“I truthfully don’t listen to that. The team drafted me there. They saw what I have and that’s why they drafted me. Again, I’m out here getting better for myself and my team and that’s it,” – Hasheem Thabeet on hearing negative talk of him being the second overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft and getting sent down to play in the D-League.
The Memphis Grizzlies sent down their 7-foot-3 rookie Hasheem Thabeet, to the D-League's Dakota Wizards.
Some would say that number should have read 11 or more, but Hasheem Thabeet was only credited for one block in his D-League debut Friday night for the Dakota Wizards against the Erie BayHawks at Tullio Arena in Erie. The Wizards won, 108-103.
Personally, I thought he got two, but he finished the game with eight points on 3-of-4 shooting, two rebounds, two turnovers and four fouls in 17 minutes and 51 seconds of play.
The Memphis Grizzlies sent Thabeet down to the Wizards on Thursday and he played his first of scheduled six games with Dakota.
The second overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft out of Connecticut is scheduled to return to Memphis on March 8, Dakota coach Rory White said. The Grizzlies and Washington Wizards are Dakota’s NBA affiliates. An NBA team can send down first or second-year players up to three times a season.
Playing just 17 minutes and 51 seconds, Thabeet also had his shot blocked from behind by Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Danny Green, who at 6-foot-6 is much shorter than the 7-3 center.
Green was returning the favor as Thabeet blocked his shot within 25 seconds of him entering the game for the first time in the first quarter. An NBA affiliate for Erie, The Cavalier sent Green down to play for the BayHawks.
A rookie out of North Carolina, Green finished with a game-high 36 points Friday.
After the game, I interviewed Thabeet, who arrived in Erie hours before the 7 p.m. game.
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