Yesterday, former San Antonio Spurs player Alonzo Gee found a new, but familiar, home. Unfortunately for Spurs fans, it wasn’t Austin.
After being drafted by the Austin Toros out of Alabama with the sixth overall pick in the 2009 D-League draft, Gee quickly became a fan favorite in his rookie campaign which ended in an all-star nod and the rookie of the year award.
It didn’t take long for teams to take notice. The depleted Washington Wizards came calling with a 10-day contract, which lead to another. In just a short time, Gee had gone from being an end-of-the-bench player to a starter and Verizon Center favorite. Gee averaged 7.4 points in just 16.5 minutes per game with the Wizards, including a 19-point outing against the Bobcats.
But soon Gee had another team calling and a very enticing offer to consider.
It was guaranteed playing time without a guaranteed contract in Washington or sitting on the bench in San Antonio with guaranteed money into the 2010-11 season, being on a playoff team and the chance to be mentored by three NBA stars.
Gee chose San Antonio and never looked back, until now.
Gee went on to sit and earn a check, a role he would know all too well in San Antonio.
Through summer league, Gee averaged 14 points and five rebounds in the most minutes he would play in silver & black.
While most thought Gee and Bobby Simmons would compete in training camp for the backup small forward spot, it was James Anderson who took that role. When Simmons was waived and when Anderson was diagnosed with a stress fracture that would keep him out from six to eight weeks, many in San Antonio thought Gee would finally get his time to shine.
But Gee would only play in two more games before he got his own walking papers.
Gee was one of the players I had high hopes for coming into this season. I though he would have a shot at making the roster out of training camp, but I sensed something was wrong when he couldn’t buy a minute in preseason play.
The Spurs made a run at Gee likely on the thought of potential alone, but in all honesty, Gee was still not yet ripe for the picking for the Spurs. Gee made his money on athleticism and scoring, but not shooting. And it should be obvious by now that the Spurs will take risks on two types of players, shooters and defenders, of which Gee was neither.
That’s not to say that Gee isn’t an NBA-capable player, as made obvious by the Wizards signing, he just wasn’t Spurs-ready yet.