I knew he was a bright guy early, as in two days into training camp when Spencer Hawes was dropping concepts like Laissez Faire in the course of casual conversation.
Hawes continues to show that he's the heady sort, including a chat we had about the marketing aspect of his new career and how deliberate he plans to be when it comes to shaping his own image.
"Every time you get to do an appearance, you have to look at it like youíre investing in yourself, like youíre investing in your own image, and thatís a business in and of itself," said Hawes, who has a shoe deal with Adidas. "Now that youíre a professional athlete, youíre your own business, your own entity. Every day youíre trying to build that and make it more marketable, make it more successful on and off the court."
Of course, he's been doing that just fine on the court. He's embracing coach Reggie Theus' request to defend and rebound, feeling more confident every time out.
"Iím just trying to keep working, keep doing the extra stuff and keep making progress from day to day," he said. "I think Iím doing a pretty good job. Iíve never really been considered a defensive player, but I think I hold my own on that end."
As for the knee that was scoped in early October, here's the latest report from the young man himself.
"I think itís just a question of me trying to get back to 100 percent and integrate myself back in the team and get in the flow," he said. ""I think Iím getting there. Every day (the left knee) feels better. Some days will be a step back. Itís to the point now where Iím not thinking about it anymore. When I jump, I donít have to worry about it. I donít feel it when I jump.
"I think (my explosion) is coming back. I think if you watch, thatís usually the last thing to come back and it feels pretty good."
An interesting read from the Seattle PI on hoops life at the University of Washington without Spencer Hawes.
As a final note, Hawes did a nice job against Houston's Yao Ming on Saturday, but I wish we had a picture of them side by side. Not only is 7-foot-6 a long ways from Hawes' 7 feet of lenght, but the sheer girth of Yao never ceases to amaze me. As Hawes said, "one of his calves is like both of mine." You'll have to settle for this picture, which makes the Hulkish Ron Artest look like a Keebler Elf.
Photo by the Bee's Randy Pench.
- Sam Amick