Sundiata Gaines: We Hardly Knew Ye

Posted on: April 15th, 2011 by Dennis Velasco Comments

After the completion of a wild New Jersey Nets season, Nets are Scorching will be looking back at the players that made it happen.

Final Stats: 10 G, 0 GS, 14.6 MPG, 5.5 PPG, 2.5 APG, (1.0-1.4) 2.4 RPG, 0.9 SPG, 0.0 BPG, 41.7 FG%, 23.5 3P%, 55.0 FT%, 99 ORtg, 15.3 PER

Gaines only played 10 games for the Nets, but he made enough of an impact that he did a couple of things - 1) made Ben Uzoh expendable and get sent down to the D-League and 2) earned a guaranteed two-year contract from the Nets. Of course, a few days later, Gaines suffered a fractured right hip. Ouch. There really isn't much more to say about Gaines, the Jamaica, Queens native other than it'd be perfect if he was with the team when they moved to Brooklyn and he started going out with one of the BK natives. At least for LL Cool J fans.

The Pink Shirt: (ed. note: in honor of The Greatest Nets Fan in the History of Nets Fans, this is our award given to a player’s best moment of the season.)

Actually, of course there's more to say about Gaines, who first burst on the scene and made people notice quick fresh off a call-up by the Utah Jazz from the D-League. Who can forget? In any case, Gaines biggest moment as a Net came in a 102-98 loss to the Indiana Pacers on March 21 when he scored 18 points on 6-for-11 shooting from the deck and 5-for-7 from behind the charity stripe. He added six boards, three dimes, and three rock rips in only about 24 minutes of play. But then...

The Paper Bag (ed. note: in honor of last season’s Brett Yormark controversy, this award is given to the player’s worst moment of the season.)

The second-year player that worked on his grind, earning two 10-day contracts from the Nets and eventually a two-year contract, got hurt, only playing less than five minutes in the next game. Season over.

Final Thoughts:

Gaines looked more than capable when he was on the court and played with confidence as all Queens ballers do... and I don't say that because Gaines and I grew up in the same neighborhood. Seriously. It'll be interesting to see if the Nets keep Uzoh on because they won't have to with a healthy Gaines on the hardwood. He's more than solid for a third lead guard and in back-up duty this season, however small a sample, it will be intriguing to see what he can do when he's back on the floor next season.

Final Grade: INC