July 17, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Memphis Grizzlies player Josh Selby (2) reacts after a three-point play during the game against the Washington Wizards at Cox Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
Josh Selby has had more than his fair share of problems in the past, but the young Memphis Grizzlies guard seems to have grown up -- and found an impeccable jump shot -- while playing in the NBA Summer League.
LAS VEGAS -- Josh Selby was given a vote for this past season's All-Rookie teams, and to be quite honest, it was one he didn't exactly deserve -- unless his time playing for the Reno Bighorns in the NBA Development League was being taken into account -- considering he averaged just 2.3 points over 28 contests with the Memphis Grizzlies .
That won't be a problem when the All-NBA Summer League team is concerned but, thankfully for the second-year guard, there's much more on his his mind as he tries to make himself an integral part of the Grizzlies' rotation. If his Summer League play is any indication -- he's averaging 29 points through his team's first three outings in large part to making 19 of his 26 three-point attempts -- he's well on his way.
"First of all I just want to give thanks to God because he blessed me with the ability to shoot," Selby said following Friday's game. "I've just been out here working on my game and now it's paying off out here."
It's paying off in a huge way, too, but the guard obviously isn't going to be afforded quite as many touches during the NBA season. And it seems he's okay with that; at least while talking with the media, he's showing that he's embraced the role player mindset he'll need at this stage of his career.
"I'm just trying to fill whatever role the team needs me to fill," Selby said. "If it's as a three-point specialist, I'll work on that. If it's creating as a scorer, I want to work on that."
And that is exactly the attitude Selby has to have if he's going to succeed in the NBA.
The Kansas Jayhawks guard that disappointed in college has realized that Summer League statistics are to be taken with a large grain of salt -- and he's used that knowledge to give the media the answers he should give, distancing himself away from the attitude problems that he's had earlier in his career.
"Anything the coaches ask me to do, I'm going to do that. Out here they want me to be a leader so that's what I'm going to do right now," Selby said. "I'm just going to keep trying to get better day by day. Just working on my handles, my mechanics, building better chemistry with some of the guys and getting ready for next season."
It's interesting to hear Selby talk this way considering his reputation, but it's a welcome addition to his repertoire: high-character guys that can shoot lights out from beyond the arc and have plenty of room left to grow aren't exactly a dime a dozen in the NBA.
And, even better, he realizes he's far from a complete player.
"Everything... Everything," Selby said when asked what he needs to work on. "Defense, seeing the floor, getting better at shooting, everything. There's always room to improve everywhere."
Whether Selby ever realizes his upside is still to be determined considering he's still a young 21 years of age, but the shooting touch and improved attitude in Vegas should certainly help his cause.