I’m a sucker for a “Rudy” story, where the underdog gets his chance. Sundiata Gaines, for instance. He’s the former Jazz player who made a game-winning shot in 2010 against Cleveland.
Though Delaney Rudd was a more established player, he languished behind John Stockton. But he made a big buzzer shot in the playoffs in Portland one year. I was sitting courtside and remember the look of joy and relief when he sank the shot while filling in for Stockton.
But I also remember other players who did little in their chance to play stick in the NBA.
If Garrett can continue to play well for the remaining 73 games, that would be a real story. A lot of players can have one day. But many days?
Gaines played 113 NBA games – a respectable number – in three seasons but hasn’t made it long-term in the NBA. Same could be true with Garrett. Nice as it is to play big in one game, coaches like to say it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
On the positive side for Garrett, he’s on a team that desperately needs help at point guard. When Gaines was in Utah the Jazz had Deron Williams.
Odds are good Garrett isn’t a permanent solution. When players bounce around for short periods with several teams, there’s usually a reason. Trey Burke will soon be back from his injury, which will cut Gaines’ minutes. That doesn’t mean he couldn’t stay on as a backup.
But for now, Garrett and Jazz fans can enjoy the moment. Even in a season of despair, there are stories to be told.
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