Thursday, January 24, 2008

D.J. Back in the NBA

The last time I mentioned D.J. Strawberry (2003-07), he was being sent to the D-League. But after winning NBDL Player of the Week honors in Albuquerque earlier this month, D.J. was recalled to play for Phoenix, where he has cracked the rotation and is getting increasing minutes (East Valley Tribune):
“He gets after it; that jumps right out at you,” D’Antoni said. “It’s not anything that he has to do. We’ve got a great team out there, we just need his energy. He tries for every loose ball, every rebound and hopefully he can stay right that. That stuff is invaluable.”

Strawberry is loving every minute of it only a month after playing in the Developmental League.

“I’m just trying to bring defense and run around and do whatever it takes to get minutes,” he said. “We have so many scorers and playmakers out there, we just need someone to be out there dogging people on defense, diving around and doing the dirty work. That’s perfect for me. Tonight was better than (Friday) and hopefully the next game is even better.”

The Orange County Register recently ran this feature story about D.J. (who is an O.C. native):
There's no time for D.J. Strawberry to ponder the past, even when so much of his identity is linked to it.

You don't have much time for reflection in the NBA. Not when your job is to stop Steve Nash in practice every day. Not when your coach throws you on the court and tells you to guard Allen Iverson.

"You're going to do that to me right away?" Strawberry thought to himself. "All I could think about was, 'Don't get crossed over.' "

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