It didn’t take much for Hughes to make Bulls fans and Chicago media realized what they’ve got in this trade.
The Chicago Sun-Times columnist, Carol Slezak, writes:
“Just when you thought the season couldn’t get any worse, the Bulls hit have hit a new low. As if the weekend losses to the Wizards and Cavaliers weren’t bad enough, newcomer Larry Hughes decided to elaborate on his time in Cleveland. I wish he hadn’t.”
Carol is refering to Hughes comment to Lisa Salter before the game Sunday at the Q.
“Say what you will about Ben Wallace, whose contract essentially was swapped for Hughes’ contract, but at least the big guy cared about winning. At least he was proud of his championship ring. In Hughes, the Bulls have a $12 million-a-year player who couldn’t care less about winning. In fact, winning made Hughes unhappy.”
Hughes on his bad shot selection:
Lebron James called Hughes a “high-volume shooter” following the Cavaliers’ win on Sunday.
“I don’t know what that meant or the context around it,” Hughes said with a laugh Monday at the Berto Center. “But I shot 20 times and he shot 29. And I played more minutes.”
Hughes also respnded to the bad shot selection during his time in Cleveland:
“I think I definitely forced some shots because I wasn’t getting an opportunity to get easy shots,” he said. “When there are not any plays run for you, you tend to force some things to get yourself going. I definitely think I tried to force the issue to get going and make them see that I can score.”
Lisa Salter from ABC interviewed Larry Hughes before the game. This is what Larry said:
“I play to enjoy myself, some people take this the wrong way, but winning a championship is not what I base everything on. I was given an opportunity to play basketball, travel around and have fun doing it and that’s what I want to do. I wouldn’t take being unhappy and not being myself and winning.
I would rather enjoy myself with 18,000-20,000 people watching the game and the people sending fan mail and those things and be happy…I didn’t come here to play the point guard, that’s just it. I came here to run the wing, just like he was running the other wing. I was asked to sacrifice for the team to win and for everybody, I guess, get paid. That is what was told to me and I wasn’t happy with that.”
That is an interesting quote from Larry. You can interpret his quote many different ways. But to my understanding, NBA players get paid to win games not to have fun. Fans come to watch their team win not to watch you Larry have fun playing basketball and making more than most fans make in their life time.
Also, Brian Windhorst brought up a good point on his blog:
“Larry earned $4 million in bonuses over the last two years because the Cavs hit win targets in his contract. The more the team won, the more he did get paid.”
Let’s not forget that he earned that money while sitting on the bench recovering from his numerous injuries.
“in the playoff run last season, even before he got hurt, I didn’t get the sense that he was happy. I never saw that joy from him, so I think this is probably more than just lip service, I think he really means it.” Brian said.
At literally the last minute before the trade deadline, Cleveland General Manager Danny Ferry decided to get rid of half of his active roster, shipping out Larry Hughes, Drew Gooden, Donyell Marshall, Ira Newble, Shannon Brown and Cedric Simmons in a three way trade with Chicago and Seattle that brought Ben Wallace, Joe Smith, Wally Szczerbiak and Delonte West to Cleveland. Normally, a team that wins a conference championship does not make such a huge trade midway through the next season; teams need a certain amount of time to develop enough continuity to perform well in the playoffs. However, the majority of the contending teams have made significant offseason and/or in season moves, so most of them will be developing their team chemistry and continuity on the fly. Continue reading