After getting dismissed from Georgia Tech due to off court issues, Glen Rice Jr. had to take an unconventional route to the NBA. For Rice, it wasn’t about proving anybody wrong, but it was about showing himself that he could take such a skewed road, and eventually make his dreams come true.
Luckily for Rice, he was eligible for the NBA Developmental League, which gave him the perfect platform to showcase his talent to NBA scouts. We’ve seen players from the NBDL come and go, but at 22 years old, Rice had a legitimate shot to impress some scouts heading into this years NBA Draft. Averaging nearly 25 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 assists in the NBA Developmental League post-season, Rice’s stock skyrocketed, putting him in the first round in numerous mock drafts.
Despite his ridiculous resurgence, Rice slipped on draft day, which gave the Wizards a perfect opportunity to acquire a scoring guard which they desperately needed, with virtually no risk involved. Second round picks aren’t guaranteed contracts, so if Rice were to slip up and not make the most of his opportunity, Washington could’ve simply cut him without any repercussion.
Las Vegas Summer League is right around the corner, and all eyes will be on Washington’s two rookies, Otto Porter and Glen Rice Jr.
I was honestly worried about the team acquiring a guy with past off-court issues, but Rice seems legitimately motivated by the opportunity to play for the Wizards. After spending a year with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Rice realizes that he has to strike while the iron is hot, or he’ll likely never get another opportunity to pursue his dream. Washington needs a backup shooting guard, and Rice seems hungry to get the season rolling.
The Wizards have started their annual mini-camp, where Rice has certainly turned some heads. For Rice to get consistent minutes on the NBA floor, he has to be committed on the defensive side of the floor, which is an aspect of his game which he considers is undervalued.
After finishing his first workout with the team at the Verizon Center, Rice spoke about his opportunity with the Wizards stating;
Man, I was ecstatic. I didn’t think I was going to be as happy as I actually was. I’m just happy to be here, happy to be a part of this team. I couldn’t think of any other place, rather than here. I’m happy about the way it turned out, and I’m just ready to work.
If Rice’s hard working mentality is genuine, he has all the tools to make an impact at the next level. Continuing to put forth the effort on the defensive end is a crucial key for Rice down the line.
Washington has had scorers on their roster in the past, but none of them were willing to commit to the system. Rice seems redemptive and ready to shut the door on his critics.
Summer League will be a start for Rice. Hopefully he’ll continue to impress the coaching staff, earning a opportunity once the regular season rolls around.