Given the length and breadth of the comment thread in the previous post, I'm not too sure there's anything that's been unsaid about the Jarvis Hayes pickup. Nevertheless, he met with the media for the first time as a Piston this afternoon, and I feel compelled to tell you as much. From Keith Langlois of Pistons.com:
Hayes arrives in Detroit after four years in the league. Chauncey Billups became a Piston after five star-crossed years, Rip Hamilton after spending three seasons in Washington, which drafted Hayes 10th in the same 2003 draft that saw the Pistons take Darko Milicic and Carlos Delfino. The career arcs of those and other Dumars reclamation projects weren’t lost on Hayes.
"That definitely was a selling factor for me," Hayes said. "My first four years have been more about injury. I’m not injury prone, it was just one injury that, unfortunately, didn’t heal correctly until I had the surgery. But I’m past that now and ready to start over."
Rip Hamilton was never really a reclamation project (he averaged at least 18 points per game his last two years in Washington), but other players, notably Billups and Antonio McDyess, have turned around their career upon arriving to Detroit.
In my latest HoopsWorld column (it went up after I had already left for a three-day weekend, hence the late link), I speculated that Hayes might be "one and done" with the Pistons, staying only as long as to re-build his value and earn a longer contract elsewhere. He addressed that today -- from Langlois' Pistons.com article:
The one-year contract Hayes signed is something of a double-edged sword. While it gives him little long-term security, it does allow for the chance to hit the free-agent market next summer with his reputation and market value restored. Yet Hayes goes out of his way to emphasize that appealing to future employers will not become a distraction.
"I feel I have something to prove, but it’s more than just me," he said. "It’s about team first. If the team does well, everybody does well. It’s more than just the individual. Of course, I want to get my career back on track. But that’s second fiddle. I want to win first."
Also, for anyone out there itching to be the first kid on the block with a Detroit/Hayes jersey, Langlois reports Hayes will be wearing No. 9. Get yours today.