Anthony Bennett won a ring over the weekend with his Fenerbahce, his Turkish League team. Led by MVP Epke Udoh, Fenerbahce won the Euroleague championship on Sunday with Bennett mostly playing mop-up duty.
The No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA draft, Bennett is best known for his series of flameouts in stops in Brooklyn, Toronto, Minnesota, and with the Cleveland club that drafted him. Earlier in May he was cut from Fenerbache in favor of former Hawk Pero Antic, before re-joining the team partway through its Euroleague championship run.
Though only a bit player in the title game – playing just 72 seconds without a point or rebound – Bennett knows he still has time on his side in a career gone sideways:
Anthony Bennett is 40 minutes from a Euroleague championship. "I feel I have the last laugh. I just turned 24-years-old, lot of time left."
— David Pick (@IAmDPick) May 21, 2017
Beyond Udoh, who scored 10 points while pulling in nine rebounds, former Washington lottery pick Jan Vesely also added nine points and a rebound in 22 minutes as a starter. After the game, the team posed with the guy who poured salt on a steak in that one photo:
— Basketbol Süper Ligi (@basketsuperligi) May 21, 2017
Bennett’s limited usage in the title game was distressing, and his playoff run was worse: 63 minutes, 12 points on 5-19 shooting (2-11 from three), nine rebounds and six fouls. Via SLAM, his regular season work (nine points and 6.4 rebounds in 22 minutes) looked solid on paper, but the highlights aren’t the most encouraging:
Which is a shame, but at least Bennett is still chasing, and far from discouraged:
All the hallmarks that scouts saw him the forward a half-decade ago, that touch and brute strength, are still in place. An offseason’s worth of workouts has to be in order, Bennett did not look to be in NBA shape with Brooklyn this year or in the highlights package featured above.
Here’s hoping Bennett takes advantage of “just 24” before it turns into “already 25.”
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