Gay is in town this week for his Youth Skills Academy where he aims to teach kids between the ages of 5 to 18 the fundamentals of basketball. Gay enjoys helping kids at his camps because he never got an opportunity to attend similar events as a young child until he was in high school and started to get invited to skills camps because of his talent.
After he spent the day at his camp, which he seemed to enjoy thoroughly, Gay sat down with Sactown Royalty, and his tone certainly changed.
What do you like about being in Sacramento?
The fans. Like at the camp, these kids know your stats, they know basketball, they know the good and bad. It's fun to me. You go places and people respect you and respect the time. It's just a really family town, I like that about Sacramento.
You mentioned people are wondering if you are going to be here next season. I imagine you are like most of the guys in the league and try not to pay attention to that stuff, but do you pay attention to trade rumors and does it bother you?
I mean it's been pretty loud as of late so it's hard not to pay attention to it. I think it just goes to, I don't know, I think there's always ways to do things and in this situation I don't think it's going about the right way. No matter what your intentions to do with your players, I would think the first thing you want to do is make sure people are happy with what you are doing. That hasn't been the case.
So you haven't had much communication with the franchise as far as your future?
No, I haven't. I've had communication, but not the kind of communication that I would say I like.
I'm assuming you had an exit interview at the end of the season. What was said to you then?
During the exit interview it was just how the season go, we should have done this, we should have done that. Those things weren't really discussed at that point. I think it's pretty obvious what situation is going on here. At this point in my career, I think I want some kind of consistency and we don't have that here, at all.
If you had your ideal communication situation, what would you like to hear from the franchise?
You don't want to hear things on the internet, on Twitter. You would like to hear it from out of the horse's mouth. Just be upfront with people, that's all you have to do.
Toward the end of the last couple of seasons you have made it clear you don't think the franchise has a direction. I assume you still feel that way. What do you think the direction of the team is right now?
I have no idea. I suit up and give it my all. That's all I can do in this situation, that's all you can do. Go out there and play as much as you can. Obviously, we don't have anything to really build on. We have a new coach. I think that's the only thing we can really build on. New coach and seeing how it plays out.
Talking to you over the years, it seems like when Michael Malone was fired, things went downhill for you from the perspective of the franchise, the direction of the franchise. I know you were confused about that decision. Would you say that was the point that from then on you have been confused about things?
Yeah, I think that was the start of it. The thing with me, I try to stay out of as much as I can as far as the organization. I try to do what I can control, which is be on the basketball court, but I think at some point you've got to have the players, their futures and what they have at stake in mind when you make decisions and I don't think that happened.
Is this the most frustrated you have been in your career?
A frustrating season turns into a frustrating summer. Like I said, I can only control what I can. I'm going out there and working hard this summer and taking care of my body, that comes first. The injuries that I've had, I took the time I had to take off and trying to come back next year better than ever.
Last season there was the George Karl and DeMarcus Cousins thing, did that really tip the scales? They could never really get that together and then it kind of funneled down.
We knew that was going to happen going into the season. We knew what happened that summer. You could say that's part of it, but I just think the whole disconnect, it trickles down. It starts up top and it trickles down.
If you had to say there were some positives last season, what would you say those would be?
For the team, well, we were in the 8th seed for a little bit ... it's tough to take positives out of it. I think we underachieved.
There was stuff out there recently about how you were asking for a trade. And then there were reports denying that. So were you demanding a trade?
No. I think people saw my disinterest, not disinterest, but I think people saw what went on this season and kind of went on that to say that I asked for a trade. I still feel like I had a lot more to give ... because of the structure of the team I wasn't able to give everything.
So you never verbally told the team get me out of here?
No. Personally, no I haven't.
Rajon Rondo signed with Chicago. Did you have a chance to talk to him after that deal and if so, what was said?
He had to do what's best for him. He's voiced his opinion about Sacramento since being gone and it is what it is. You see now that he was unhappy, I guess that's why he left.
Going into last season, did you think that that dynamic was going to work out and were you surprised it didn't?
Yeah, I think it was possible. The thing about it is, you need a lot of people out there that can make decisions with the ball. We had that last year. Where that went from that, I don't know. You can't just sit here and blame it on coaching.
So how about next season? What do you think about Dave Joerger and if you are still here, what do you see the potential of the team being?
I don't know. Honestly, I haven't paid attention. I don't even know who our new players are to be honest with you. I've just been focused on trying to be healthy and trying to get in shape and get ready for the season, wherever that might be.
What do you think about Joerger as a coach?
He coached me in Memphis ... I knew him as the assistant, that's two different things. But from what I saw, Mike Conley has made strides since he was hired, Marc Gasol made strides. And last year, you've got to give him his credit with all the injuries they had, they still made it to the playoffs.
At this point in your career, what are you looking for as a player?
Stability. I feel like I still have a lot of years left. With stability, look at people like Jamal Crawford, look at people like Paul Pierce, a lot of people. When they have that stability and they know what their worth is for a team and what their job is for a team, how they can work on that and play for that team ...
When was the last time you felt that way about this team? Have you felt that stability since you have been in Sacramento? Was it right when you got here?
Yeah, when I got here. That's why I signed my contract. I feel like there was direction at that point.
So what are you working on this offseason?
I actually had surgery. I had Achilles tendonitis, basically micro tears in my Achilles and for the past two seasons it's been bothering me so I've been trying to play through it and I got to a point where I needed to have it fixed so I got it fixed.
Are you back to 100 percent now?
I feel better than I have in at least two years. I'm excited.
Is there anything you want to say to Kings fans?
No matter what happens man, they have always been great to me and I love our fans, like I always said. Our fans are great.