Chuck Hayes determined to regain leadership role on Kings

Early in the 2011-12 season, as reporters surrounded Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, laughter broke out among the players.

Chuck Hayes took offense, yelling that the behavior was unacceptable. But as losses piled up over the next two seasons, Hayes blended into the background when teammates laughed afterward. Hayes now says he no longer wants to be a part of a culture that accepts losing.

“That’s exactly what happened,” Hayes said. “I tried to come in and be the vocal leader, but when things went bad, I let that bring me down. I let it bring down my spirit. That was wrong on my part. It’s unfair to my teammates; it’s unfair to the coaching staff. So I just want to sustain that veteran role.”

It was uncertain if Hayes would be back this season, if the Kings could find a taker for the two years and $11.7 million still owed to him after two underwhelming seasons with the team.

Reported by Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee