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Kent Bazemore, ranked NBA’s 499th-best player, has ‘499’ stitched into shoes (pic)


Before the start of the 2012-13 NBA season, ESPN rated the best players in the NBA, ranking them from No. 1 all the way down to No. 500. Worth noting that there are 450 spots available spread out across the rosters 30 NBA teams. Low, low down on the list was Golden State Warriors shooting guard Kent Bazemore at No. 499. The only player ranked lower was Eddy Curry, who is now manning the center position for the Zhejiang Golden Bulls of the Chinese Basketball Association.

Bazemore clearly viewed the ranking as a slight and has decided to use the number 499 as a motivation of sorts while he toils in the NBA Summer League working on his game.

Stitched into the back of the tongue of his shoes is “499,” a constant reminder of ESPN’s utterly low ranking of a first-year player who appeared in 61 games, averaging a paltry four minutes per game, while bouncing back and forth to the D-League during the 2012-13 NBA season (via @cjzero):


Bazemore’s decision to stitch “499” into his shoes appears to have paid off in some sense, as the young man apparently averaged over 18 points in 30 minutes a game during Summer League play. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if his sturdy performance has altered ESPN’s perception of his caliber of a player when the annual rankings come out before the 2013-14 NBA campaign.

[H/T Ball Don’t Lie]