Hustle like Hatfield

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Hustle like Hatfield

Post by MR. FAST on Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:33 am

Hustle like Hatfield


After 14 years (on and off) with the Philippine Basketball Association-- from Tanduay Rhum to Coca Cola and finally to Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, Rudy "The H-Bomb" Hatfield is finally calling it a career. This, after a so-so campaign in recent conferences following his nth comeback in the professional ranks.

We were not mistaken when we Tweeted the other day that Hatfield "reinvented" the way Filipino small forwards played the game. Back in the old days, small forwards were cast as one of the following: spread the floor wing shooter, defensive stopper or Mr. Intangibles. The guy who does the little things that almost go unseen by the not so educated basketball mind. It was almost, always one of the three. Can't be all (even the great NBA legend Magic Johnson had to concede on playing great lockdown defense, while Larry Bird lacked athleticism so there's always something holding small forwards back).

Well, Hatfield put an end to all that by pretty much having the strength, hustle and body type of a Terry Saldana, while being skilled enough offensively to blow games wide open on his own on the break (he'd even sink a triple or two on a good day). The competition were pretty much too small, too slow or somewhere in between to really challenge Hatfield during his prime with Coca Cola and when he did slow down in his 1st, "wild" tour of duty with Ginebra, he put all of his mind into patrolling the paint as some WWE-esque rebounder and defender (for those too young to remember, just picture Marc Pingris on steroids) beside bossom buddy Eric Menk.

Did Hatfield make the right decision by calling it quits on his 14th year (again, on and off)?

Well, it is his decision at day's end. But you could question the timing unless there's a better opportunity for him and his family elsewhere.

Did he quit on Ginebra?

Hell no. Not Hatfield. If anything, we'd say that Hatfield made a career out of being very good at one thing- being a hard-worker. He was a mediocre scorer, ball-handler and scoring option. He was quick, but he wasn't the fastest. He rebounded like a madman, but he wasn't the best at getting proper positioning. What Hatfield was however, was relentless and passionate. This all but made up for his lack of overall basketball skill and he pretty much squeezed the living daylights off it to be a perennial MVP contender just like the previous year's Kelly Williams, Arwind Santos and now Calvin Abueva.

Back when we were treated to lackluster games courtesy of guys like Marlou Aquino and Dennis Espino, and the PBA was being marred by illegal substance drama and so on, Hatfield was a constant reminder of why we Filipinos love the sport of basketball.

Hatfield, with his hustle, showed everyone that if you work hard enough, you can pretty much call it a career 14 years later with PBA championships and some other awards locked up in the trophy case.
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Re: Hustle like Hatfield

Post by neljimz on Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:57 am

Thanks HBOMB for being part of Ginebra Team...
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