Damion James earned fans at the University of Texas with his high motor and willingness to create contact. But in the NBA, he’s been a bit of a flop.
The Nets drafted James No. 24 overall in 2010 and kept him a few years. In 34 NBA games, James averaged 4.2 points and 3.5 rebounds.
This season, James got a shot with the D-League’s Texas Legends, averaging 16.4 points and 8.3 rebounds.
Now, the 6-foot-7, 225-pound will reportedly get another crack at the NBA.
Marc Stein of ESPN reported it first and now the Spurs have confirmed it — they have signed James to a 10-day contract.
James would bring San Antonio’s roster to a full 15, and by the time his 10-day contract expires, it would be too late to sign another player to a 10-day deal. In other words, unless the Spurs cut James by Monday (and pay him the rest of his owed salary), he’s the last player they can audition before the playoffs.
If the Spurs like his play enough to pay him more, they’ll re-sign him for the rest of the season. If not, they could either enter the playoffs with just 14 players or sign someone else on a rest-of-season contract.
Gregg Popovich is probably looking to rest his good players, and the deep Spurs have plenty of those. That means James, who grew up in Nacogdoches, could have a chance to get on the court and prove himself.
Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:
We likely won’t know more about the extent of his injury until tomorrow, but if it was serious, that would be a major loss for the Hornets. Kidd-Gilchrist is their best perimeter defender and an important piece if they hope to compete for a playoff spot this year.
CHICAGO — Derrick Rose is nearing a return to practice with the Bulls. After undergoing surgery on Wednesday to repair a fractured left orbital suffered in practice on Tuesday, Rose’s recovery is going as expected and he’s expected to rejoin the team on Wednesday.
“The follow-up [exam] went very well,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said after practice on Saturday. “They’ve advised him to continue to let that site heal, and they think the best way for him to do that is to stay at home at this time. We plan on him being back on Wednesday morning.”
Rose won’t be able to participate in practice for another week after that — Hoiberg said the previously announced two-week timetable for returning to basketball activities remains on schedule — but with a radically different offense, there’s a lot to learn, and just being around the team to watch practices and learn the new play sets is important.
“We’re going to actually get over there and watch some film with him today,” Hoiberg said. “Because again, like we talked about [Friday], we’ve added new sets, new things, so we’ll get him caught up by a couple of coaches going over and seeing him at his house.”
The two-week timetable puts Rose’s return to basketball activity around next Wednesday, October 14. From there, it will be a matter of getting him back into game shape before Hoiberg is comfortable playing him in games.
Hoiberg said earlier this week that he is optimistic Rose will be able to play when the Bulls kick off the regular season at home on October 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.