Some choice quotes from Mr. Hickson, which almost approach self-awareness:
"Yeah, I'll be lying if I said it wasn't an exciting time in my life," Hickson told CSNNW.com. "It's also exciting to play on this team that everybody counted us out at the start."
Ah, the problem was nobody counted out the Kings at the start of last season.
"I'm blessed to be in this the position and to know that I'm kind of a hot commodity right now," Hickson said. "But all I can do is control what I can control on the basketball court and keep getting better."
Yes, improving yourself is probably a much better route to getting paid than calling your agent and bitching to get traded/released.
“If you look at it, I'm on a one-year, $4 million dollar deal. My qualifying offer was for $3.5 million,” Hickson said. “If they would have picked up my qualifying offer, I would be making less money. It wasn't a disappointment, it was a wake up call for me to get better and for me to lock in and focus on being consistent. That's something I took upon myself to do and I think it's the first time throughout my career that I've been consistent.”
[My emphasis] So if he had received the qualifying offer, he wouldn't need to try so hard? Let me fix that quote for you J.J. "I think it's the first time throughout my career I've taken my job seriously and prepared the way I need to do to be a successful professional."
Oddly, he did not mention getting benched in Sacramento--i.e. not being good enough to play for a perennial doormat--or being waived by Sacramento--i.e. not good enough to sit on the bench for a perennial doormat--as a wake-up call for him to get better. But when he wasn't going to get paid anymore.... HOLY SH*T! I need to get my act together.
If you ever wonder why coaches and GMs get fired, I present J.J. Hickson. Sometimes it's not the coaching, nor the team, nor the owners, nor the GM... it's the player.
[edited because I munged the CSNNW letters in original]