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Kirk Hinrich accepts diminished role without complaint

Updated: February 7, 2014 12:00AM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — If Carlos Boozer rocked the boat by declaring he wanted to play more in the fourth quarter, Kirk Hinrich could be the one to steady it.

Hinrich has lost minutes to D.J. Augustin. He’s lost his starting job, too, though he got the nod Monday against the Kings.

“I’m very comfortable in that role, coming off the bench,’’ Hinrich said. “I have no problem with it.’’

Asked if it was a badge of honor to finish games as opposed to starting them, Hinrich said, “Sometimes they’re going to finish with the starters, sometimes they’re going to finish with some bench guys. The badge is to just win the game.’’

That’s the mentality coach Tom Thibodeau wants from all of his players.

“I have to do it based on performance, and that’s how I’m making my decisions,’’ Thibodeau said. “That’s how I’ll always make my decisions.

“Hey, look, it’s the NBA. It’s a long season. I don’t want anyone putting themselves before the team. I want to make that clear. Carlos, for the most part, he’s never done that before. So I don’t know the context in which it was said.

“But as I said, it’s my job to get the best out of everyone and to do what’s best for the team. So that’s what I’ll do. I’ll always do it. And that’s not going to change.’’

Augustin has averaged 20 points and 5.7 assists in the previous 10 games entering Monday. Hinrich has averaged 8.3 points and 2.8 assists in that span.


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