Jawai debuts for Stampede
THE Idaho Stampede split its weekend double-header and Nathan Jawai would probably prefer to split his stats after his debut in the NBA development league.
Jawai fouled out in just over 17 minutes in his opening appearance with the Stampede during their 107-92 loss to the Utah Flash on Saturday.
The centre, sent to the Toronto Raptors’ D-League affiliate by his NBA club to get some court time under his belt, had eight points, six rebounds and four turnovers off the bench in his opening game but improved when the Stampede played the Flash again yesterday.
Starting in place of injured centre Lance Allred, Jawai finished with 12 points, five rebounds, two steals and three blocks as the Stampede regained first place in the league’s western division with a 104-96 win.
Jawai told the Idaho Statesman newspaper he did not resent being sent to the D-League.
"The thing is, I wanted to come down here and log some minutes and get back into game shape quicker," he said. "I can’t just come here from the NBA and be all selfish and think I’m the man.
"I’m not that kind of guy.
"I want the guys to play how they play. I want them to keep doing what they’re doing. I’ll just try to fit myself into the team."
Stampede coach Bryan Gates said he understood from Jawai’s intense questioning when the pair met he meant business during his time in Idaho and realised why the Raptors had signed the Bamaga behemoth to a two-year deal.
"We’re excited about helping the Raptors in his development because he is somebody who could play in the NBA for a long, long time," Gates said.
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