2016-17 Season in Review | Ramon Sessions
By Sam Perley, hornets.com
2016-17 Review | Ramon Sessions
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Back for a second stint with the organization, point guard Ramon Sessions provided the Charlotte Hornets with an experienced, veteran presence off the bench for much of the first half of the 2016-17 NBA campaign. Although his season ended earlier than expected, Sessions was a serviceable reserve option when healthy who brought forth a wealth of leadership and familiarity with the team’s style of play.
Welcome Back to Charlotte
After playing in Charlotte from 2012-14, Sessions, who hails from nearby Myrtle Beach, SC, returned to the Hornets this past offseason after stints with the Milwaukee Bucks, Sacramento Kings and Washington Wizards. The 10th-year veteran appeared in every game for the team through the end of November, posting averages of 5.4 points, 1.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 0.9 turnovers in 18 total appearances.
During this stretch, Sessions recorded a season-high-tying seven assists on three separate occasions and was ranked tied for 11th amongst NBA point guards in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.38) within the first full month of the 2016-17 campaign.
Sessions’ numbers jumped a bit the next month as he registered 7.5 points on 40.7 percent shooting, 1.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 0.9 turnovers in 16 total contests. In his only start of the year on Dec. 16, Sessions recorded 13 points, a season-high six rebounds and six assists in a 96-88 road loss to the Boston Celtics.
Through his first 16 appearances of 2017, Sessions stayed steady with averages of 5.9 points (44.4 percent from three-point range), 1.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game through Feb. 1. This span included a season-high 17 points, two rebounds and two assists for the Hornets backup point guard in a 112-105 home win over the Brooklyn Nets on Jan. 21.
Sometime during the first week of February, Sessions began feeling soreness in his left knee amidst the team’s Western Conference road trip. After undergoing an MRI, he was diagnosed with a lateral meniscus tear, forcing him to undergo what would ultimately be season-ending surgery. It was a sudden, abrupt end to Sessions’ year and the first major injury he had really experienced as a NBA player.
“In my 10 years, that was the first time that I had surgery and actually missed games of that magnitude,” said Sessions during player exit interviews on April 12. “[My knee] feels good now. Probably about two weeks ago it was ready to go, but with practice time and the schedule, not being able to get those reps in, it didn’t make much sense not being able to test it out in practice and trying to play in the game.”
Sessions finished the season with averages of 6.2 points on 38.0 percent shooting, 1.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 16.2 minutes over 50 total appearances. He also posted an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.80, his highest mark since the 2008-09 NBA season (2.97) and third highest overall of his career.
2017-18 Season Outlook
The Hornets have until June 29 to make a decision on whether or not to exercise Sessions’ team option for the 2017-18 campaign. During end-of-season media availability, Sessions reflected on his return to Charlotte and the adversity he faced.
“I enjoyed it. The way the franchise has grown since I came here a few years ago, the fan base, everything that’s going on, it’s in a great direction. Obviously, this wasn’t the plan, to be speaking this early in April, you know talking to you guys. But we have a great locker room, a great coaching staff and guys like to work hard, so we’ll be alright next year.”
“It was tough. In my 10 years, I’ve probably missed 20 games total, so to miss those 30 games this season was tough each day. It’s something I wasn’t used to. [This summer I’ll] just sit back and relax a little bit and then start the grind all over again.”