In an interview with Rob Mahoney of Sports Illustrated, Buddy Hield revealed he's not planning on taking any time off between now and the start of the 2016-17 season. Simply put, he's disappointed with his 2016 Summer League performance.
"I hate it. I just hate playing bad. I hate not playing the way I'm comfortable playing at. It just leaves a bad taste in your mouth. You're playing at a place you're not used to. And it's frustrating. I haven't played like this in like a year or so. Playing like this makes you mad, but it makes you more motivated because you know you're still not the best that you want to be."
Buddy Hield has only been a member of the New Orleans Pelicans for less than one month, but it's already common knowledge that he can't escape his work ethic. It follows him everywhere: from the gym to the podium to what should supposedly be downtime. His priority is to be ready for his first NBA season, so he believes he must spend every waking moment to ensure his rookie campaign will go as smoothly as possible.
"Take off two weeks and you can get out of shape. It's a rookie season so you wanna have that first impression. I'm gonna have that first impression like, okay, I belong in this league. I'm just gonna grind it out, man. Everybody say I need a rest, but I haven't made it yet. Yeah, I've got a rookie contract or whatever, but I haven't made it yet. I need to lock in on the things I need to fix and whenever I get time, whenever I feel comfortable with my game, then I can take a break. But for now, there's no days off."
Do you remember soon after Buddy was drafted, he was inside the Pelicans training facility mere days later working on his game? His unrelenting drive to be one of the best was one of three reasons I listed as to why Hield's ceiling shouldn't be capped like the next guy. Buddy is miles from average because he cares so much about his results that if things aren't going well, he feels legitimate distress and an overriding desire to fix the issues.
"I want to take some time off but I'm pissed off so I can't take no time off."
Hield went on to tell Mahoney that if he does go anywhere, it would likely be to visit his home in the Bahamas. However, he was quick to claim that one of the coaches from the New Orleans Pelicans would accompany him on the trip.
Until Buddy gets comfortable, his plan is to just keep working. How long will that take?
"Whenever I figure it out."