Why Can’t We Embrace Spencer Hawes?

Spencer Hawes gets a bad rap.

Some people say he’s a traitor. Others accuse him of costing Joe Wolfinger a shot at the NBA. Others still claim his political views are weak sauce.

Does all that really matter?

Answer: No. Because when you really get down to it, the only mistake Hawes made is sacrificing three years of unlimited college booty for a professional career.

Let’s face facts. Spencer Hawes is a good guy. This is a man who, as a member of the Sacramento Kings, once wore Sonics gear into the Ford Center in Oklahoma City. That takes balls.

This is a dude who appeared at every rally to save the Sonics he was capable of attending. All while being paid by a rival franchise. Impressive.

This a guy who freely sports old school Mariners’ gear, even in parts of the country where teal blue may not be so widely accepted.

Spencer Hawes is the type of native son who still returns to Seattle every offseason, shows his face at local sporting events, and does everything he possibly can to support the Emerald City. Seriously.

In fact, I’d wager there are few former Huskies who are as passionate about the University of Washington as Hawes is. He still attends games. He still sits courtside. He still rocks the colors.

Perhaps Hawes’ only transgression is that he left the UW after just one year on campus. Worse yet, in his one collegiate season the Huskies failed to make the postseason. Because of that, fans tend to give him the cold shoulder from time to time.

But were we really shocked when Hawes departed? I know I wasn’t. That was the plan all along. Play the requisite amateur season and move on to bigger and better things. Hell, if it wasn’t for David Stern’s paunchy little meddling ass, we likely wouldn’t have had one second of Spencer Hawes to enjoy. Because if Robert Swift can go lottery out of high school, I’d imagine Hawes could too.

As it is, Hawes became the 10th overall selection in the 2007 NBA Draft. So it’s not like he made some grave mistake by bolting early. He’s no Leon Wood or Anderson Hunt. In his three pro seasons, he’s turned himself into a reliable starting center who still possesses tremendous upside. And on top of that he has yet to reach his 22nd birthday. Time is on his side.

I don’t know, sports fans, it just seems to me that Hawes gets a raw deal from the Seattle faithful. Sure, there are some of you out there who care for the guy. But too often we hear from those of you who want to put the man down, call him names, or accuse him of being a Benedict Arnold.

No, he’s not a four-year player.

No, he’ll never be a Husky legend.

No, he doesn’t even play for a local ballclub anymore.

But Spencer Hawes embodies the city of Seattle unlike many of his constituents. That goes a long way in solidifying his reputation as one of my favorite local athletes of the current era.

So what if he leans to the right? (Politically speaking, of course. He’s no Blood.)

So what if he never made the postseason at Washington? (And for the record, we would have been much worse without him, Dawg fans.)

So what if he’s a Sacramento King?

No matter where he goes or where he ends up, Spencer Hawes will still be representing the city of Seattle until the day he dies. And in the end, that is all that really matters.

20 thoughts on “Why Can’t We Embrace Spencer Hawes?”

  1. as much as i am rooting for Q to get drafted in the 1st round, i think it would be cool for the kings to have Q, Brock, and Hawes, they just need to trade for nate and roy and they got a full starting line-up of dawgs! maybe even will conroy can be a sixth man :D
    starting line-up for the sacramento huskies:
    pg-nate
    sg-broy
    sf-Q
    pf-brockness monster
    c-hawes
    bench-dentmon(he should definitely be in the league!)
    bench-conroy

    anyways, my extremely off topic comment comes to an end…

  2. Spencer was on the football sidelines vs. Idaho in purple and gold striped overalls (where a 7 footer would get those I have no idea…), and when we were about to upset USC he was sprinting up and down the sidelines hyping up the crowd like a crazy person. How could you not love him?

  3. Yeah, I really liked that Hawes saw several UW basketball games this year, like the Marquette game (with Brockman and Nate). He never led Romar to believe he would stay for more than one year, so if Romar recruited him, it was because one year of Hawes was worth it! And guess what: 99% of college coaches would have made the same choice Romar did.

  4. Great article. He’s a Husky through and through. I remember him playing his way into the NBA when we routed LSU at B of A. It’s awesome he still comes back to support the Huskies.

  5. I am really glad to see Spencer on the sidelines supporting his former team along with other former Huskies.

    I can’t figure why some people have a problem with him. I wonder if it could be that he left school early for the NBA instead of staying 4 years like Q-Pon and B-Roy, etc. Just a thought….

  6. You can add that when Hawes was a high school senior he was at virtually every Husky home game behind the bench. He has always been a true Husky supporter.

    Also, Hawes was the first commit in what at the time was regarded as the best recruiting class in Husky hoops history. He paved the way for Q-pon and company to attend UW. Just because Phil Nelson turned out to be a weenie and Oliver a mental midget doesn’t mean we can forget how excited we all were when the class of 2010 committed to UW.

    Good article, I never understood why Hawes gets such a bad rap in Seattle.

  7. Why I don’t like Hawes. The math is rather simple. He is a solid player with tons of talent. All the what ifs about him staying all center about what an exceptional team they could have been and how far of a run they could have made. So I hate him because those what ifs will always remain what ifs. He left the team that I love for the NBA and its money. Do I really hate him, no but more out of selfishness for the team I hate that he left cause he could have done wonders.

    Overall I want the team to be successful and his departure certainly didn’t help their success. So put the team before yourself and you will be loved by all huskies.

  8. I think part of the reason people don’t like Hawes is because he is a jackass. I’m speaking as a person who went to a rival high school of his. He was on a team with Martell Webster and Martell was a cool guy, who when I met him went out of his way to talk to me. Spencer on the other hand is a douche. QPon is a great guy, met him several times and is nice as can be. Same goes for Brockman and the same can be said about Jake Locker. Hawes is not like that at all.

  9. His political views are “weak sauce?” Come on….coming from the party of hippies and sissy boys I find that pretty humorous.

    Now that I’ve made a few people angry all I really wanted to say was I think people don’t like him because they (I do at least)think the Huskies had to change their whole game plan to accommodate him. I think our team may have been better without him because we weren’t able to run like we wanted to. With that said, I can’t think of another athlete that shows up more at games in UW gear. I don’t think Husky fans have any reason to dislike him now.

  10. Spencer Hawes is not a Husky. He only went to the UW because the new age rules for entering the NBA gave him no option. He spent part of the season on the bench for unspecified injuries. Was it mono? Was it a hangnail? Whatever it was, the perception is that Hawes didn’t give his all because he didn’t want to risk injury and his NBA draft status (aka $$$$). Can you imagine Jon Brockman or Quincy Pondexter doing that? No way. Another reason people can’t stand Spencer Hawes is pretty much covered by Mark. I remember hearing Spencer on KJR talk quite pompously about his support for the Iraq War. My reaction was, “Spencer, if it’s such a great war, go fight it.” But no. He preferred watching his peers die while he made his millions. What a great young man!
    The other reason people don’t like Spencer Hawes comes down to two words: Robbie. Cowgill. That stiff made Spencer look like the p***y he really is.

  11. Ding, ding, ding, ding!!!

    Mark and Husky Fan, come on down and take your prize!

    And,

    -“Some people say he’s a traitor. Others accuse him of costing Joe Wolfinger a shot at the NBA. Others still claim his political views are weak sauce.”-

    Alex, that’s one of the more airheaded opening (or second) paragraphs I’ve read in any legit publication in quite some time.

    A traitor? Wouldn’t Turner, Oliver, Perry, Nelson, or any other transfer fit that bill before Hawes? Don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone call him a traitor before.

    Cost Wolfinger a shot at the NBA? HAHAHAHAHAHAH!! JOE Wolfinger!?! GTFO.

    His political view are “weak sauce”? No, his defense was weak sauce. No one’s political views are “weak sauce”. What are you, 8 years old?

  12. I don’t hate Spencer Hawes, I just don’t have any love for him as a Husky. And why should I?

    He only stayed for one year, so there was no time to bond or develop a fan-player relationship with Hawes.

    And he didn’t do much for the team. Sure, he set the Freshman scoring record, but so what? It didn’t help the team make the Tournament. So in the end his scoring record is just a stat; merely a stat.

    And as for his political beliefs? So what? Everyone has a Constitutional right to be an idot.

  13. Apparently, none of you know what humor is. You’re probably more used to having weak sauce blasted on your face and/or chest.

  14. great article that makes some good points. he’s a great fan as i’ve seen him at the NCAA tournament games and during the upset football game against USC. I was never too impressed with his game when he was with us and I thought he could use alot of work before he bolted to the NBA, but honestly who could blame him? Top 10 pick and guaranteed money? Not everyone is built to be like Jake Locker. I don’t hate the guy, but I don’t shiver at the notion that he is a UW alum; at the same time, he’ll never be in the same book as Roy, Robinson, Conroy, Brockman, Jones, QPon, or even Justin Dentmon! Hell even Mike Jensen! haha.

  15. The only thing i can say its if you have a chance of millions of dollars or a small chance of winning a championships what do you choose you have a better chance of losing draft stock than winning a ncaa championship would it be worth the risk?

  16. I liked Spencer. But I am old enough that I played against his dad and uncle back in high school. I don’t think that we appreciate Spencer because he didn’t take us to a higher level – he was injured much of the season and then was offered huge amounts of money to play a kids game. But the Huskies changed how they played for him and it took them part of the next year to get back to typical Romar-ball. I think he would have really benefited if he’d stayed for four years – he doesn’t seem ready for the NBA and it will be difficult to change the first impression. Example – Roy. Anyway, I’m glad he came – but wish he’d stay’d.

  17. I think he gets little Husky love because he was a one and done player. Whether or not he was upfront about it doesn’t matter. He will never be seen as a ‘Husky’. He will be appreciated as a Fan though, just as any other Fan would be.

    On the other hand, he will always get way more love in Seattle than Josh Smith or any other local product that leaves and goes out of State to play. Guys like Smith or what’s his name from Issaquah will never get any local love from Seattle sports fans.

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