When you have NBA dreams like former Wisconsin star Nigel Hayes, there are some things that you have to deal with to achieve your goals. In Hayes case it will be the unique combination of filth and dirt that graces the New York city streets. He will also have to deal with New Yorkers harboring his disrespectful comments in the backs of their minds whenever he doesnt do his thing on the court.
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After basically calling New York the last place on earth he wanted to play, the former Wisconsin standout has agreed to a partially guaranteed deal with the Knicks, according to ESPNs Adrian Wojnarowski.
Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes has agreed to a partially guaranteed deal with the Knicks, league source tells ESPN.
The 22-year-old, 6-foot-8 power forward, who averaged 14 points and 6.6 rebounds per game as a senior and played with the Knicks summer-league team last month ripped New York when he traveled to the Big Apple to play at the Garden during the NCAA Sweet 16 earlier this year.
I dont really like New York, Hayes said. Its too big, its dirty, theres trash everywhere, too many people. Its cold right now.
Its nice to look at in the movies and stuff, but Ive had my share of it. Im just trying to come here and win some basketball games.
Feelings change when youre fighting for your life to make an NBA squad. Players tend to put aside any petty feelings and deal with stuff.
Nigel Hayes, who I bet totally loves New York now, signs Knicks summer league deal https://t.co/7D7kcjVEN9
At the time, he didnt exactly give a ringing endorsement of the Knicks when asked about the possibility of being drafted by them.
Youd have no choice, the Toledo, Ohio native said. Its just something youd have to live with it.
Hayes went undrafted, so he didn’t have to worry about any of the NBA cities being to his liking. Even the stench of a New York City subway or the sight of garbage strewn along the sidewalk isnt enough to deter Hayes from signing with the Knicks. Shiiiiit. If he hates New York now, then he would have despised it in the Ed Koch 80s.
Hayes agent tried to clean it all up in June when he told The Post that Hayes was completely joking. He has the opportunity, however, to turn a touchy situation into a positive one. If he can contribute to the squad in any way then NY fans with their thick-skins and short memories, will embrace him.
The funny part about this entire situation is that Hayes is a perfect fit for New York. He’s an intellectual who is concerned with community and very cognizant of the social issues plaguing our country. As our Shadow League contributor Amaar Abdul-Nasir so eloquently stated, “Hayes is an outspoken critic of the farce that is amateurism in college sports. He has also thrown his name into a legal battle against the system. He could be considered college basketballs Colin Kaepernick except he is too good to bury on the bench in hopes of shutting him up.”
New York Knicks: Five reasons to love the Nigel Hayes signing – Daily Knicks https://t.co/331oueMT1G #Knicks
He was a fine student at Wisconsin and he’s obviously a straight shooter. He’s a hard worker and keeps his nose clean off the court. A perfect candidate to represent the new look Knicks, a team that won’t be very good this season, thus providing Hayes with an opportunity to make his mark in a league that dissed him on Draft Day, the same way he dissed New York during the Sweet 16.