J.J. Hickson discusses his departure from the Sacramento Kings
J.J. Hickson and the Sacramento Kings have parted ways. As first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the team today waived the fourth-year forward, trimming their roster down to 13 players.
In a one-on-one interview with Cowbell Kingdom, Hickson says he and his agent began exploring an exit from Sacramento after All-Star Weekend. The former Kings forward says he didn’t personally request a trade and holds no grudge towards the team. However, Hickson did acknowledge that he and the organization didn’t see “eye-to-eye on a couple things.”
The former Kings forward also confirmed that the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns are two options he’s interested in offering his services to if he clears waivers. When asked what other teams are in consideration, Hickson declined to comment.
CK: Was the buyout something that was in the works?
Hickson: Yeah, kind of after All-Star Break, that’s when me and my agent started talking with the team. We thought it was best from my standpoint and their standpoint to make that decision.
CK: Did you have your agent request a trade on your behalf to the Kings front office?
Hickson: Like I said, I felt like it was the best decision for both (sides) and that’s something we did. But, as far as trades, that was something that my agent was talking to the team about. I didn’t go into the front office and demand or request anything. But that was one of our options as far as what was best for me and the team.
CK: Did you sit out the last two games because your release was imminent?
Hickson: Nah, I sat out (because) my back really was having spasms. But before that, you know, I had gotten injured – I was out like three or four games before that (and) I had that little (hip pointer) injury. So as far as those two games, (that was something) where I had to go through the trainer and we decided to go ahead and pull the trigger and just sit me for those last two games.
CK: At what point did you feel like it wasn’t working out for you in Sacramento?
(Brief pause before he answers)
Hickson: You know, I think from the get-go. I didn’t get off to a good start. We didn’t get off to a good start, you know, as a team. My shooting percentage was down. Most of it is on me, but I think me and the organization, we just didn’t see eye-to-eye on a couple things. And like I said, it’s no love lost. It was the best decision for me and my situation and for that team.
CK: What were some of the things that you didn’t see eye-to-eye on with the organization? Was it your role or how you were being utilized? What exactly was it?
Hickson: It was a combination of things. It wasn’t one thing exactly. But, I’d rather not get into those things. I’d rather just (move on).
CK: There weren’t any issues with teammates were there? Team chemistry and camaraderie with the guys on the roster were good?
Hickson: Oh, nah. The players from Sacramento are great. They’re real young; I was one of those young players, too. They’re working hard and (if) they’re willing to continue to work hard, I think the sky is the limit for those guys.
CK: When exactly did you find out about the buyout?
Hickson: I talked to my agent last night and I kinda got a feeling that it was going to happen today. And I got a call this morning that it was a 99 percent chance it was going to happen, and it did. So, like I said, no love lost. It was just the best decision for me to go and for them to continue on the things that they’re doing.
CK: What’s next for you? There are reports that you’re interested in signing with Golden State or Phoenix. Are they true?
Hickson: (There’s) a couple teams especially the two that you just mentioned. We’re still talking and hopefully I can find the right situation for myself and then we’ll go from there.
CK: Are there other teams besides Golden State and Phoenix that you’re considering?
Hickson: Yeah, but I’d rather not say.