On Saturday, February 17th, some of the NBA’s best players will be coming together for All-Star Weekends biggest day, with events like the 3 point contest and Slam Dunk Contest. This night will also include stars participating in the NBA Skills Competition. This year’s Skills competition will feature some of the brightest names in the NBA. The participants will be, Joel Embiid, Al Horford, Lou Williams, Kristaps Porzingis, Donovan Mitchell, Jamal Murray, Lauri Markkanen, and of course Brooklyn’s own Spencer Dinwiddie.
It’s more than fair to ask, who is Spencer Dinwiddie and how did he get to All-Star Weekend? The University of Colorado Boulder product was drafted in 2014 (Round 2, Pick 8) by the Detroit Pistons. 14 months ago, Dinwiddie was stuck in the D-League trying to show his skills, and now he’s on his way to his home state of California, to perform in the Skills Competition. Dinwiddie was traded by the Pistons to the Bulls, and later waived and placed on Chicago’s D-League team, before Brooklyn began to take notice. On December 8th, 2016, the Nets signed Dinwiddie, and it was his golden opportunity with a young team to stand out and earn his place in the league. Last season, Spencer averaged just 7.3 points per game and 3.1 assists per game as one of Brooklyn’s backup point guards. This season however, Dinwiddie was thrown into a starting role after injuries to Jeremy Lin and D’Angelo Russell, and Dinwiddie has kept the Nets competitive. This season, Dinwiddie is averaging 13.5 points per game and 6.5 assists per game including a career high 31 points earlier in the season against Toronto.
Spencer has been the Nets biggest and best surprise of the season, in a season that is for building, the Nets may have found a strong piece in Dinwiddie to pair alongside D’Angelo Russell and promising rookie Jarrett Allen.
Talking prior to the Nets game vs the Lakers on Friday night, Dinwiddie said of the nomination to the Skills Competition, “It’s been well-documented, never No. 1 in anything. Still hopefully a long way to go, hopefully one day being a real legitimate All-Star and a champion and all those things. But for now to be recognized at 24 years old after being in the G-League 13 months ago, 14 months ago, it’s crazy. And for my family it’s surreal, and for me even when you stop and smell the roses a little bit, it’s pretty cool.”
The Nets are on the way back from one of the most damaging trades in franchise, maybe sports history, when the Nets gave up what turned into 4 extremely good first round picks for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. However, with new coach Kenny Atkinson and new GM Sean Marks, the Nets are beginning to turn things around, so something very small like a player going to compete in an all star event, is a huge accomplishment for Brooklyn and it’s future.