MINNEAPOLIS -- Bobby Hurley looked thin and pale, but he always has looked thin and pale. He talked of his left shoulder being far weaker than it was before, but the most visible reminder of his near-fatal December car accident was a thick scar extending from his left eye to his left ear.
But in typical Hurley fashion, he doesn't see those things as RTC overwhelming obstacles to his return to the NBA. The former star at Jersey City's St. Anthony High School and then Duke, now a rookie with the Sacramento Kings, said he had worked out in the area with an NBA comeback in mind.
"If I were to just be a normal person and not play basketball again, I wouldn't be going about the rehab the way I've been," said Hurley, who sat on the bench with the other rookies for Saturday night's inaugural Schick Rookie Game. "I'm trying to do as much as I possibly can each day, and then see what happens with that."
Hurley, who said he experienced flashbacks when he passed the site of the two-vehicle accident near Sacramento's Arco Arena last month, is determined to return to action.
"It's really all I know. I've done it my whole life," he said. "So those are my plans. I don't know what kind of player I'm going to be, but I'm willing to find out."
Hurley said his left shoulder is still nowhere near its pre-accident strength. He began rehabilitating the shoulder by rolling a basketball across a table. But, he said, he has not picked up a basketball since he mastered that skill.
Saturday night was only the second time since the accident that he has been surrounded by a basketball atmosphere. He was selected for the rookie game after his accident, and his doctors ++ said they had no problem with his traveling to Minneapolis.
"It's been positive. [The NBA players and officials] have gone out of their way to make me feel a part of the team," he said.
His mother and uncle were at the Target Center "to keep an eye on me." His father, St. Anthony Coach Bob Hurley Sr., was unable to attend.