After going undrafted out of LSU, Antonio Blakeney caught on with the Chicago Bulls’ 2017 Summer League team. He showed them enough there to earn a two-way contract with their G-League affiliate, the Windy City Bulls, that allows the big club to keep him on the NBA level for up to 45 days.
He’s not trying to go back down.
With about 8 1/2 minutes to go in the second quarter of the Bulls’ Tuesday night visit to Staples Center to take on the Los Angeles Lakers, Bulls guard Jerian Grant came up with a loose ball, looked ahead to see the 6-foot-4 Blakeney leaking out ahead of the L.A. defense in transition, and lofted a hit-ahead pass to start the fast break. Blakeney corralled the ball, took a dribble and two quick steps, felt Lakers big man Julius Randle racing toward him to try to contest a shot attempt, and decided to become a legend:
Not only did Blakeney cock back a right-handed tomahawk dunk all over the head, body and aura of the 6-foot-9 Randle … but after landing, he gave Julius the full-on ice-grill mean-mug to drive the point home:
stare em down rook pic.twitter.com/TWKLGOEGsF
— ALSO, KEITHFUJIMOTO (@vineydelnegro) November 22, 2017
Blakeney received a technical foul for taunting Randle on the play. On one hand, that does not seem like an especially smart move for a player in Blakeney’s position. After all, the salary for a two-way player this year is $75,000 (though they receive the NBA rookie minimum on a per-day basis for each day they spend with the big club) and every technical costs an NBA player $2,000.
On the other, though … it kind of feels like money well spent when you’re feeling yourself like Blakeney was after coming out of the gates red-hot in L.A., scoring a team-high 15 points in 10 minutes of work off the bench to help pace the Bulls to a 56-42 halftime lead:
— NBA TV (@NBATV) November 22, 2017
Maybe former Bulls player and Chicago color commentator Stacey King can float Blakeney a loan for the technical-foul cash he’ll owe the league. Anything that inspires a call like “DOES ANYBODY KNOW HOW TO POST VIDEOS TO FACEBOOK?!?!” has to be worth at least a couple of grand, right?
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