Hawes sending out good vibes to young Sixers

The Sixers' Spencer Hawes is encouraging his young teammates to work hard.
The Sixers' Spencer Hawes is encouraging his young teammates to work hard. (STEVEN M. FALK / Staff Photographer)
Posted: September 29, 2013

At 25, Spencer Hawes will be an elder statesman on what could be among the youngest teams in the NBA.

That point was accented Friday when the seventh-year center was asked during the team's media day whether he sees similarities in the youthfulness of this team and the Sacramento Kings squads he played on during his first three NBA seasons.

"Even [on] those [Sacramento] teams, I don't know if there were this many young guys, but it is fun," he said.

In his final season in Sacramento, 2009-10, the 25-57 Kings roster was filled with young players.

Hawes was 21 and started 59 games. Chester's Tyreke Evans started a team-high 72 games at the age of 20.

Other youngsters included Lenape graduate Jason Thompson, who was 23 with 58 starts, Donte Greene (21, 50 starts) and Omri Casspi (21, 32 starts).

If Hawes is disappointed at being surrounded by so much inexperience, he isn't showing it. He says he hasn't read any of the dire forecasts about the team's win total.

"If you listen to all the chatter from the background, it doesn't do you any good, no matter the situation," Hawes said.

Hawes signed a two-year, $13 million contract after the 2012 season. He was not expecting to be part of a massive rebuilding effort. At the time, the Sixers had won a first-round playoff series with Chicago and taken Boston to seven games in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Last season, after the ill-fated Andrew Bynum deal, the Sixers went 34-48 and then traded all-star point guard Jrue Holiday.

Hawes is sending out nothing but good vibes to his young teammates, encouraging them to work hard and not read the headlines.

"He's been a big help already," said rookie center Nerlens Noel, a major part of the rebuilding process who is still recovering from a knee injury with no timetable for his return. "He's talked to me about the different guys I will be going up against and how much this league demands of you."

Hawes, who played all 82 games and averaged 11 points and 5.1 rebounds last season, says his mind-set won't change in this rebuilding year.

"You can sit around and feel sorry for yourself or you can put one foot forward and say, 'I will do all I can to help this organization and help these young guys,' " he said.

Spoken like a true veteran, one who won't turn 26 until after the regular season ends.


mnarducci@phillynews.com

@sjnard

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