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Spencer Hawes' Knee Has a Mind of Its Own

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Amick with a discouraging report from Day 1 of training camp:

The second-year center [Spencer Hawes] has made it clear to the Kings that he won't make the same mistake twice, as he has refused to take part in the conditioning test the organization deemed mandatory.

The test, which Kings coach Reggie Theus said is conducted by "a lot of teams" in the NBA, lasts approximately 10 minutes and consists of extended sprints up and down the floor commonly known as suicides. Players must finish within a predetermined time period based on which position they play. Players also had the option of working out at the team's practice facility for two weeks before training camp and spending three days conditioning with strength coach Daniel Shapiro as a way of avoiding the test.

So, Hawes won't take the mandatory test he could have avoided by showing up in Sacramento two weeks early ... because he blames it for his knee injury last year. Not to call the man an exaggerator, but he was limping before training camp began last year (on media day). He hurt it in a pre-camp scrimmage. Maybe the sprints made it worse, but he was already injured. You can't blame the sprints for the injury.

This is completely the wrong way to deal with this. If you know going in you can't or don't want to do the sprints, then you take the alternate program (coming in early). Second-year players aren't allowed to be prima donnas. No one on this roster should be a prima donna.

Luckily, not everyone is insane.

Although the reasons varied, Hawes wasn't alone in his protesting of the test. Theus acknowledged that numerous players initially complained. Theus, who said he had considered skipping the test altogether before the griping began, said fifth-year shooting guard Kevin Martin implored him to hold the entire team accountable.

Outside of Hawes, all but John Salmons have completed it. The swingman has a slight groin injury and has been allowed to delay taking the test.