Glen Rice, Jr. on Blazer workouts
Glen Rice, Jr. completed his sixth NBA pre-draft workout on Friday as one of six players invited to the Portland Trail Blazers’ practice facility. But his count, he should have seven or eight more remaining. The cross-country tour to find a job may sound taxing, but it sure beats an NBA D-League road trip – as Rice, Jr. certainly knows.
“It’s not that bad as you would think,” Rice, Jr. said of playing the 2012-2013 season with the D-League Rio Grande Valley Vipers. “(But) traveling, now that’s one thing. That’s a 12-hour span. We flew, but we were in cities where you had to connect in Houston and then you had to fly to the other big airport and then from there, you had to fly to the little airport that you’re close to. And after then, it still might be a 30-40 drive. And them layovers – the layover is four hours at times.”
Remind me never to aspire to become a D-Leaguer. But that was Rice, Jr.’s landing spot after he got kicked out of college his junior year.
Rice, Jr. – if you haven’t figured it out yet, he’s the son of NBA sharpshooter Glen Rice – played nearly three seasons at Georgia Tech before a string of troubles ended his college career. Late in the 2012 season, Rice, Jr. was charged in connection with a shooting incident outside of an Atlanta nightclub. And this happened during a time when Rice, Jr. had already served suspensions for team violations. The incident led Rice, Jr. to go pro instead of enrolling into another school and he played 42 games with Rio Grande Valley (the D-League team that gained notoriety for its connection to Houston draft pick Royce White).
“I just decided the D-League would be the best place for me to showcase my talent,” Rice, Jr. said, then described how his game evolved over the year. “It’s improved. The main thing really is the ability to shoot the spot-up three. In college, I was more off the dribble and didn’t play without the ball as well. Mainly because all of the guys on the team are D-I elite athletes. So they play with the ball. Somebody has to spot up. We can’t all have the ball at once.”
Beyond the game improvement, Rice, Jr. must also prove to teams that he is not a liability. Accordingly, Rice Jr.’s off-the-court problems have been a major talking point during the interviews with teams.
“Yeah, that’s a big deal. They just want to know that I’m mature,” Rice, Jr. said. “They don’t want to pick me up and then have flashbacks. That’s not good for what they’ve put their money in.”
“I’m just more mature on and off the court. You can see it in the game, you can see it off the court. That’s the main thing.”
A little postscript here…
When we were talking about his improvement in spot-up shooting, I dropped a James Jones comparison and Rice, Jr. gave this gem.
“James Jones?! I don’t think James Jones has got into the game in, like … ” he said while trying to think of something that could mean a very, very, very long time. “I’m more like Danny Green or something. I can see that. Don’t get me wrong, James Jones – he’s nice, but he doesn’t get in for whatever reason.”