Oct 10, 2013, 1:20 PM PDT
Numbers do lie. Just ask Golden State Warriors’ guard Kent Bazemore.
Prior to the 2012 season, the undrafted hoopster out of Old Dominion was ranked by ESPN as the second-worst player in the entire NBA — No. 499 out of 500.
His teammates joked there were dead people on the list that ranked higher than him.
What did Bazemore do? He wore it like a badge of honor, stitching “499” into the tongue of his shoes so that it could motivate him daily.
“I started somewhere and that’s the most humbling thing for me,” Bazemore said at Warriors Media Day. “To be ranked 499 out of 500 players… I embrace it.”
Last season, Bazemore’s lasting impression may have been his exuberant celebrations from the bench, but he is proving he can be effective on the court as well. He averaged 18.4 points in the NBA Summer League and was a team captain. The monster dunk he threw down on Mavericks’ big man Jackie Carmichael went viral as the Warriors finished the Summer League 7-0.
Now, Bazemore’s stock is starting to rise. He was ranked No. 332 on the same list this year.
“I think it was the largest jump ever, 167 spots,” Bazemore said with a smile. “I don’t think anyone has done that.”
He’s not getting rid of 499, though. He’s keeping it on his kicks. It’s a reminder of where he started. He also plans to continue the wild celebrations that led to the term “Bazemoring.”
“Anything you do as a team is great, that makes you want to play better,” Bazemore said. “When Steph (Curry) shoots a three and I jump up, I’m sure he wants to hit another three to see me jump up again.”
Bazemore likens the Warriors’ celebrations to that of the Oakland Athletics and their home run tunnel. He is a self-described big A’s fan. His grandfather was a Yankees fan, so he initially had to root for the Bronx Bombers by default. He has since shed the pinstripes. Bazemore recently forged a bond with A’s third baseman Josh Donaldson. The neighboring professionals both share the same jersey number.
“Me and Josh tweeted back and forth and exchanged phone numbers,” Bazemore said. “Twenty is a beautiful number. It’s my first year wearing it and it means a lot more now. I was 24, but Mr. Barry has that up on the wall. A little part of me died when I saw that.”
He says a walk-off home run is more impressive than a buzzer-beater, so maybe it won’t be too hard for him to sink a few game-winning shot to continue to vault up the ranks.
Field of Teams
Join us on the Field of Teams as we cover the fun, viral, sometimes even downright weird aspects of Bay Area sports, powered by Casey Pratt and the CSNBayArea.com staff.
Do you have a nugget for our Field of Teams staff? Is there something about Bay Area sports you've always wanted to know? Email us and let us know -- if we use it, we got a t-shirt in it for ya.
Top Posts & Pages
- Berkeley Architect Fights Religious Oppression With Education: Teaches At Illegal, Underground University
- Man Suspected of Having Sex With Teen Boy in Novato: Police
- 49ers Pick Stanford DE Solomon Thomas in the First Round
- Raiders Take Ohio St. CB Gareon Conley in 1st Round of Draft
- Police in Standoff with Walnut Creek Homicide Suspect
- Teacher Accused of Taking Lewd Photos of Young Girls
- Raiders' first-round pick Conley opens up on emotions after off-field issues
- Drive of the Game: Alonso puts A's on the board with single vs Angels
- Graveman breaks down unreal double play, making progress on mound
- Melvin on Graveman double play: Best play manager has ever seen by pitcher
|nannettejeastbayrn on Andrew Bogut is an avid muscle…|
|lauramacky on A’s fans flex creative m…|
|mustangs94 on A glimpse inside NaVorro Bowma…|
|L. Alger on Check out Stephen Curry’…|
|gbories2014 on Super Bowl players’ preg…|