“I went under the radar for some reason and this camp is a chance to prove this season wasn’t a fluke.”
Finding a diamond in the rough is an NBA scout’s dream when perusing the talent that lurks in the D-League. Undoubtedly, this season’s diamond was Hassan Whiteside, and his gain opened the door for another player to step in and prove their worth.
Enter: Another well-traveled post player in Jarrid Famous.
The Iowa Energy snagged Famous from the D-League’s available player pool just a few short weeks after Whiteside’s departure and he wasted little time proving his potential, posting 10 points and 13 boards in his first game. Unfortunately, he tore his meniscus after only 10 games, and once the team employed a smaller lineup in his absence, Iowa facilitated a trade to the Texas Legends at Famous’ request.
Famous ended the season with 27 games under his belt — about half the season — and he made quite the impact on the boards. He finished with a league-leading 14.9 rebounds per night (5.6 offensive rebounds; 9.3 defensive rebounds) to go with 16 points. He also led the league with seven 20-rebound games — consider that he only played 27 games, that’s basically once every four games!
“My goal coming into this season was to lead the league in rebounding — my whole mindset was focused on rebounding and the rest would come.”
Famous achieved his goal, but for some reason he was overlooked when it came to an NBA call-up. Sometimes it can be difficult to pin down one specific reason why a player doesn’t get a call-up, but Famous certainly did all he could given his circumstance. A 6-11 post player with great hands and an uncanny knack for coming up with seemingly every rebound should be an extremely sought after commodity. Factor in that he shot 56.5 percent from the floor and 74 percent from the charity stripe and it becomes even more baffling that he didn’t at least get a 10-day opportunity somewhere.
Even with the disappointment of not getting a shot with the NBA this season, he remained undeterred when talking about his plight. “You know my first season in the D-League [2011-12] I just wanted to score a ton of points and get people’s attention that way,” Famous told Upside & Motor. “But as you mature, you realize that it’s not all about scoring.”
Those are the kind of statements that lead me to believe that Famous has a place in the NBA.
“I think my defense can really improve and that’s been a focus of mine since the season ended.”
While he does not block many shots (only 1.2 per game) Famous does provide a substantial advantage for his team on the defensive boards. The name of the game is limiting opponents to one shot and if you have a guy out there gobbling up every rebound available, that’s almost as good as a blocked shot — though it does not provide the same excitement.
Maybe that’s why Jarrid didn’t get a shot this year. His game does not scream flashy or exciting, (he only had 39 dunks on the season) but he consistently gets the job done.
The D-League’s Elite Mini Camp opens today and goes through Tuesday, and Famous is attending in hopes of earning some NBA Summer League and/or mini camp invites. The excitement of playing in front of NBA executives was heard in his voice when I spoke to him last week: “It’s always a great opportunity to showcase my talent in front of guys like this and I just want to keep giving them a reason to talk about me.”
Jarrid didn’t talk about being famous or becoming a household name like Whiteside, but if he keeps playing like he did this season, he will certainly be on his way to both.