SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Tex. — Utah Flash guard Orien Greene had a message after Tuesday’s game that a scout from Portland wanted to chat. Greene then received word that representatives from Chicago hoped to catch up at the hotel that night.
That’s what the Showcase is all about.
“I kinda always felt like I was right there,” said Greene, the D-League’s third-leading scorer. “I was always a borderline guy. I felt good coming into the season and doing the D-League thing again. The D-League is good exposure. We get scouts for every game.”
Greene does have plenty of NBA experience, 128 games worth over three seasons with three different teams. But he hasn’t been on an NBA court in more than two years, having spent time in Australia and with the Flash since last suiting up for Sacramento.
A second-round pick by Boston in 2005, Green played his most significant role with the Celtics that season. He backed up starting point guard Delonte West and averaged more than 15 minutes per game. Greene was suspended last in the season for one game and waived in the summer of 2006.
He played sparingly the next two years, first with Indiana and then the Kings. Now 28, Greene is aware of what he needs to improve to impress NBA scouts.
“Shooting the ball a little bit more consistent, taking care of the ball a little bit more, showing I can defend all types of guards,” he sad. “Showing a lot of versatility. I’m sure different teams want different things. I’ve pretty much got to be ready for anything. Whatever they want me to do, I’ll do.”
Greene isn’t sure how serious the interest is from the NBA this time around. But it’s there.
“It feels good,” he said. “Maybe this time around I’ll get a shot. I feel like I’m right there. I’ve put in the work over the years. It’s been showing on the court. I’ve put up pretty decent numbers.”
DUNKERS NAMED: Chris Johnson (Dakota), Marques Blakely (Bakersfield), Dar Tucker (New Mexico) and L.D. Williams (Springfield) are part of the first-ever Showcase Slam Dunk Contest, which is taking pace Wednesday night.
The two-round competition allows the dunkers to make up to two in each round, with five judges each awarding between 5-10 points for every made dunk. The two dunkers with the highest composite score after the first round advance to the finals.
SHOOTOUT SPECIALISTS, TOO: The eight players competing in the Three-Point Contest will be Corey Allmond (Fort Wayne), Andre Ingram (Utah), Marcus Landry (Reno), Chris Lofton (Iowa), Scottie Reynolds (Springfield), Jamar Smith (Maine), Robert Vaden (Tulsa) and Booker Woodfox (Texas).
The contest will be three rounds, and features a moveable ‘Money Rack’ and increased points awarded for shots made from deeper shooting spots. Both the dunk and 3-point contest air on VERSUS on Jan. 15 and Jan. 29.
MAD ANTS ADD CHISM: The Fort Wayne Mad Ants acquired Wayne Chism and have waived Obi Muonelo on Tuesday. Chism, a 6-9 forward out of Tennessee, was recently waived from a team in Turkey.
Chism averaged 12.6 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.3 assists as a senior. Muonelo, the Mad Ants’ first-round draft pick, averaged 4.2 points per game in 19 games for the Mad Ants.
Wednesday Showcase Schedule (times ET)
Bakersfield vs. Fort Wayne, 11:45 am, NBA TV
Maine vs. Reno, 2:30 pm, NBA TV
Tulsa vs. Dakota, 5:15 pm, NBA TV
Rio Grande Valley vs. Erie, 8:00 pm, VERSUS
Slam Dunk/Three-Point Contests, 10:30 pm, VERSUS (Jan. 15 & 29)