Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

December 19, 2011
Westphal, Kings regroup and move on without Hayes

Kings coach Paul Westphal was asked after practice to address the voiding of Chuck Hayes' contract subsequent to Hayes failing a physical exam. Here's Westphal's response:

"In just the short week that we've been practicing and having Chuck on the team, everybody has realized what an important, respected person he would've been on our team. He's still important and respected, but not going to be able to be running up and down with the team. It just makes you ask a lot of cosmic questions, because that's one guy that gave everything he had, every second, for himself and for the team, and for others. And it's just really devastating news that he won't be able to be with us. Our prayers are for Chuck and his family. Like I told the team, family and your personal integrity and your relationship with God and health are the only things that are more important than basketball. And, obviously, what he's going through is more important than basketball."

The team released a statement from Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie on Monday afternoon announcing that Hayes had failed his physical and his contract had been voided. It was announced late last week that an echo stress test revealed Hayes had a heart abnormality, and he had undergone further testing prior to the announcement Monday.

Westphal said he waited to tell the team about Hayes until after practice. Players and coaches left the practice floor for a meeting that lasted a few minutes. Some re-emerged afterward for extra work.

"This league, you know, whatever hits you, you have to move on," Westphal said. "I thought that the best way for us to move on was to tell them after practice."

Westphal said the loss of Hayes likely puts J.J. Hickson in a starting role.

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