The Warriors are known to have some of the most passionate fans in professional sports. The team has sold out its last 10 games and all indications are that there will be another capacity crowd on hand Wednesday night when the team hosts the Oklahoma City Thunder. While many of the 19,596 screaming fans that enter Warriors Ground on a nightly basis are second and third generation Warriors fans, the club’s biggest supporter of all might just be this 23-year-old guy from Kelford, North Carolina.
Kent Bazemore has become a fan favorite in the Bay Area, and it has every bit to do with the passion he brings to the basketball court. An undrafted rookie who signed with the Warriors after a successful Summer League stint with the club, Bazemore has provided an outgoing and jovial spirit that’s symbolic of the high level of team chemistry the Warriors have displayed this season.
If you have seen the Warriors play at all this season, you’ve seen Kent Bazemore. He doesn’t play much – the deepest Warriors roster in years limits him to just 2.7 minutes per game – but he’s as active as any player in the league. Whether it’s an animated move to celebrate a 3-pointer – you may be familiar with the hashtag #Bazemoring – or simply applauding the good hustle of a teammate, Bazemore’s enthusiastic antics on the bench endear him to his teammates and the fans.
There’s nothing fake about it. He is driven to be a successful player at the NBA level, and his performance with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League proves that. In four games with Santa Cruz, he has averaged 23.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.75 steals. He’s known to be a superb on-the-ball defender and Head Coach Mark Jackson has begun using the swingman as a defensive specialist in certain situations with the big league club.
Like most rookies, Bazemore must work diligently in practice and continue to bide his time until given the opportunity to shine on the court on a consistent basis. Until then, he’ll be in full on support of his teammates.