Bill Neff, the agent for Jason Hart, spouted off to The Bee's Marty McNeal about the "mistreatment" of his player.
"I just want someone to tell me why the Kings will not give Jason a chance. Or why the Kings will not trade Jason or even waive him. I want someone to say Jason has been outplayed, but that has never been said. I want someone to say Jason has a bad attitude or something because he's certainly not being given a chance."
Mr. Neff, I'm not in Kings upper management. But as a diehard fan of the laundry, I think I can help you out here with your questions:
- Why will the Kings not give Jason a chance? Because he has been awful for the team. Last season, he shot 39 percent from the floor, 29 percent from three, and 66 percent from the line. In fact, his career FG% is .439, and his career three-point percentage is .343. Mike Bibby, despite all his problems, can and will shoot better than that. Hart has played well in very limited minutes this season, but very limited minutes tend to mean squat. The team is in no way obligated to play Jason Hart just because Bibby has sucked.
- Why won't the Kings trade Jason? As indicated in the story, both trades proposals that have come along would have required the Kings to take back players with contracts extending past this season. One assumes these players are not very good, if they are being traded for Jason Hart. On what planet would Geoff Petrie be expected to take back crappy players signed beyond this season in return for a cheap expiring contract who could come in handy at the deadline, or should Bibby be traded at some point? Where's the obligation to make this team worse just so Jason Hart can get 8 minutes a night somewhere?
- Why won't the Kings waive Jason Hart? Why would the Kings waive Jason before the deadline, in case they need some extra contract to match up, or in case they can swing a second-rounder for his contract? On what planet does a lottery team waive its 30-year-old third-string point guard because he's upset with playing time? On what planet do agents (and columnists, it appears) actually expect the general manager to cater to a 30-year-old third-string point guard when he's got numerous bigger problems? Because the Kings are down, Bill Neff and Marty McNeal think they can kick around the team's front office for not playing Jason F*cking Hart? You've got to be kidding me.
But it's not different. Hart is not a good player, Hart is not a young player, and Hart will not be a King next year, so Petrie has no reason to cave to his agent's demands.