What comes to mind when you hear the name Chuck Hayes?
There really isn't a whole lot you can say about the guy, except aside from the stats, you know he is the kind of player that will give it your all on the floor every minute he plays. He also had a lot of weight to carry in replace for the injured (and now retired) Yao Ming, who stands an entire foot taller than Hayes. He only averaged just over four points and five rebounds a game as well.
It's just enough to give the man a video tribute.
Hayes played just six seasons with the Rockets, and is noted to be the shortest center in the NBA standing at 6-6. The Rockets after the 2010-2011 season were in the works of getting Pau Gasol from Los Angeles before things fell through, but eventually Hayes took off to Sacramento as a free agent. Hayes won't play tonight since he is out because of a shoulder injury. From the Houston Chronicle:
Sometime late in the first quarter tonight, with Hall of Famers, Moses Malone, Calvin Murphy and Elvin Hayes, in the building, the Rockets will spend a time out paying tribute to the shortest starting center in NBA history, a player that went undrafted and was cut in his first training camp in the NBA.
It will be a fitting honor for Chuck Hayes, who earned everything that came his way, especially respect.
“I don’t know how I’m going to react,” Hayes said. “My son asked, ‘Are they going to boo you?’ I don’t know. It’s going to be weird. This city was great to me. This organization was great for me. I thank them. I really do consider Houston home. Will I get teared up? I don’t know.
“Personally, it’s just overwhelming. It’s overwhelming the opportunity that was given to me. I’m thankful to the Sacramento Kings. I think about the journey it took to get to this point, to be a vet on a team, to be financially stable, to be a model in the league of being a glue guy.”
It's very rare for a man like Chuck to get such recognition who hasn't really achieved a whole lot except for filling in shoes. Either way, it will surely be an unusual, yet very emotional moment for the Chuckster tonight at the Toyota Center.