Utah Jazz: Veteran Jamaal Tinsley Brings Unique Basketball Smarts to Utah

Karthik TadisinaSenior Writer IApril 22, 2012

Jamaal Tinsley.
Jamaal Tinsley.Chris Graythen/Getty Images

One player making the most of a second chance in the NBA is veteran guard Jamaal Tinsley. There was a time when he thought that he would be out of the NBA for good.

Tinsley entered the NBA in 2001 after spending two years at Iowa State University, where he was drafted by the Vancouver Grizzlies but was traded to the Atlanta Hawks and then once more to the Indiana Pacers on draft night.

However, Tinsley was able to take over the starting role with Indiana and became an integral part of the team for the next seven seasons before finding himself without a role after dealing with various injuries. As a result, he has not been in game-playing shape.

Things got quite ugly in Indiana, as the Pacers were ready to move on to other players. Tinsley was pretty much on the way out and no longer being given playing time.

The Pacers eventually released Tinsley in 2009, allowing him to become a free agent and start a new era.

Tinsley made a brief appearance with the Memphis Grizzlies during the 2009-10 NBA season although he had a bench role, but was looking to pick up his basketball career.

Like other NBA veterans seeking a return to the league, Tinsley was selected by the Los Angeles Defenders of the D-League and eventually signed a contract with the Utah Jazz.

Tinsley has been a great influence in Utah, as he brings a lot of playing experience to a team that is filled with youth. Playing behind Devin Harris has allowed Tinsley to work well with the likes of youngsters Derrick Favors, Alec Burks and Enes Kanter.

Tinsley has been receiving more playing time as of late under head coach Tyrone Corbin, who likes to change the offensive style depending on which point guard is on the floor.

Tinsley has always been a smart player who, when in shape, is one of the top point guards in the league. He is creative with his passing and scoring abilities.

He may have finally proved that he can continue his basketball career and can be a leader on the basketball court.