Despite a 5-7 record, there has been a lot to like about the 2022-23 season so far when it comes to the San Antonio Spurs. Whether it’s the rise of players like Devin Vassell and Keldon Johnson, the energy and good vibes the team gives off, or the exciting, team-oriented brand of offense, this team has been a lot of fun to watch on most nights.
Now, there might be yet another thing to be excited about: Bassey Mania. More specifically, the surprising play of Spurs two-way player and local high school alum Charles Bassey. The former second round pick was released by the Philadelphia 76ers before the regular season began, and the Spurs quickly snatched him off the waiver wires and signed him to a two-way contract. It quickly became clear that he is above the G League is a 33-point, 15-rebound debut.
Then, the opportunity for playing time in San Antonio opened up after backup center Zach Collins, who is having a resurgent year of his own, suffered a stress fracture in his left leg. It initially felt like a big setback for the team, but Bassey has stepped right in and filled his shoes, averaging 6 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2 blocks while being +23 points when on the court over the last three games. His play in the first two games was already opening some eyes, with highlight reel-worthy blocks and dunks, but he really exploded onto the scenes last night against the Bucks, where he made a little NBA history along the way:
Charles Bassey is the second player in NBA history to have 14 rebounds, 4 blocks and 4 assists in less than 20 minutes played and the first player in league history to do it off the bench pic.twitter.com/i6qku6YVKX— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) November 12, 2022
While he only had 5 points to go along with those historic stats, the Spurs didn’t need him to be a scorer in their win. That part of his game can come along later, but in general, two-way players aren’t expected to come into NBA games and make league history.
As of now the Spurs don’t have an open spot on the main roster, but if they decide to sign Bassey to a guaranteed contract, they could easily waive non-guaranteed guard Jordan Hall. They one thing that might prevent from doing that right away is the depth at guard Hall is providing while Blake Wesley is out, but the good news is two-way players can now participate in 50 NBA games, so there’s no severe rush to waive Hall and sign Bassey before Wesley returns.
Regardless, right now it appears the Spurs are doing what they’re known for, having uncovered yet another diamond in the rough and turning him a legit NBA rotation player, and Bassey is now yet another reason to keep watching this fun team, whether the wins keep coming or not.
Charles Bassey on Spurs being the "perfect" spot, he's locked in, watching film, wants SAS to win, playing for Popovich, learning the game, shooting the 3 shot, his defense, playing in San Antonio... #porvida #nba #gospursgo pic.twitter.com/kmODdnX01s— JeffGSpursKENS5 (@JeffGSpursZone) November 12, 2022