Weekly News from the NBA D-League with Harrison Mitchell


Member of Sioux Falls Skyforce Accidentally Sets NBA D-League Assists Record

by Harrison Mitchell


Harrison Mitchell is a freelance sports journalist covering the NBA D-League for several online sports publications.  He is not on Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media platforms.


Portland, Maine — The Sioux Falls Skyforce prevailed over the Maine Red Claws 97-89 on Sunday night, after a fourth-quarter rally by the Red Claws came up short.  Seth Tarver, G/F for the Skyforce, accidentally set the NBA D-League Assists record during the game.


“I couldn’t believe it, man,” Tarver said afterward, to a man he thought was a local reporter but turned out to be a janitor.  “I’m only averaging 1.2 assists per game right now.”  Skyforce coach Joel Abelson was surprised by the news, as well.  “He’s not a big assist guy, to tell you the truth,” explained Abelson.  “Most of the assists he gets usually come from him airballing a fall-away 3-pointer or something, and then one of his teammates catching it and dunking it.  Like alley-oops, I guess, but not on purpose.”  Tarver, the former Oregon State standout, went to explain to that his court vision and J are getting better, and he’s hoping to catch on with the Sixers or Magic this year.  “I need to get to that trash can behind you,” said the janitor.


Fab Melo, C/F for the Red Claws, led all scorers with 21 points.  Except for Casey Mitchell, G for the Skyforce, who scored 23 points.


Later, Tarver cornered a high schooler who was trying to find the bathroom, assuming he was a college journalist.  “If I had to describe my game,” Tarver told the high schooler, “I’d say I’m a combination between John Lucas III, Earl Clark, and Brendan Haywood.  I mean, I can do it all.”  Tarver took off his jersey and offered it to the high schooler, who politely declined.  “Playing in Maine is fun, you know,” Tarver continued.  “Weather’s cold like my handles, and it makes my J so tight.  I’m feelin’ it from everywhere.”  Tarver wadded up his jersey and shot for the laundry basket, coming up short.  The high schooler teetered from side to side, “I really need to piss, man.”


Sioux Falls is now on a 2-game win streak after defeating Bakersfield at home last Thursday night.  They are 2-0 over their last 2 games.  .


After Coach Abelson went over a few post-game notes, Tarver’s teammates started teasing him about the accomplishment.  Former Pepperdine standout Mychel Thompson questioned the new record, loudly asking no one in particular, “You sure those were passes?  Looked like a loose ball (Mike) Davis picked up and dunked!”  A few more teammates clowned on Tarver.  “He wouldn’t pass the ball if he was inbounding it after a timeout.”  And, “The closest he gets to passing the ball is when the ref asks for it after he double-dribbles.”  Thompson chimed in again, “You wanna write about something?  That m—-r f—-r leads the league in double-dribbles.  That’s some sad s–t!”  Despite the verbal abuse, Tarver seemed to relish his entry into the D-League record books.  He smiled and laughed as he and his teammates boarded the team bus and the jokes continued.


“M—-r f—-r think he Steve Blake!”


“M—-r f—-r think he Luke Ridnour!”


Even Coach Abelson got in on the teasing, “M—-r f—-r thinks he’s John Crotty!  Do you guys remember him?!”  A few moments of silence followed until James Mays, the Skyforce’s leading rebounder, broke the tension, “Man…shut up, Coach.”  Laughter filled the Skyforce bus.


Once athletic trainer, Dustin Schramm, was finished loading the team’s equipment, the bus was ready to begin its long journey home.  Sioux Falls heads back to South Dakota for a 2-game homestand against the Austin Toros and Reno Bighorns on Wednesday and Friday of this week.  As the bus door closed, Tarver was crouched next to the bus driver, who he thought was a blogger working on a documentary for NBATV.  “Thing is, I get to the rack so easy I never think about my dimes.  A night like this, though?  I look up at the scoreboard and there it is.”  The bus driver shifted gears, ignoring Tarver, who kept riffing.  “You gotta let it flow, know what I’m sayin’?  If I’ve learned one thing in the D-League, it’s that you don’t choose nights like this,” Tarver said, as he pointed to the sky, “They choose you.”  The driver nodded and checked his side mirrors as the team pulled out of the parking lot, “You gotta take a seat, bud.”


Tarver finished the game with four assists.

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