While the Memphis Grizzlies were making their run to the second round of the Playoffs, winning the franchise’s first playoff series and capturing the attention of the NBA world for the first time in franchise history, the team’s star player and franchise player, the one it gave a max contract to that very summer, was on the sideline with a partially dislocated shoulder. His team was making team history, and he was rehabbing and waiting.
The summer too has been a waiting game.
Gay has been waiting for the season to start and waiting for his all clear to play. He was on the sideline as the Goodman League battled the Drew League in a massive summer exhibition. And he was hungry to get back.
With the NBA lockout continuing and the rematch between the two big pro-am leagues set for Sunday at Long Beach State University, Rudy Gay will return to the court. That is adding another near-All Star to a star-studded roster that includes Kevin Durant, James Harden, DaMarcus Cousins and Brandon Jennings. This showdown will be epic.
And Gay is pulling off double duty. He is that hungry to play. Gay will also play in Saturday’s LeBron/Wade/Bosh-hosted game at Florida International University in South Florida.
It is a good thing to see Gay play. He is one of the underrated stars in the league. He poured in a respectable 19.8 points per game and 6.2 rebounds per game in 54 games before the injury. Gay was cleared to play a few weeks ago. And without training camp, he has been hungry to get back on the floor.
“It’s been tough,” Gay told Michael Lee of The Washington Post of his injury. “This is the longest I’ve ever been from the game. That’s the biggest thing. I like the camaraderie, the competition. That’s my job. Whenever you are not able to do your job, that’s tough.”
Gay scored 38 points in Chris Paul’s charity pick-up game last weekend, his first action since the February injury. This will be his re-introduction to competitive basketball, I guess. It will be good to see the Grizzlies star back on the floor.
Photo via DayLife.com.