"No offense to some of the sciences and humanities and whatnot," Hawes said, "but it's not really my passion or proved to be that helpful later on in life."
And yet, there is something tugging at him to complete his coursework.
He promised his mother he would do it.
Hawes isn't an anomaly in the Clippers locker room. Each of the 11 players who have not obtained their college degrees said they planned to do so.
Of the four who have graduated —
It would be easy for NBA players to major in indifference about their college degrees when they already have millions in the bank and futures as secure as a brigade of armored trucks.
They rarely have a day off during a season that can last eight months and they like to spend summers training and traveling.
"It's just so hard to do it," point guard
A degree would take some extra doing for
The upshot to all that work would be a degree from one of the top schools in the country, which could lead to a job in broadcasting and later coaching.
A template for that path was created by Austin's father, Doc, who returned to Marquette during summers early in his career with the
"I went back my first two years in the NBA," the elder Rivers said. "Everyone told me, including my professors, 'If you didn't go back right away, you're probably not going back,' so I went back."
Another avenue for
Udoh said the classes he needed were paid for by the school as part of his basketball scholarship. It wasn't that odd being an NBA player on campus, he said.
"Shoot, I was another regular guy driving a nice car," Udoh said.
The big debate among players who choose to go back to school is to be or not to be on campus. Many like the convenience of online classes but others have picked majors that lend themselves to more direct interaction with classmates and teachers.
"Drama major is kind of hard online," point guard
Robinson needs to finish one more year of coursework toward a degree he hopes would help him develop as an actor. He has already co-starred in the "Uncle Drew" Pepsi commercials alongside Cleveland's Kyrie Irving.
"Hopefully," Turkoglu said of going to college, "it will make my transition a lot easier when I stop playing."
Now Hamilton hopes to complete a degree in communications that would allow him to become a television host after his NBA career.
Some might wonder what's the point of twenty- and thirty-somethings giving it the old college try when their bank accounts rival the endowments of their respective schools. Clippers point guard
"A wise man once told me, 'If you've got money, you don't need a degree,' " quipped center
Jordan then turned serious and said he would like to finish college to appease his grandmother's wishes.
Paul said he intended to take classes at Wake Forest in the coming months because he expected to spend the summer at home in North Carolina. He needs mostly electives to finish his degree in communications after completing much of his coursework in his major during his two years on campus.
"I've got to take like golf and all that," Paul said.
His resolve to get his degree may be topped only by his determination to win an NBA championship.
"I told my mom, even if I have to walk with Little Chris," Paul said, referring to his 5-year-old son, "I'm going to get it."