Willie Reed Signs with Kings: Call-Up Breakdown
The #CallWillieUp Twitter movement that rose out of the NBA D-League last season has once again been going strong in 2013-14, but it took Willie Reed some time to realize that he didn't have to do anything special to make it back to the NBA.
"Early in the season, he thought he needed the ball more," explained Springfield Armor coach and NBA vet Doug Overton. "When he saw Dewayne Dedmon and Jarvis Varnado get called up [in January and February], he realized that they just played basketball -- run the floor, rebound and finish."
No, there was no social media campaign that could attract more attention than finished lobs and strong box outs. And Reed has done a lot of both during his month-long stretch of absolute domination, which culminated in Friday's contract with the Sacramento Kings that runs through the rest of the season.
|Willie Reed By the Numbers|
|11||Consecutive double-doubles, Feb. 20-present|
|14.2||OREB% as starter, best in NBA D-League|
|3.7||REB% increase from 2012-13 to 2013-14|
|99.3||% of FGs that have come from within 8 feet|
He's played those 15 games with an uncluttered mind, unlike earlier in the season. "He put too much pressure on himself after his Call-Up [to the Grizzlies] last year," Overton said. "He was down after getting cut by Memphis in training camp [in October[. He wanted it from the beginning and it didn't work out."
Now, Reed is playing within himself as well as any prospect in the league, and his role at the next level is as clearly defined as anyone's. He's a dirty work player who can energize a team off the bench. At 6-10, 220, he's an excellent athlete who thrives in transition and has a nonstop motor on the boards -- the type of player who scores though activity alone, without ever having a play called for him. And, at 23 years old, he still has untapped potential.
In the meantime, Reed will be assigned to the Reno Bighorns with an eye on the NBA D-League playoffs -- a platform he can use to elevate his profile even further.