June 29, 1988 |
For perhaps the first time in his illustrious basketball career, Hersey Hawkins found himself being used as a decoy. And it was a ploy so slickly contrived that not even Hawkins recognized it. While Hawkins, visibly uneasy, was being asked on national cable television how it felt to be taken by the Los Angeles Clippers with the sixth pick in the NBA draft yesterday at New York's Madison Square Garden, the principals of three NBA teams were conspiring...
July 3, 1988 |
The drive from Peoria is one hour old as Hersey Hawkins wheels his Mercury Cougar homeward, through the hypnotic green farm land of northern Illinois. The 76ers' top pick in last week's NBA draft is about to alter his life - dramatically. He is about to get married. He is about to try out for the U.S. Olympic basketball team. He is about to move, perhaps for good, to an Eastern city he knows little about. He is about to become a millionaire. And his life is about to flash before his very eyes.
October 6, 1988 |
The 76ers check into their training-camp facilities at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster this evening and, as hoped, first-round pick Hersey Hawkins will be arriving along with the rest of the 18-man preseason roster. The circumstances that bring Hawkins to camp could be better, however. For one thing, the 6-foot-3 shooting guard is still recovering from strained ligaments in his right knee, suffered while playing for the U.S. basketball team during the Olympics two weeks ago. According to the recommendation of team physician Ray Moyer, Hawkins won't touch a basketball for another week.
May 15, 1991 |
The box score says Hersey Hawkins played 39 minutes in the season-ending loss to the Bulls last night. The box score lies. "I got hurt early," Hawkins said glumly after the Bulls beat the Sixers, 100-95. "First foul. When I fouled (Bill) Cartwright. Or, when he fouled me. Caught a knee to my left thigh. "After that, I couldn't push off the way I wanted to. I couldn't run as fast as I wanted to. "Basically, I had to coast up and down the court. " You cannot defend against Michael Jordan on one good leg, which is why Hawkins sat down for long stretches.
May 2, 1989 |
Hersey Hawkins spent an extra half-hour after practice yesterday taking passes from Sixers player personnel director Bob Weinhauer and shooting 18- foot jumpers. Most of them, it can be confirmed, went in. That should come as a relief to the rookie guard, who has shot only 3-for- 18 in the first two games of the Sixers' first-round playoff series against the New York Knicks that continues tonight at the Spectrum. It also should come as a relief that coach Jim Lynam has decided to keep Hawkins in the starting lineup tonight, despite leaving him on the bench for much of the second half Saturday as the Knicks scored the final 11 points of the game, pulled out a dramatic, 107-106 victory and went up, 2-0, in the best-of-five-series.
November 2, 1990 |
In the big overtime to come, the meek may indeed lay claim to the earth, but within the rectangular confines of an NBA game, they almost never inherit the basketball. The NBA is a league for egotists, for those confident enough to believe that every shot should fall and every pass should be intended for them. The perfect NBA arena would have mirrors on the ceiling. Hersey Hawkins may never be comfortable with that. He may never be the sort of player who screams for the basketball.
October 13, 1988 |
Sixers general manager John Nash said yesterday that progress has been made in the negotiations with first-round draft pick Hersey Hawkins. But no agreement has been reached. Meanwhile, Hawkins said he will remain in the Philadelphia area while the talks continue. Hawkins is being represented by Joe Napoli, a lawyer from Peoria, Ill. Napoli had threatened on Tuesday to take Hawkins back to Illinois if an agreement was not reached yesterday. Nash and Napoli met yesterday for the third time - the first time since last week - in Lancaster, where the team is holding training camp at Franklin & Marshall College.
September 16, 1988 |
When U.S. basketball coach John Thompson announced his starting lineup for tomorrow night's opening game against Spain, there was a noteworthy omission: Hersey Hawkins. The Sixers' rookie shooting guard, who started most of the time on the U.S. team's pre-Olympic tour, will have to sit and watch Mitch Richmond start for the U.S. team. The other starters, according to Thompson, will be David Robinson at center, Danny Manning and Dan Majerle at forward, and Charles Smith IV at point guard.
September 4, 1993 |
At a time like this, Hersey Hawkins's thoughts, amazingly, drifted to former teammate Charles Barkley. "I think some of the best things that happened to me in my five years with the 76ers involved working with (current general manager and former coach) Jim Lynam, with the other coaches and with Charles," Hawkins said yesterday after learning that he had been traded to the Charlotte Hornets. Barkley? The rambunctious, controversial guy who forced his own trade from Philadelphia to Phoenix last summer, then became the NBA's Most Valuable Player and led the Suns to the playoff finals?
November 27, 1991 |
The game was there to be taken and, inexplicably, Hersey Hawkins would not take it. The game was there to be grabbed by the throat and, inexplicably, Hersey Hawkins would not grab it. It was a night that cried for The Hawk and, inexplicably, he was unable to answer the cry. In recent seasons, when Charles Barkley has been unable to create Barkleymania, The Hawk has been the 76ers' next-best answer. He would take his textbook jumper, step out and launch his deadly three-point shot, drive doggedly to the basket and score inside or draw fouls.