Exclusive Derrick White Content from the G League Finals
Following Derrick White’s explosion onto the worldwide NBA map, I recently had a chance this weekend to write an article reflecting on my time watching Derrick play at NBA Summer League in Las Vegas and in the 2018 NBA G League Finals.
While going through my notes, I also listened my postgame audio. With the on court media interviews finished and most of the media coverage focused on the Raptors 905, I found myself with pretty much exclusive access to the champion Austin Spurs. Listening to the postgame interviews I conduced, outside of a champagne socked dressing room that smelled like a hockey bag, I could not help but smile.
Even then, it was clear that Derrick was on his way to being a special player in the NBA:
“He’s been great, he has grown so much over the year. Where the first game he played with us compared to now, I mean he is going to be special player, definitely at the next level.”
Nick Johnson (NBA G League Finals MVP)
It was also clear, that Derrick’s game and personality were a perfect fit for the Spurs:
“Very fun. Derrick is a dynamic scorer, he is an underrated passer - found me on a lot of looks - a lot of cuts going to the rim. I think we built a lot of chemistry me and him together but he has been an awesome asset for our team. He’s very coachable when he comes down here. He’s all about the team and that’s a tribute to the Spurs and the type of guys they bring in and he’s a great guy.”
Jaron Blossomgame (former Spurs 2017 second round pick)
Talking to Derrick after the game you could tell that he was a perfect fit for the Spurs and the Spurs were a perfect fit for him.
I’m just thankful
When I asked Derrick about how crazy the last month and a half had been, he reflected on the entire season: “it’s been a crazy year actually, back and forth and not knowing where I am going to be” and focused more on the team than himself: “just to have a group of guys like we do in that locker room and the coaching staff that we have here make it a lot easier and I”m just thankful”.
I learned a lot
Derrick also demonstrated his mental fortitude, that has delivered him from a player without a college scholarship to the engine of the Spurs current playoff run, while talking the wrist injury he suffered in his second G League game: “When it happened I was kind of disappointed but I tried to keep my mind on straight and find other ways to get better, mentally I had a cast on but I could still do a lot of things. I could still run and work on my left hand and do a bunch a stuff. It wasn’t where I wanted to start but I learned a lot from it and it is what it is.”
Everybody just sticks together
When we talked about Spurs culture, it was clear that Derrick had not only bought in, but was embracing it: “The same thing they talk about in San Antonio is what they talk about here in Austin. Everybody just sticks together. The results speak for themselves. We have such a close group and that makes it fun.”
Continue to work
As we talked about was next for Derrick, he remained focus on the task at hand. Not only returning to San Antonio to play in his first playoff game, but also continuing to work and improve: “I am going to go back to San Antonio and finish the year off strong. I’m going to continue to work and hopefully we go far in San Antonio and from there I just have to continue to get better.”
Talk about foreshadowing… keep pounding the rock Derrick, the best is yet to come!