Although he was not selected in the NBA draft, Kent Bazemore of Old Dominion has signed a two-year contract with the Golden State Warriors. While some of Bazemore’s money is guaranteed by the contract, a roster spot is not. Should he make the team and appear in an NBA game this season, Bazemore would be the first ODU alum to do so since Cal Bowdler suited up for the Atlanta Hawks in his final NBA game on April 17, 2002 (an 89-81 loss to the Celtics – Bowdler scored two points and grabbed two rebounds).
(Incidentally, ODU fans will be sad to learn that Bowdler will no longer be the color commentator on Monarchs radio broadcasts; he has returned to Atlanta for a front office job with the Hawks.)
Writing for Yahoo!, Austin Chang has a thorough account of Bazemore’s success for the Warriors in the NBA summer league. Chang (who knows waaaay more about the Warriors than I do) predicts that Bazemore stands a fair chance to make the team but would not likely see much game action as a rookie.
Even if Bazemore makes the Warriors roster, Chang expects him to spend some time in the D-League this season. Interestingly, the Warriors are in the process of moving their D-League affiliate from Bismarck, North Dakota to Santa Cruz, California. I’m sure that Bismarck is a lovely place in the winter, but I am equally sure that a person could do worse than to find himself in Santa Cruz:
Before you start to feel sorry for Mr. Bazemore, remember that into every life a little rain must fall: Bazemore’s trademark number 24 is not available with Golden State, as the number is retired for Hall of Famer
Dick Rick Barry. (Tip of the cap to @JazzMangat, who pointed this out to Bazemore on Twitter.)
ODU and Monarch fans will sorely miss Kent Bazemore, but here’s hoping he’ll do them proud as the ninth Monarch to wear an NBA jersey.