Mahinmi has technically played NBA minutes. But not many, and never when a game was still undecided. The bulk of his professional experience came two years ago with the Austin Toros, where he excelled as the D-Leagueâ€™s best player. Prior to this game, Ian Mahinmi had not even seen the active list for the Spurs. He played 24 minutes in this game, putting together an impressive 15 points, 9 rebounds and the block you saw in the highlight above.
Why did the Spurs activate Ian Mahinmi, let alone play him?
Gregg Popovich said, â€œYou feel it when you feel it. Heâ€™s worked hard for two years and had some bad breaks with injuries. It was good to give Tim a little rest. You donâ€™t want to look past anybody and I knew Ian wouldnâ€™t do that. He did a good job.â€
Watched that kid for two years in Austin. Likeable, quiet, good work ethic. Thought he’d never get there because he wasn’t tough enough. Maybe it was just part of growing up. It’s just one game, but I can’t say I’m not stoked. Not only would it be great to see a young guy get his run after so many years of working hard, but it would do a lot for the D-League, a guy who spent two years there developing, turning into a decent pro.