Sim Bhullar RumorsAll NBA Players
Were you the tallest kid growing up in school. Was it tough? (Does it bother you that people continue to make references to your height?) Shim Bullar: I was always taller than everyone else. There was a certain time when everyone had stopped growing, and I still kept growing and growing. I didn’t find it tough as people were really willing to support me and my dreams. After a point in time people started identifying me for my height, but not for the person I am. But I got used to it, and didn’t really care about what people thought about me.
As the first NBA player of Indian descent, Bhullar has attracted a worldwide audience since signing a 10-day contract with the Sacramento Kings. He’s fully aware of the cultural significance and wants to make the most of the opportunity — for himself, his family and every kid in India with a basketball and a dream. “It’s a big moment in the history of the NBA and the history of my country in India,” Bhullar said following Sacramento’s morning shootaround Friday. “I know my family’s going to be proud of me and everybody’s going to be proud of me and cheer me on the court.”
The Sacramento Kings announced today that the team has signed Sim Bhullar to a 10-day contract, according to Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro. Bhullar becomes the first player of Indian descent to be on an NBA team’s regular season roster.
Conditioning has been a question mark in terms of Bhullar establishing a legitimate NBA future. But he has a major supporter in Kings owner Vivek Ranadive — one of India’s most celebrated businessmen — and Bhullar has shed more than 30 pounds over the course of his rookie campaign after weighing in at more than 400 pounds during summer league play with Sacramento last July. Bhullar is averaging 10.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 3.9 blocks in the D-League this season and, as evidence of his improving conditioning, logged 38 minutes Tuesday night in a Reno victory over Bakersfield, totaling 19 points, 15 boards and five blocks.
The 22-year-old is expected to replace David Wear on the Kings’ roster after Wear received a 10-day call-up from the Kings. Reno point guard David Stockton, son of the legendary John Stockton, is another recent Kings call-up from the Bighorns, who have sent a D-League-high five players to the NBA this season with their freewheeling offense under first-year coach David Arseneault.
If the experiment was to see if professionals could play Grinnell’s offense then it has already failed. The Reno Bighorns have become the D-League’s most entertaining team, averaging nearly 140 points and 50 three-point shots a game. One player, Brady Heslip, hit 20 three-pointers in the first two games, scoring 78 points and became a YouTube celebrity for a week. They are fast, aggressive and playing a way no one else in the D-League is playing. But they are not running Grinnell’s system. Not anymore. Reno’s ever-changing 10-man roster has forced Arseneault to scratch the hockey-style substitutions and the full-court press. It’s tough to run shifts and a pressure defense with only 10 players especially when one of those players is a 7ft 5in, 360lbs center named Sim Bhullar who Arseneault affectionately calls “Big Sim”. There are many unique things Big Sim can do. Running a full-court press for more than half a game is not one of them.
The 7-foot-5 center out of New Mexico State scored his first career bucket on a finger roll lay-up in the final seconds of Saturday’s game. According to league source, he will join the Reno Bighorns, the Sacramento Kings D-League affiliate.
According to an NBA source, the Sacramento Kings waived Sim Bhullar, David Wear and Deonte Burton following the team’s 91-57 victory over Maccabi Haifa Saturday night in Sacramento. Bhullar played less than three total minutes over the Kings’ first five preseason games. The 7-foot-6 center out of New Mexico State scored his first career bucket on a finger roll lay-up in the final seconds of Saturday’s game.
Sim Bhullar became the first player of Indian descent to sign a contract with an NBA team Friday, inking a deal to join the Sacramento Kings in training camp. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. “I’ve long believed that India is the next great frontier for the NBA, and adding a talented player like Sim only underscores the exponential growth basketball has experienced in that nation,” said Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, the league’s first Indian-born majority owner. “While Sim is the first player of Indian descent to sign with an NBA franchise, he represents one of many that will emerge from that region as the game continues to garner more attention and generate ever-increasing passion among a new generation of Indian fans.”
How would you describe the time you’ve spent in Sacramento? “It’s a big city, it’s a nice city and I really enjoyed my couple of days I was there. I would definitely like playing in Sacramento – being in that market without a whole lot of distractions.” What would it mean to you to become the first player of Indian descent to play in the NBA? “It would be big – not just for me, but for the whole country and my community back home. To have the first Indian in the NBA and be one in one billion at this level would be crazy.”
How would you describe your roots and decision to attend New Mexico State? Sim Bhullar: “I was born in Toronto. My parents are from India – they came over [to Canada] about 30 years ago. I was originally supposed to go to Xavier [but instead] went to New Mexico State, where I knew the assistant there, Paul Weir. We had a good relationship – he’s from Toronto. He brought me out there and I had fun – I had a good two years there.”
Jon Santiago: Kings summer league roster (so far): McCallum, McLemore, Stauskas, Derrick Williams, Acy, Sim Bhullar, Nick Wiggins, Jared Cunningham and Eric Moreland. They cut Willie Reed yesterday in case you were unaware of that. @Shams Charania reported that first.