Spencer Dinwiddie's Summer Circles Back to Brooklyn
After some time in his hometown and a trip to China, guard is looking forward to a new season
Spencer Dinwiddie is feeling that late summer vibe. Training camp is coming up, entering that "here-before-you-know-it" spot on the calendar. The gym and the fitness rooms at HSS Training Center are full of teammates.
"It's all ramping up and we're getting to a place where the season is coming up," said Dinwiddie. "It's about to be around the corner. We're putting in some of those final touches, some of that final preparation to get ready."
Dinwiddie is back in Brooklyn after spending much of the early part of summer back home in California, where he was in new-dad mode with four-month-old son Elijah, born shortly after the end of the season.
In May, his teammates came to him for a visit, getting together in Los Angeles for some workouts and team bonding. He was back in New York in June the week of the NBA Draft to join teammate D'Angelo Russell at Steve Nash's Soccer Showdown charity event and to visit Barclays Center on draft night. And in July, Dinwiddie was among the large contingent in Nets in Las Vegas for the NBA Summer League, where he got to connect with recent draft picks Dzanan Musa and Rodions Kurucs.
"They seem like they're great basketball minds," said Dinwiddie. "Very confident guys. I haven't really seen them play, so I couldn't really evaluate them. But I know our coaching staff and organization are extremely high on them. I think they're going to be welcome additions to the squad."
Musa and Kurucs are just two of the new faces that will be in the Brooklyn locker room this season. GM Sean Marks also acquired frontcourt help with Ed Davis, Kenneth Faried and Jared Dudley, along with guard Shabazz Napier and wing Treveon Graham, whom Dinwiddie is familiar with. The pair teamed up in the summer of 2013 to represent USA Basketball at the World University Games.
Like Dinwiddie, Graham spent some time in the G League after college at Virginia Commonwealth, but has been on a steady ascent over the last three years.
"Super hard-working guy," said Dinwiddie. "His range is definitely improving. He's a good shooter. He's going to bring some of that toughness, some of that grit. Be able to guard multiple positions, and that effort, that intensity.
"Shabazz I'm also very familiar with. Obviously, he's a smaller guard than what we have, which I think is going to be an added dynamic. He's very quick, very crafty. Knows how to play the game. Can get up into you defensively. Shot really well from 3 last year. Just an all-around really good player, and I think he's definitely going to help us."
Dinwiddie's last stop before returning to Brooklyn was an eight-day trip to China. He toured several cities with Jeremy Lin doing events and camps, then played in Lin's charity game in Shenzhen to wrap up the trip.
"I had a little bit of time on my own," said Dinwiddie, who cited his time in Hong Kong as a fun experience. "I was just kind of doing my own thing. But most of the trip was thanks to Jeremy. I really appreciated the opportunity to be able to go over there. Obviously, he's not on our team any more, but I consider him a friend. He definitely helped me out a lot. It was fun to be able to do the camp with him at one of his basketball schools, and to play in the game as well to help such a great cause."
Now he's continuing his summer work as he seeks to build on a breakout season. In his fourth year in the NBA, Dinwiddie had career highs across the board, including his 80 games played and 58 games started.
He averaged 12.6 points, 6.6 assists and 3.2 rebounds, steadied the point guard position after injuries to D'Angelo Russell and Jeremy Lin, and delivered some major performances paired with crunch-time heroics, particularly in Brooklyn's string of high-wire January games.
"Scoring efficiency is the main area of improvement," said Dinwiddie. "Overall development. I'm 25 years old, still got a lot of juice in the tank. I want to continue to push the limits of who I can be as a player and see how far we as a group, a collective, can take this thing. A lot of that comes from every individual being one percent better. Trying to do a lot of that."
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