Ryan Hollins and His Growth in the NBA
Ryan Hollins came from being drafted as the 50th overall pick to one of the league’s best role players. He kept on working hard to prove everyone else in the league that he deserves to stay in the game. Hollins played for 10 seasons, staying with nine teams in the NBA in that span.
Hollins was clearly hungry to prove his worth in the NBA. He wanted to show the rest of the league that he deserved to be more than just a 50th pick in the draft. He wanted to show what he was made of, and that was his mindset for the rest of his career.
He was motivated to keep on going. He believed that he was simply better against those players who were drafted ahead of him. That motivation worked, and he saw himself being one of the best rookies that were drafted late.
He convinced himself that the scouts have missed out on something. His confidence was off the charts, and that allowed him to play harder than ever.
He specifically pointed out that his season with the Lob City Clippers was the best. He enjoyed an elite unit led by Doc Rivers while the team was spearheaded by Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, who were all-stars back then.
He enjoyed his season with the Clippers. It was a promising team that could have been the next big thing in the NBA if they only got past the first round back then. They presented a strong lineup of players with Blake Griffin and Chris Paul at the helm.
‘I would get a dunk. Eric Bledsoe would come down and get a dunk. Jamal would go through somebody’s legs’, he said. ‘Matt Barnes would race down and get like a highlight block or hit a corner three. It was a highlight the entire time! The crowd would be so loud’.
They also had players who were playing at a high level despite sitting at the bench. Hollins loved his teammates no matter who he is in the court with. He shared minutes with Matt Barnes, Ronny Turiaf, Lamar Odom, Eric Bledsoe and Jamal Crawford. Those mix of players could have easily dominated the league.
‘You know when there’s a once-in-a-lifetime dunk? Every once in a while, a dude gets dunked on or something crazy happens. That would happen five or six times a game! I mean, Blake would literally jump over guys. DeAndre Jordan would catch something off the rim’, Hollins explained the thrilling experience he had with the Clippers.
It was the showtime Clippers, and they had almost 10 dunks per game. It was fun while it lasted, and he considered it the best part of his career. Somehow, that kept him motivated and happy in the NBA. He even claimed that it was a fun experience to play with those kinds of players.
The Los Angeles Clippers were known for their amazing slam dunks during that time. Blake Griffin was the main catalyst for dunks, while Chris Paul led the other guards in creating crafty lob passes to their dunkers. They had initial success, but the lack of grit and dedication in the NBA Playoffs cost them a lot of morale.
Words: Paul Daniel Flores