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Kent Bazemore Has '499' Sewn into Sneakers After Being Ranked 499th in the NBA

Photo via CJ Fogler's Twitter/NBA TV.
Photo via CJ Fogler's Twitter/NBA TV.
Dan FavaleFeatured ColumnistJuly 23, 2013

Kent Bazemore is a lot of things, and relentlessly motivated is definitely one of them.

The Golden State Warriors' summer league standout finished 499 in ESPN's 2012 ranking of the top 500 NBA players. Clearly, sideline celebrations weren't taken into account.

Determined to never forget that he dwelled next to the ever-hungry Eddy Curry, Bazemore had his ranking, "499," stitched into his shoe.

Thanks to CJ Fogler (h/t Yahoo! Sports), we were able to catch a glimpse of the three digits Bazemore will forever remember:

Undrafted out of Old Dominion University, Bazemore found a home with the Warriors last season. Few expected him to even make the roster—hence his ranking—but he went on to appear in 61 games for Golden State.

While he averaged a mere 4.4 minutes per appearance, Bazemore earned a claim to fame with his electric cheerleader-esque energy. Animated revelries followed even the most trivial of made baskets. Where there was a point scored, there was a sprightly fist-pumping and towel-waving Bazemore waiting.

"Bazemoring" has become a league-wide phenomenon, prominent enough to appear in NBA 2K14. But Bazemore himself wants more.

Sideline partying isn't going to get him more playing time, nor will it put any additional distance between him and the doldrums of the Association's player rankings. Answering the call to improve—that's how his out-of-game frolicking can see the light of regulation.

During his time in Vegas, Bazemore certainly played like he was done being "499." Averaging 18.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists in just over 30 minutes per game, he helped lead the Warriors to a summer league championship.

One has to imagine he's deserving of a higher placement this time around, but how far up the ladder he climbs over the next few years is ultimately up to him.

Judging by the look of his footwear, no one is more aware of this than Bazemore himself.

 

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