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Wednesday, 24 July 2019 15:26

Cazares Arrives in KC

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KANSAS CITY, MO (AP) -- It's been nearly a month since the Kansas City Pioneers acquired PF Charles Cazares from the Denver Demons in exchange for PF Andrew Sutton, PG Nelson Jones, PG Abe Gutierrez, and C Chris Hauck. The Demons had a mandate from ownership to reduce payroll and had been stymied in talks with other teams regarding a trade involving the 1st Team All Defense forward. In the end Kansas City agreed to take on the remaining 4 years and $98.2 million on Cazares' contract in return for two players on expiring contracts (Jones, Hauck) and two with team options for next season (Sutton, Gutierrez). The deal gives Denver the option to effectively wipe over $20 million from their books next offseason. In Cazares the Pioneers receive a two-time All Defense performer and an upgrade in the frontcourt.

Cazares arrived today at the practice court at Kingsford Coliseum after a summer vacation with his family in the Mediterranean. Cazares is one of the most spoken-about players in the OBWL, the conversation alternating between his contract -- considered by many to be the worst in the OBWL -- and his time in the circus-like environment that often surrounded his old team, the Demons.

Despite all the drama involving Demons players and Denver GM Klaus Von Meyerinck though, Cazares' personality, to say the least, is uncontroversial. Cazares is soft spoken and tended to fall into the background of a locker room that included many more forceful personalities such as Demons superstar Greg Fore.

Cazares took time to speak with local media after getting in a workout with the Pioneers' training staff:

Charles, where were you when you found out about the trade? What was your reaction?

"I was at a tapas bar in Madrid with some friends when my agent got a hold of me. I was pretty shocked to be honest. Before we went on vacation my agent had been speaking to KvM and we knew the Demons were looking into trades... but last I had heard it looked very, very unlikely. I guess teams were asking for too much in return."

Did you ask to be traded? The reports are that there was a lot on tension in Denver between KvM and ownership over the team's finances.

"To be honest with you, no, I never asked to be traded. I really enjoyed playing for the Demons and living in Denver. We went to the Finals two years ago and I got along great with my team mates. I even got along really well with KvM. I know he can be kind of dramatic and unorthodox but he never said a bad word to me. He was real good to me and put me in a position to be successful in the OBWL so I'll always be grateful for that opportunity."

How do you respond to the criticism that you have the "worst" contract in the OBWL? People talk about that a lot.

"It's a little frustrating from the standpoint that people talk about that and not so much about what I do on the court. It's a distraction sometimes. But I'll never apologize for getting a paycheck because I feel like I earn it. I play my ass off every night and as long as I'm satisfied that I gave maximum effort then I don't give a crap what people on social media or whatever say."

How do you feel about playing for the Pioneers?

"I've only been in town for a few days now so it's still sinking in. Everything has been kind of a blur, heh. The fans have been great, really excited and friendly when I see them. The organization itself, you can tell it's strong. As far as teams to get traded to, I can't complain considering I landed on a contending team. I thought I had a chance to win a championship in Denver, and I still feel that way now that I'm in KC so that's a relief. It's gonna take a while to get used to the new uniform and stuff though."

"Sorry guys but I got to run now. I've got a lot stuff to take care of before the season starts... finding a house, getting my stuff moved, you know. My sister Candace is going to be living with me here in KC and we gotta get her enrolled for classes in the fall. I'll catch you all later."

Read 112 times Last modified on Wednesday, 24 July 2019 16:52

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