposed to be the Clippers’ answer at backup center last year.

In theory, it made sense for the 7-1 jump-shooting big to come off the bench and stretch the floor, serving as a foil to what DeAndre Jordan could provide on pick-and-rolls with the starters.

“Sometimes, situations just don’t work out the way you draw it up on paper,” said Hawes, whose first trip to STAPLES Center this year came for the opposing team.

Hawes averaged 5.8 points and 3.5 rebounds in 17.5 minutes per game last season for the Clippers, his lowest totals all around since his rookie year. This summer, the Clippers traded Hawes and Matt Barnes to Charlotte for Lance Stephenson.

“It looked like a good fit,” Hawes said, “but it didn’t end up that way. That’s the nature of the business.”

The trade surprised Hawes, but he said it’s something he can’t take personally, despite leaving a city and people he liked.

Hawes became good friends with many of the Clippers in just a season.

“Obviously, we developed a friendship from last year,” Hawes said. “That’s the thing when it’s all said and done, you kind of take away from this, is the people you meet, the relationships you forge. Those are the things you remember.”

He said it was nice to catch up with those guys and see everyone in Los Angeles. One of the players he grew closest to was Jordan, someone Hawes knew before his time with the Clippers from years playing against each other.

When asked about Hawes, Jordan playfully joked about how much he hated him, the way friends will.

“No, I love Spence,” Jordan said. “He’s definitely missed around here. He was a great dude, and I hope he continues to play well for those guys.”

The trade led to Hawes’ third straight season in a new location. The center has to do his best to get comfortable with new surroundings, which he said is another adjustment.

“I’m trying to get in where I fit in,” Hawes said. “But finally my back is feeling better, so that’s nice and kind of hopefully be passed that. We’ve been struggling here lately, had a lot guys in and out of the lineup. Now, we’ve got some guys coming back and we’re playing the way we were playing earlier.”

Hawes wasn’t able to play in the Hornets’ first matchup against the Clippers this year in Charlotte because of his back. The competitor in him wanted to make his second and final chance of the season count against his former team.

“You’ve got a lot of pride when you go back and you play against your old teams, especially against a team that traded you away,” Hawes said.


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