NBA D-League Select Team Gets First Win After Wildest of Endings
LAS VEGAS -- The play that NBA D-League Select Team coach Conner Henry drew up was designed for Trent Lockett to get a mid-range shot off a hard curl.
The play that gave the Select Team a Summer League win over the Hawks featured four missed shots in the span of 12 seconds, the ball changing hands like a hot potato, 6-foot-9, 260-pound Bryan Davis tumbling to the floor and, finally, Devin Ebanks making one of the easiest layups of his life.
"The 12-second soccer play? No, I didn't draw that one up," Henry said after his team's 94-92, double-overtime sudden-death win on the third day of the Las Vegas showcase.
Even fewer have ended in baseball-style walk-off fashion, with 1:02 still remaining on the game clock, since Summer League rules state that the first team to score in the second overtime wins. Players and coaches did not discuss the rule in their huddles because, well, most of them didn't know it existed until the PA announcer informed the entire arena on Sunday evening.
"I wasn't sure what was going on," said guard Tre Kelley.
"We wanted to get the tip; we didn't get the tip. We were just trying to come up with the ball -- it was such crazy drama going on."
It was no ordinary win, but then again, no win is ordinary for the NBA D-Leaguers, even in Summer League exhibitions. While they laughed about the gift-wrapped game-winner in the locker room afterward -- with seven-year vet Ron Howard trying to steal the glory for his tipped rebound that led to the layup -- they also left with the satisfaction that they hung with the big-leaguers yet again.
"Every player, let alone the team, we're just trying to prove that we belong," Kelley said.
"A lot of us guys have been playing professionally for a long time. Most of us played in the D-League this season and most of us had great seasons. Some of us were an inch away from a Call-Up. We're just trying to get a training camp nod from one of these teams and see if somebody can notice us. If we win, they will notice that we came here to play. We're not trying to play around."