LOS ANGELES — Anyone who knew the Spencer Dinwiddie story knew not to count him out when he looked down.
That was true when at Colorado he had played his way into the first round of the draft, maybe the 2014 lottery, until an ACL injury derailed him. He had to battle back from a devastating injury, push his way back through the then D-League to the NBA, and wait for his chance. When he got it this season in Brooklyn (after the Jeremy Lin injury) he grabbed it and has had a quality NBA season for the Nets.
So when Dinwiddie was behind the Kings’ Buddy Hield in the first round of the All-Star Saturday Night Skills Contest, he needed a little help. Dinwiddie got it when Hield missed his first three (you have to close out the race with a made three), Dinwiddie caught up and drained his on a pull-up jumper.
Forget the fact Dinwiddie is shooting 28.5 percent on pull-up threes this season, he did the same thing to Jamal Murray in the semi-finals.
Dinwiddie boat raced Bulls’ rookie Lauri Markkanen in the finals when the big man struggled with the passing skill and got so far behind it was over.
“It’s big for me to even be at All-Star Weekend considering the road that’s been in my career, very up and down, Dinwiddie said. “Obviously being in the G-League both on assignment and as a G-League player, thank you to the Brooklyn Nets for giving me this opportunity to play and be here.
Then it all really feels and seems full circle because I got to come home and do it in front of my family.”
Dinwiddie was born in Los Angeles and played his high school ball at Taft High School in Woodland Hills (in LA’s San Fernando Valley). He went against the likes of Jrue Holiday and DeMarre Carroll, and he learned some hard lessons there.
It’s all paying off now for Dinwiddie, who has proven he belongs in the NBA.
And that he’s got skills.