The Brooklyn Nets have gone back and forth making multiple roster changes during this season. They may have had to sort through many pebbles as they put the finishing touches on their roster, but they have found an absolute gem in the form of newly acquired guard Mike James.
James has proved to be instant offense for this Nets squad. In 6 games the Nets guard is averaging 6.2 points, 1.7 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game off the bench. This includes an impressive 15-point performance against Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers without James Harden or Kevin Durant on the floor.
James has stayed persistent throughout his basketball career and his unwavering drive is already paying off in a major way.
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Mike James Receives Second 10-Day Contract From Nets
On Monday the Nets announced that they would be signing the former Russian League standout to a second 10-day contract per Marc Stein of the New York Times. This announcement comes on the heels of Harden suffering a setback on a hamstring injury that he incurred against the New York Knicks on April 5.
Harden’s Injury Made Re-Signing James a Priority
Nets head coach Steve Nash says that there is currently no timetable for Harden’s return, but the team is optimistic that they will have the nine-time All-Star back in time for the NBA playoffs.
“He’s shooting and doing all his strength and rehabilitation work,” said Nash, via the New York Daily News. “So positive signs there, but still, I think a way to go.”
“He’ll be back when he’s back. That may not be until the playoffs. It may be sooner. I don’t know,” Nash continued. “We have no control over that other than working as hard as we can to support him and getting back to full health to play again. We’re prepared for whenever that may be.”
James Is Already Becoming a Locker Room Favorite
James was an absolute stud overseas during his tenure in the Russian league. He led the league in points per game (19.3) while ranking seventh in the league in assists per game (5.7), per CBS Sports.
In just a short time with the Nets, James is \starting to make an imprint in Brooklyn. He has already become a favorite in the locker room amongst Nets starters, Joe Harris and Kevin Durant.
“Mike’s been great just coming in and playing his game,” Harris said per Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “He’s just a good point guard, being able to get into the paint, create for guys, does an excellent job driving and finding open guys. But he can also get his own shot; and for him to be with us for a week and we’re running plays for him at the end of the game says a lot.”
Durant had a relationship with James even before he arrived in Brooklyn as the NBA journeyman has a close relationship with KD’s older brother Tony. The two-time NBA Finals MVP understands just how hard Brooklyn’s newest addition has worked to get where he is.
“Just been around the world playing the game of basketball, so he’s seen different styles of play,” Durant said via the New York Post. “At his age, with his experience, he’s one of those guys you can throw in there any time and he can be himself.
“He knows who he is as a player,” Durant continued. “Once guys figure out what their games are like and how they approach the game, it’s easier for them to just slide in and contribute right away. Mike’s one of those guys. He got hot for us and we stuck with him.”
James could end up being a key piece in the Nets securing the franchise’s first NBA title.