Who is DeShawn Stevenson really? Is he the guy who feuded multiple times with Lebron James in the playoffs that eventually involved world famous rappers? Did he really get arrested the night of the clinching Game 6 in the 2011 NBA Finals? Is he really the guy with an ATM in his kitchen and Abraham Lincoln tattooed on his neck? The answer to all is undoubtedly yes. Furthermore, he is certainly the most interesting man in the NBA.
His outstanding athleticism growing up allowed him to jump from the high school to the NBA Draft in 2000 as a high school All-American, when he was selected by the Utah Jazz 23rd overall. From there he bounced around from Utah to Orlando to Washington and then to Dallas in a trade with Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood for Josh Howard and other pieces. He is also the first player in NBA history to wear the number 92 on his jersey. He wore number 92 with the Mavericks because he wore number 9 in Orlando and number 2 with Utah and Washington.
Stevenson is someone more valuable to a team than his otherwise putrid numbers.
He took 145 three points shots and 25 two points shows in the 2011-12 season with the New Jersey Nets. He posted a PER of 4.32, which was the worst of any player that was on the court for at least 500 minutes last season. Despite those numbers, he put together a respectable 2010-11 season with the champion Dallas Mavericks. When motivated and on a good team, he has the ability to contribute at a higher level than he showed last season. Hopefully this remains true with this year’s Atlanta Hawks.
On the floor, he’ll hit corner 3’s and go toe-to-toe with even the best wing players on defense. See the 2011 playoffs and being assigned to the two best players in the world, LeBron James and Kevin Durant, in consecutive series as a clinic of how to guard in clutch situations. However, he won’t help the team in any other imaginable area other than on the swag meter.
Most of all, he may be the most misunderstood player in the NBA.
On this Hawks team, it will be incredibly difficult for him to carve out rotation minutes with so many wing players ahead of him on the depth chart. However, should a locker room issue arise, be sure that DeShawn Stevenson, being the consummate veteran he is, will not hesitate to diffuse the situation. Or possibly inflame it. There’s never any way to know with the NBA’s most interesting man.
*All stats per Hoopdata.com