It’s mid-September and the Denver Nuggets have still managed to make headlines, at least a little. As the pro and college football seasons kick off and divisional races in baseball begin to heat up, it seems like the sports community temporarily forgets what that sport with an orange,round ball is. Despite this, their signing of Josh Childress is something interesting for the basketball world to talk about.
Childress has become the first player from Ice Cube’s “BIG3” basketball league to sign with an NBA team. While he hasn’t been seen stateside playing in the NBA since the 2013-14 season, he’s continued to play professionally overseas.
Where It All Began
If you were an NBA fan long enough ago to remember his days in the league, then you remember the interesting role he played for the Hawks.
He was selected sixth overall by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2004 draft. Despite playing for a team with an embarrassing 13 total wins, Childress wouldn’t secure his starting spot until mid-season. Once he did, he would go on to start the final 38 games of the season. He scored in double figures in 30 of those games.
After this, he wouldn’t find himself on the hardwood for the opening tip 38 times the rest of his NBA career combined. As a reserve, he still saw very quality minutes over the next three years with the Hawks.
His four-year Hawks career would end with him averaging 11.1 points on 52.2% shooting and 5.6 rebounds in 31.3 minutes per game.
Childress then took his talents to Greece where he would continue to play at a high level. He returned to the league two years later but his most meaningful days of NBA basketball were behind him.
In his last NBA-like play, he averaged 12 point and 6.5 rebounds for the Texas Legends of the NBA G-League in 2016.
Here and Now
Now at 34-years-old, the Nuggets have given Childress an opportunity for a comeback. It’s unlikely that he will have a large role but the team definitely signed him for a reason. His ability to play both the shooting guard and small forward spot will increase his chances to find minutes.
Juancho Hernangomez is currently listed as the team’s second small forward though he’s more accustomed to playing the four. Of course, the popular thing in basketball these days is to be as “position-less” as possible. Only having one natural small forward ahead of Childress on the roster makes it easier to plug him in.
No matter what his game minutes shake up to be, he will still be a good veteran presence in practices and in the locker room. He was also a pivotal part of a Hawks team that took the No. 1 seed, and eventual NBA champion, Boston Celtics to seven games in the first round.
If the Nuggets find themselves as a low playoff seed, Childress would be a good guy to turn to for advice and experience.
For all your collegiate and professional apparel needs, check out 365 Gameday.