Ben Wallace, J.J. Barea, Jeremy Lin, Fred VanVleet, Udonis Haslem.
Aside from all earning hardware on their fingers, each of the aforementioned players were undrafted in their respective classes, yet each has managed to become a household name of die-hard basketball fans around the globe.
After not hearing his name called on June 20th, 2019, Terence Davis hopes to join that club of elite company.
The Ole Miss product was overlooked by every NBA team (most of them multiple times) in this year’s draft, before inking a Summer League contract with the Denver Nuggets, who respectably did not own a pick in the draft.
Unfortunately for Tim Connelly, he showed up and showed out in his one game donning blue and gold on July 5th, dropping 22 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists, prompting Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster to make TD’s hotline bling.
Mere hours later, Terence Davis was a Raptor. His story may remind some fans of Fred VanVleet’s: both had gone undrafted at 22 years old, both were lucky enough to join a team hoping to go deep in the playoffs, and both have a burning belief in their own abilities regardless of their circumstances. Davis’ catchphrase, “Make ‘em believe” rings a bell of VanVleet’s “Bet on yourself” slogan, illustrating how both players are eager to prove to the world what they’re capable of.
Beyond their journeys, both are undersized for their positions which is part of the reason why they have found trouble finding a spot in the league. In an era where executives are intrigued by longer and rawer athletes in an attempt to find the next Giannis Antetokounmpo, smaller athletes with not as much polish don’t receive as much media attention.
What’s important to understand is that heart and work ethic are much better indicators of whether a rookie will become a superstar, than the players’ numbers or physical tools ever could. While it’s easy to pen the Zion Williamson’s of the world as future stars, most teams will never have a shot at landing generational talents like him. Masai has always been skilled at handpicking prospects who are willing to outwork everyone else in their pool, and who will be willing to compete with anyone until they earn the recognition they’re due for. Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, and Kenneth Faried are just a few of many examples.
Terence Davis could be one more guy to add to that list in the coming years. He’s always been one to never stop until he’s satisfied, and he’s certainly not pleased with just cracking a roster. Having been a star football player and basketball player in high school, his grindhouse mentality should have a flame lit under it as he begins to realize what the big leagues are all about.
TD, Canada believes. Now it’s time to make the world believe.