Things can change pretty quickly for professional basketball players. While the rags-to-riches stories can be seen throughout the NBA, there are seemingly just as many stories that take a much different route.
Gabe Pruitt's is just that, as the former second-round draft pick has rejoined the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA Development League. The team is an affiliate of the Lakers and plays its games in the Staples Center, though the atmosphere for D-Fenders games is a bit different than that of the beloved Lakers. That's something that Pruitt is still adjusting to.
"It is a humbling experience when you play at the Staples Center and there’s 10 people there," Pruitt told the Boston Globe at the end of December. “It makes you work that much harder. I want to get back to the top — the fans, the signs, people coming in wearing your jerseys. This down here brings you down to earth and humbles you because you may think time will pass you by."
Pruitt, a native of Los Angeles, has averaged 36.4 minutes in 10 games, scoring 11.4 points per contest. He's also averaging 3.9 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game. In parts of two seasons with the Celtics, Pruitt averaged just 7.4 minutes of playing time per game. He was waived by the Celtics at the end of last summer and was let go by the Knicks in early October.
"In Boston, I was young and I was living that lifestyle of a young guy with all the stuff being handed to me, and now I’ve got to take a step back," Pruitt told the Globe. "I see it now. This is what I had. It can be taken away real quick, which it was for me. And coming back here, it really showed me and opened my eyes that this is a business and you can make moves at any time."
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