Posted: Jun 30, 2010 4:40 PM by Alan Cutler
Updated: Jun 30, 2010 4:41 PM
He's Chuck. The same Chuck Hayes True Blue Fans loved when he had Kentucky across his chest.
"I'm unselfish," says Hayes who is going to start his sixth season in the NBA with Houston.
"And I don't care who gets the glory as long as the team wins."
You haven't changed
"No, not at all."
Like fine wine, he gets better with age. But even the center-forward is surprised that no only is he number two on Houston's current roster when it comes to longevity, but even he's surprised he's last.
"Yeah. Yeah I have. Being undrafted and undersized like myself don't normally be in one location like myself, and I'm happy and I'm grateful that I am."
He's short, slow, can't jump, can't shoot, yet with smarts and toughness, Chuck Hayes has developed into a wonderful NBA player. There are some players who are still surprised the former UK star can guard and stop 7 footers.
"The older guys that I have been going against the past few years, they know. I think my respect from the other teams and coaches has definitely risen, but these younger guys who are coming into the league and see this undersized guy guarding them, they think it's easy. They find out it's not."
Chuck has one more year on his contract. He's like to finish his career with Houston. With age, he realizes it's time to adjust.
"Just conditioning. As you get older, your conditioning has to be up there with these young guys. I am going to have to work on my conditioning and be in shape."
"I'm getting old. 30 is right around the corner. I'm 27, 30 is around the corner."
Hayes was in Lexington playing golf with what he calls his brothers, former Cats Ravi Moss and Josh Carrier. They both had advice for him.
"He's not shy in every area except shooting," said a laughing Moss.
"Shoot the ball," says Josh Carrier.
"And I will," says Hayes who as a starter last season averaged 4.4 points a game.
"I will find a way to get the ball and get a bucket."
Hayes admits with a smile that his teammates don't want to pass him the ball.
"They figure I will do all the dirty work. That I can't score. But I will if I get a chance to shoot the ball."