Come for the bad pun, stay for the good story.
The Texas Legends hosted their annual NBA G League Draft watch party on Saturday at Strikz Entertainment in Frisco. For the fourth consecutive year, the bowling alley/arcade/restaurant allowed the Legends to turn their prime party room into the team’s draft “war room.”
Coaches and front office personnel conducted their business while fans received a peak behind the basketball curtain. If there’s one thing the Legends do as well as any organization in any sport, it’s taking down the customarily strict barrier between team and fans.
From season ticket holders to first timers, fans of all status and ages rubbed elbows with Legends coach Bob MacKinnon, co-owner Donnie Nelson, team President Malcolm Farmer and the entire coaching staff, front office and some of their favorite players.
Some new and some old showed up to eat some Strikz pizza, wings and other appetizers with fans.
Returning players Keith Hornsby, JJ Avila, Xavier Johnson and Duke Mondy were in the building. Newcomers Bakary Konate, Codi Miller-McIntyre, Josh Newkirk and Rashad Vaughn also joined in on the fun.
As for the draft itself, the Legends made two second round picks, trading up for their first pick, much to the delight of the fans in attendance.
Farmer kept the fans updated on the team’s hopefuls and where they stood periodically. That kind of access is extremely uncommon.
Texas added Marquez Letcher-Ellis with the 41st overall pick, and then selected Lexus Williams at pick 47.
Letcher-Ellis, a 6 foot 7 Houston native, played two years collegiately at Rice. He’s an excellent athlete who can stuff the stat sheet and averaged 10.2 points per game his freshman year.
Williams, a six foot point guard, played three years at Valparaiso before finishing his amateur career at Boise State for the Broncos. He averaged 9.5 points in his senior season, shooting 40 percent from three-point range.
It was an exciting and memorable day for all involved. The Legends added two players they targeted going into the draft, and fans experienced the usually private draft war room setting while snacking on hot pizza, wings and drinks.
Next up for the Legends Nation will be bowling with the team to get to know the 2018-19 roster. Like I said, access like none other.