19 July 2011
It’s amazing what can happen in twelve months’ time.
Last year around this time Pooh Jeter was preparing to sign his NBA contract with the Sacramento Kings, but ask the man today what his plans are for next season and he’ll confess his future is up in the air. One thing is for sure – he won’t be back in Sacramento.
The end of Jeter’s tenure with the Kings was pretty much confirmed during the NBA Draft when the Sacramento Kings selected both BYU's Jimmer Fredette and Isaiah Thomas from Washington in late June. With Sacramento declining to pick up the option on Jeter’s two-year contract and with the ongoing NBA lockout situation, the 27-year-old free agent who played overseas in the Ukraine, Spain and Israel before signing with the Kings last July said he’s in the decision making process about returning to Europe for next season.
"With the lockout it has to be Europe," Jeter told the Sacramento Bee.
"I'm hearing from a lot of European teams and they're talking good so hopefully I'll decide something by next week maybe and definitely try to get the NBA-out clause and all that. But if I've got to be over there for a year, I've got to be over there a year. And I'll just have to come back continue to do what I do."
During his rookie season, Jeter appeared in 62 games and averaged 4.1 points and 2.6 assists per game. He also served as the teams’ player representative in matters pertaining to the current lockout, which appears bleaker by the day.
Back in January, Jeter unknowingly foretold his future when asked about what was at that time a pending work stoppage. After executive director of the Players Association, Billy Hunter, warned the Kings at the time to expect for a lockout that, “would last all of next season”, Jeter had no choice but to wait and see.
"For me, I'd like to see the lockout resolved but at the same time, I'm going to leave it in God's hands. Whatever happens, happens and I just have to stay ready for the next stage," Jeter confessed at the time.
Now seven months later the NBA has officially locked out the players and this former Portland Pilot sounds like he’s ready to update his passport and pack his bags for basketball overseas once again. Until Jeter finalizes a contract though, he continues to spend much of his time floating from game to game it seems these days.
Jeter has been a mainstay at the Drew League, the premiere pro-am in Los Angeles and even found the time to get some run on YouTube in a highlight reel dunk from Tim McGrath, a guard for Cal State Dominguez Hills, dunking over Jeter during one Drew League game.
Charity games have also been on Jeter’s agenda. He recently participated in the Long Beach charity game along with Brandon Jennings (who went for 81 points), Trevor Ariza, Jordan Hamilton and Dorrell Wright, and this coming weekend Jeter will participate in Seattle’s H206 Charity Game, as part of stacked roster that includes Jennings, Wright, Michael Beasley, Nolan Smith, Klay Thompson, Pooh Marcus Banks, Brandon Roy, Spencer Hawes, Rodney Stuckey, Isaiah Thomas, Jamal Crawford, Will Conroy, Martell Webster, Aaron Brooks, Michael Dickerson, and Marvin Williams among others.
What’s next after Seattle?
Pooh Jeter is like the rest of us.
He’s waiting to find out where he goes from here.
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