So I was perusing the Sacramento Bee as I tend to do when I wake up and I came across this piece from Sam Amick about Beno and Westphal differing over playing time. In it, we are getting two different stories about the condition of Beno’s feet and the results on the court because of this injury.
Paul Westphal is saying the sore right foot and plantar fasciitis has slowed Beno Udrih down a step, which seems completely logical. Westphal kept Beno out of the game on Wednesday and instead played Sergio Rodriguez. But apparently, Beno said he was “fine” and okay to play basketball on the injured foot. He says he’s been dealing with it all season:
“I’ve been icing it after every game, playing with it. I didn’t say I don’t want to play because of my plantar fasciitis. I said, ‘I’m fine.’ He just decided he’s going to play Sergio. That’s his decision. Not mine.”
This is a point in which you’d like players to put the ego aside and gain some perspective. The Kings are a bad team right now and can’t seem to get a W to save their lives. When Kevin Martin came back, it meant that Beno’s starting spot was going to disappear. In fact, his minutes were going to be cut because now you had a player coming back and taking away starter’s minutes in the process. Add in Beno’s bad foot with a serious nagging injury and the fact that Sergio Rodriguez seems to get things done on the basketball court in his limited playing time and of course Beno is going to see a dip/hit in his minutes.
But instead, he’s going to pout a little and claim that he’s no longer being involved.
You remember this conversation he had with Carmichael Dave on Media Day?
This was frustration with the Theus/Natt regime (more Natt than anything) of throwing him in the corner and making him a spot-up shooter. But I don’t see that going on since Kevin Martin has returned from injury. Beno is still getting opportunities to run the point, run the offense and create like he loves to do. You’re still seeing pick-and-roll plays with him. You’re still seeing him come off screens and create mid-range jumpers.
So what gives?
Maybe this is Beno’s default complaint. When things aren’t going right for him, he decides that he’s just being thrown to the corner (literally and figuratively). Personally, I think it’s dumb for him to play through this plantar fasciitis. It’s a serious injury that can have damaging long-term affects if it isn’t treated properly. He needs to sit some games now to get his body right rather than try to play through it on a team that will be lucky to reach 30 wins.
With the money he’s signed up for, it’s better to fix the injury now with rest and treatment than feed his ego and need to prove the validity of his contract.