Kevin Garnett — Minnesota Timberwolves
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — 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.”
The 7-foot-5, 360-pound Bhullar was born in Toronto and played two seasons for New Mexico State, where he averaged 10.2 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.9 blocks. He twice earned Western Athletic Conference tournament MVP honors and led the Aggies to back-to-back NCAA tournaments.
Undrafted this spring, Bhullar was part of the Kings team that won the NBA’s summer league tournament in Las Vegas last month. He will compete for a spot in training camp behind center DeMarcus Cousins and could be a candidate to join the franchise’s NBA Development League affiliate in Reno, Nevada, where he could have more time to develop his skills.
“I’m black… They never let me forget it. I’m black alright… I’ll never let them forget it.”
— Jack Johnson, the first black Heavyweight Champion of the World (1878-1946) (via)
A Legendary Man
This knockout triggered violent white race riots across the USA and the coining of the phrase “Great White Hope” in search of the white man who could defeat Jack Johnson. Black fighters were subsequently barred from championship boxing until the arrival of the great Joe Louis who was forced to explicitly cultivate a media image which was non-threatening to whites.