Earlier this week the Houston Rockets agreed to a deal to sign free-agent forward Chuck Hayes to a one-year, veteran’s minimum contract where Hayes will make around $1.5 million.
Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Seasoned Rockets fans look forward to the signing as it means the return of one of their favorite players. An undersized forward at 6-foot-6, Hayes often played at the center position during his tenure with the Rockets.
Never the player with the most talent, Hayes made sure to compete as hard as he could each night, making him a serviceable player, but not one that was expected to fill the stats sheet. One game, though, Hayes’ hard work resulted in a stellar performance, in which Hayes managed to rack up an unlikely triple-double.
Hayes’ 13 points, 14 rebounds, and 11 assists came against the Golden State Warriors during his last season with Houston. While he always managed to pull down a respectable amount of boards, Hayes was never a player the Rockets counted on to score, or to help his teammates to score.
Hayes’ role as a Rocket was to play top notch 1-on-1 defense, and to make hustle plays that wouldn’t show up in the box score. Because it was irregular of Hayes to post double-figures in points or assists, Hayes’ triple-double is one of Rockets fans most beloved memories of the big (little) man.
To understand how improbable Hayes’ triple-double was, it is important to note that of all the players to ever accomplish a triple-double, Hayes’ career assist average at 1.2 is the second lowest, according to yahoo sports.
Still, that night it was the points, not the assists, that Hayes had the most trouble with. After signing him earlier this week, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey wasted no time in reminding Hayes of the difficulty of his feat.
— Daryl Morey (@dmorey) July 30, 2015
While Hayes’ triple-double is not a sign of things to come, it remains an anomaly. Rockets fans will gather round for years to come, and tell the story of how Chuck Hayes once parted the Rockets’ Red Sea.
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