Spencer Dinwiddie is making a household name for himself with the Brooklyn Nets, but the NBA universe isn’t giving him the attention he deserves.
Spencer Dinwiddie is proving he can be an elite all-around guard in the NBA. Arguably a candidate for Most Improved Player, Dinwiddie has been putting up consistent numbers, collecting a handful of game-winning plays, and looks like a key piece of the Brooklyn Nets future.
But he’s not getting the attention he deserves from the NBA because of the team he plays for. The Nets, currently 20-45, haven’t been a notable NBA team since the 2014-15 season.
It’s hard to recognize a player if they are on a losing team going nowhere. But Dinwiddie has been doing everything right to get his name in the spotlight. Averaging 13.2 points and 6.9 assists per game, he is a leader for the Nets. Sure, he can improve on defense, but his offensive consistency cannot go unnoticed.
Neither can the number of calls he and his teammates simply are not getting.
According to FiveThirtyEight’s Chris Herring and Neil Paine, Brooklyn leads all NBA teams in blown calls with 28. Dinwiddie leads the NBA in missed calls with 11. Most of the blown calls against the Nets guard has cost Brooklyn games or been a huge factor late in games.
It’s something Dinwiddie spoke about with the New York Post‘s Fred Kerber back in January after am 87-85 loss to the Boston Celtics.
“To see the same type of respect not reciprocated is very frustrating for us. The other thing that’s very frustrating as well: We have these meetings as teams, or with [the players’ association], about respect, so we want to treat everybody with respect, right? Because everybody’s doing their job, and they’re trying their best, including us, [even if] we turn the ball over or calls are missed or whatever it is. But when you approach somebody, and they shush you or they wave you off like you’re not a man, or something of that nature, that’s also very frustrating.
… As one of the leaders on the team, I can express our frustrations we’re losing guys to whatever — random contact, people are driving to the basket getting knocked down things of that nature. We want to treat everybody with respect because everybody is doing their job. We turned the ball over, calls are missed, whatever. But when you approach somebody and they ‘shush’ you or they wave you off like you’re not a man or something of that nature, that’s also very frustrating. To already be in a position of feeling like you’re not getting the same respect whether true or false, it is an opinion. It’s very subjective.”
On Feb. 27, only two NBA players attended a meeting between players and referees. According to ESPN’s Sage Steele, only Dinwiddie and Golden State’s Andre Iguodala participated.
Dinwiddie also participated in the 2018 Taco Bell Skills Challenge on All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles last month. The Nets guard was considered an underdog entering the competition but he proved he should’ve been labeled a favorite.
In the first round, Dinwiddie came from behind and drained a three to take down the Kings’ Buddy Hield. In the semifinals, he came from behind again and drilled a three to take down the Nuggets’ Jamal Murray. In the finals, Dinwiddie put on a show, crushing Bulls’ big man Lauri Markkanen to take home the trophy.
The NBA congratulated Dinwiddie on Twitter but didn’t bother to tag him in the tweet.
Spencer Dinwiddie tops Lauri Markkanen in the final round to become the 2018 #TacoBellSkills Challenge Champion! pic.twitter.com/t62XXJIFBc
— NBA (@NBA) February 18, 2018
Dinwiddie expressed his frustration in response.
Momma I made it! ?…I’ll even forgive y’all for not @ me https://t.co/Qswt67hkGo
— Spencer Dinwiddie (@SDinwiddie_25) February 18, 2018
The only clear way for Dinwiddie to get the attention he deserves is if Brooklyn finds a way to start winning. Brooklyn is currently 14th in the Eastern Conference, 14 games out of the eighth seed.
Winning is everything in the NBA, but recognizing a player for their consistent play and leadership should be noticed, no matter where their team is heading.