Theo Pinson
ESNY Graphic, AP Photo

The Brooklyn Nets are bringing back Theo Pinson and his contributions to the team are felt in ways that don’t show up in the box score.

On Monday the Nets re-signed Theo Pinson to a two-year deal just a few days after rescinding his qualifying offer. The signing came just a few hours after Pinson and the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Washington Wizards in their third summer league game.

Pinson is one of four Nets players participating in summer league that was on the active roster last season. Rodions Kurucs, Dzanan Musa and Jarrett Allen are the other three players getting some run in Las Vegas.

After the roster was basically purged this offseason, who would’ve thought Pinson would be one of the survivors? But perhaps there’s a reason beyond the court as to why general manager Sean Marks decided to bring back the young guard.

Pinson initially joined Brooklyn last year on an Exhibit 10 contract for training camp. His skill set was good enough for the Nets to offer him a two-way deal. Throughout the 2018-2019 season, Pinson got some burn in Brooklyn. He appeared in 18 games averaging about 4.5 points in just under 12 minutes per game.

His numbers in the G League, however, were a bit more impressive. The UNC product averaged 20.7 points, 6.1 assists, and 5.9 rebounds per game in 34 appearances with Long Island. He even dropped 43 in a January game.

He was a big part in the Long Island Nets run to the G League Finals. Now, this isn’t to say Pinson can’t ball out on the big stage. In a win against the Knicks (yes, I know, but they’re still an NBA team) Pinson actually led the entire Nets team in scoring with a team-high 19 points.

Although Pinson may not see huge minutes on a squad with a lot of guard depth, his role on the team might be one of the most important on the team. All it takes is watching one Nets game from last season to know that Pinson was the leader of Brooklyn’s “Bench Mob”.

In basketball, there are different types of glue guys. Some glue guys show their worth by how well they mesh with others on the court. Other glue guys could be savvy veterans (i.e. Jared Dudley) that help keep the locker room together. And other glue guys are the ones that keep the team upbeat during the worst of times. And that’s where Theo Pinson comes in.

When talking about the culture in Brooklyn, the bench mob from last year is a perfect example of it, and Theo was right in the middle of it. The camaraderie and energy they had brought joy and life to not only to the fans watching but to their teammates performing on the court. Honestly, they may have given “Team Hype” a run for their money.

Last season former Celtics forward Marcus Morris had an interesting choice of words when, in an interview following a blowout loss to the Clippers, he alluded to the energy he saw from other team’s benches.

“I watch these other teams around the league and guys are up on the bench, they’re jumping on the court, they’re doing all other stuff that looks like they’re enjoying their teammate’s success,” he said.

Clearly, one of the teams he was referring to was the Nets. I mean, what other team’s benches were doing antics quite like Brooklyn?

That bench camaraderie could also be one of the underlying reasons Kyrie Irving wanted to take his talents to Brooklyn. As much blame as Celtics fans and media want to put on Irving for the struggles last season, it wasn’t all on him. There were egos from the young players who had gone to the Eastern Conference Finals without Irving.

Brooklyn’s decision to bring back the ring leader of the bench mob is a plus for the Nets. This lets them hold onto a piece of what made last season so special. Don’t be surprised if you see Kyrie dancing right alongside Theo at times this season. And when Kevin Durant comes back forget about it. We all know how much KD likes to dance, as evidenced by his pre-game dance rituals with the Warriors.

The individual and team dances from last year circulated around social media throughout the course of the season. In fact, a montage of the Nets bench mob has been one of the most popular memes on twitter the past few months.

And if you want to know the song in the montage it’s “Pissy Pamper” by Young Nudy & Playboi Carti. You’re welcome.

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Justin Thomas is a graduate of Temple University. While there, he was an on-air sports talk host for W.H.I.P as well as sports reporter for the Temple yearbook. Over the past few years, Justin has written for a few publications including Sports Illustrated. On top of writing for ESNY, Justin is also a Senior Writer for and has had work featured on Bleacher Report.