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News » Rookie earns his chance

Rookie earns his chance

Rookie earns his chance
Kyle Weaver wasn't sure if he would be drafted.

Seven months later, the reserve guard out of Washington State is carving out a role off the Thunder bench.

"He's experienced a lot of the NBA the first few months of his career," said coach Scott Brooks. "The one thing I like is he's always treated practices like a game. He gets there early. He has pushed our players. Those are character traits you want.

"When he showcases his talents, players think, 'Wait a minute. We've got to somehow get this guy in a game.' That's what he's been doing the past two months. He's earned this opportunity."

In Oklahoma City's last five games, Weaver has averaged 4.0 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists.

"There was an adjustment stage," Weaver said. "But now that you get to put what you've learned to use in games it feels good, especially when the team is getting stops, scoring or getting rebounds."

NBA teams lean toward scorers. That's why Weaver was unsure how general managers would evaluate an All-Pac 10 defensive player who averaged 12.2 points his senior year.

"My mind was pretty much everywhere last summer," Weaver said. "You hear so many different things from people who have been through it. Certain guys were supposed to go different places. When it doesn't play out that way it opens your eyes this is a business."

Charlotte selected Weaver in the second round with the 38{+t}{+h} pick overall. Only first-round players have guaranteed contracts. But six weeks later he was traded to Oklahoma City.

A 6-foot-6 guard, Weaver can guard all three perimeter positions. He owns the only triple-double in Washington State history. He became the first Pac 10 player to record 1,000 career points, 500 rebounds, 400 assists, 175 steals and 75 blocked shots.

"He's not strictly a defender," Brooks said. "He's a good shooter. It will be a confidence thing as he gets more minutes. He can hit open shots. He has range up until the 3-point line."

Weaver is just thankful for the opportunity.

"I was just happy to get drafted," Weaver said. "When I heard my name called that day I was like, 'I'm finally here. Let me in the gym and show what I can do.' (The Thunder) wanting me gave me a sense of security."

Jazz AT Thunder

→When: 7 tonight

→Where: Ford Center

→TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma (Cox 37)

→Radio: WWLS-FM 98.1, WWLS-AM 640

→Live blog:

Three things to know:

→The Jazz are 7-11 on the road and have lost their last four road games, allowing 108.2 points in those four games.

→Paul Millsap, who had a 19-game double-double streak snapped Saturday, sat out Monday's game with a bruised knee.

→Mehmet Okur scored a career-high 43 points in a win Monday over Indiana.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: January 16, 2009


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