Former NBA Stars Running It Back With G-League

The G-League isn’t just for upcoming youngsters who may not be old enough or quite ready for the rigors of the NBA yet. It’s also for veterans that want to recapture their glorious NBA past or are trying to salvage a fading NBA career. 

Lance Stephenson, Michael Beasley and Jeremy Lin are all signing with the NBA’s G-League.  

Lance “Born Ready” Stevenson 

Stephenson was actually “99%” set to sign a deal with his former team, the Indiana Pacers in March, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. He was not permitted to sign with the league after spending the first part of the season in China.

“Born Ready” the nickname given to Stevenson, who starred at Brooklyn’s iconic Lincoln High School, before attending the University of Cincinnati as a one-and-done player, last played in the NBA in 2019 as a member of the Lakers. 

Stevenson, best known for antagonizing LeBron James in several hard-fought playoff losses with Indiana, possesses career averages of (8.6 Points, 5.9 Rebounds, and 2.9 Assists) in 508 career games.

His agent Reggie Brown says he 100% deserves to be in the NBA and he’d flourish in today’s small-ball era. The weakest link in his game throughout the years has been shooting the basketball with consistency and playing under control in an NBA system (which is overrated). 

He sees himself as a guy who can play the 1-3 and even resemble a Draymond Green type as a small-ball power forward, but with a better offensive repertoire than the loquacious Green.

Michael Beasley aka “B-EZ”

Beasley last played in the NBA for the Lakers in 2018-19, where he averaged (7.0 Points and 2.3 Rebounds) in 26 games.  He then signed with the Brooklyn Nets in July to help them in the Orlando NBA bubble, but never played after testing positive for COVID-19.

In his career, he’s played in 609 career games with Miami, Minnesota, Phoenix, Houston, New York, Milwaukee and the aforementioned Lakers. With career averages of (12.4 Points and 4.7 Rebounds) while shooting (46.5 %) from the field, (34.9%) from three and (75.9%) from the charity stripe.

“Born Ready” and “B-EZ” will both be entered into the G-League draft and chosen on Monday, January 11th. 

Other notable players eligible to be drafted are former UCONN star Emeka Okafor, Justin Patton, Jacob Evans, Dzanan Musa, and former Tennessee star Admiral Schofield. 

Also former first-round picks Terrence Jones (Kentucky) and Shabazz Muhammad (UCLA).

LiAngelo Ball aka “Gelo”

Gelo, the only Ball Brother to not make the league yet, has also entered the G-League bubble and is eligible to be drafted as well.

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Jeremy Lin aka “Linsanity

He’s joining the Santa Cruz Warriors, the affiliate G-League club of the Golden State Warriors. The “Dubs” did attempt to sign the former (Harvard Crimson Tide and 2012 Knicks 2-month breakout) star last month, but that was stymied after the team was unable to obtain an “Official Letter Of Clearance” from FIBA by the deadline to do so. 

Lin isn’t a stranger to the G-League, having played for the Reno Bighorns in 2010-11 before signing with the Golden State Warriors. He then went on to play for several NBA teams, including the Knicks where the catchphrase “Linsanity” was born. 

Following his time in the “Big Apple” he was a member of the Rockets, Lakers, Hornets, Nets, Hawks and Raptors. 

Lin even won an NBA title in 2019 with the “We The North” Toronto Raptors, before spending last season with the Beijing Ducks in China. He looked like the 2012 version of himself in China averaging (22.7 Points, 5.6 Rebounds and 5.6 Assists) while leading the Ducks to the postseason for the first time since 2016.

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