Tuesday, July 15, 2008

James Singleton: Not another Bass ... yet

James Singleton has heard the comparison plenty this summer: He’s this year’s Brandon Bass. Nice words, to be sure, but perhaps it’s a good idea to tap on the brakes just a bit.

Not to say that both Singleton and Bass have a thing or two in common. Neither had the best Draft experience – Singleton wasn’t picked and Bass, the SEC Player of the Year out of LSU, went in the second round. Both spent two years with the same team to open their NBA careers, only to leave without fanfare.

But the road for Singleton has taken a few extra turns. Bass did stick in the league at first, though he played a bit role with the Hornets before the Mavericks came calling last summer. Singleton, a Murray State product via community college, took his show to Italy for two years before landing with the Clippers.

His stint with the Clips wasn’t too memorable – averages of 2.6 points and 2.7 boards – so it was back to Europe. He ended up winning a title in Spain last season (TAU Cerámica) and winning a few more NBA fans … at least among general managers.

Not giving up on his basketball dream, Singleton returned home with the goal of making it stick in the NBA. He’s cleared one hurdle by signing with the Mavs, who were in the market for untapped potential. In other words, another Bass. He’s currently making his Mavs’ debut with the summer league team.

Singleton, who turns 27 on Sunday, isn’t the same wrecking ball as Bass. He’s a 6-foot-8, 230-pounder who can fill in some at power forward in pinch, but is best suited to play on the wing. President of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said his defense, especially against high-scoring swingmen like Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady, sold the Mavs on Singleton.

Now it’s up to Singleton to make it work. Read the Q&A with Singleton at mavs.com.

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