After cramming home the nastiest slam of the Las Vegas Summer League, Golden State Warriors guard Kent Bazemore has officially made the transition from "sideshow" to "showtime."
Best known for his sideline celebrations, the second-year stud has been a revelation for the Warriors this summer. Bazemore is averaging 19.4 points per game while leading the Dubs to an undefeated record and the No. 1 seed in the inaugural Summer League tournament.
His slam, a wicked, one-handed spike over rookie Jackie Carmichael, was the catalyst in a 15-2 run that helped the Warriors steal the game from the Dallas Mavericks in the final four minutes. The comeback was great, but everyone was more impressed by the athletic smash.
Kent Bazemore just brought the damn house down. Vicious dunk— James Herbert (@outsidethenba) July 19, 2013
Bazemore's quickness, vastly improved court awareness and remarkable length were all on display when he hammered home his memorable jam.
Kent Bazemore puts Jackie Carmichael on a poster. #bazedgod— Kevin Pelton (@kpelton) July 19, 2013
There have been plenty of subtler standout moments for the Old Dominion product this summer as well. He has proved to be a surprisingly capable ball-handler, a solid facilitator in the pick-and-roll and a lanky pest on defense. With a 6'11" wingspan, he's a nightmare for opposing guards.
Bazemore wingspan update: I think he can tie his shoes while standing upright.— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) July 19, 2013
But as one of the Warriors' younger players, Bazemore is still subject to some good-natured ribbing from his veteran teammates.
Some folks even went as far as to ask one of the Dubs' more notable dunkers if Bazemore had been receiving dunking lessons.
HBarnes) July 19, 2013
Jokes aside, the Warriors have something of an open competition for their backup point guard spot with Jarrett Jack now playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers. The team has obviously been grooming Bazemore to transition to the 1, and based on his summer league performance, he's handled the move brilliantly.
There are plenty but Kent Bazemore comes to mind RT @Mitch_Libanoff: @me most underrated/ under-appreciated defender in the League?— Amin Elhassan (@AminESPN) July 19, 2013
So there's a chance he'll see much more playing time in his second season.
The slam against the Mavericks might be the first time Bazemore has gotten some NBA notoriety for something other than his antics on the bench. But it almost certainly won't be the last.