J.J. Hickson Not a Hustle Player?
There are a lot of things Hickson doesn’t do – defense is one of them – but nobody can ever say he doesn’t play hard. In fact, in the last decade, outside of maybe Ruben Patterson, I can’t think of a Blazer who has played harder every night.
But in talking to Hickson about his nightly effort, it struck a funny chord with the 6-foot-9 center. There was part of him that was offended.
“Let me ask you a question,’’ Hickson said in the middle of my interview. “So just because I go out and get whatever how many rebounds, that makes me a hustle guy?’’
“No, I’m not saying you are a hustle guy,’’ I said. “I’m saying you play hard every night.’’
“OK, then why do people misconstrue playing your butt off for being a hustle guy?’’ Hickson asked. “I have no problem with it, I’m just asking you. What’s that line?’’
“I wouldn’t say you are a hustle guy, I would say you are an energy guy,’’ I countered.
He thought for a second.
“Ok, I will take that. That’s the only way I know how to play – all gas, no brakes. That’s the way I was taught to play the game,’’ Hickson said.