Comeback Trail: NBA Veterans Who’ve Returned in the NBA D-League
Published on March 2, 2017
As Nate Robinson and Ben Gordon try to prove themselves in the NBA D-League in hopes of making a return trip to the NBA, look back at other NBA vets who have traveled the same route.
2017: Nate Robinson
Like Baron Davis last season, 11-year NBA vet Nate Robinson has begun his comeback attempt with the Delaware 87ers, the Sixers' affiliate.
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2017: Ben Gordon
The 11-year NBA vet has joined the Texas Legends, affiliate of the Dallas Mavericks.
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2017: Tyler Hansbrough
The 31-year-old former Pacer has returned to Indiana with their NBA D-League affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.
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2016: Baron Davis
At 36, the two-time All-Star suited up for the Delaware 87ers for the first time since suffering a knee injury in the 2012 NBA Playoffs. He averaged 12.8 points in 22.5 minutes over six games.
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2015: Tyrus Thomas
The No. 4 pick in the 2006 NBA Draft returned with the Iowa Energy at the 2015 NBA D-League Showcase. Nine days later, he signed a 10-day contract with Iowa's parent club, the Memphis Grizzlies.
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2013-14: Josh Howard
Howard averaged 14.7 points in 24 games with the Austin Toros (now the Austin Spurs).
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2013-14: Ricky Davis
An older, wiser Davis emerged as the veteran leader of the Erie BayHawks, averaging 13.1 points over 40 games.
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2013: Rasual Butler
At 33, it appeared Butler's NBA playing days were over. Then he rejuvenated his career with the Tulsa 66ers (now the Oklahoma City Blue), landed a deal with the Pacers and enjoyed a resurgence with the Wizards last season.
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2010-12: Antoine Walker
Years after his peak with the Celtics and title run with the Heat, Walker joined the Idaho Stampede for two seasons. He showed he still had some game left, putting up 16.0 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 2010-11.
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2011-12: Greg Ostertag
The longtime Jazz center gave it a go with the Texas Legends five years after retiring. He played just 10 games before ending his comeback attempt due to a knee injury.
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2011, 2012, 2014-15: Mike James
The ageless James returned to earn Call-Ups to the Bulls and Mavs in two consecutive years. Last season, his run finally ended at age 39 -- though he still put up 17.2 points and 6.9 assists per game for the Texas Legends.
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2012-13: Troy Hudson
At 36, the former T-Wolves guard played 14 games with the Sioux Falls Skyforce before struggling with injuries and calling it quits.