If you don’t love Quincy Acy, chances are you just don’t know about the dude, because everyone who crosses paths with the former second-round pick turned NBA dirty worker can’t get enough of him.
This week gave us one more glimpse into why basketball folks adore Acy, as the 26-year-old paid it forward in a big way after finally signing a guaranteed NBA contract for the rest of the 2016-17 season.
Upon signing a two-year, $3.5 million deal with the Brooklyn Nets (2017-18 is non-guaranteed), Acy sent new pairs of shoes to everyone involved with the Texas Legends in addition to throwing in a $250 gift certificate for each player working on the D-League roster, according to USA Today’s Sam Amick.
So Quincy Acy, after 16 games w/ Legends, celebrated his Brooklyn deal by..giving $250 gift cards to D-League teammates & shoes to all staff
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) February 7, 2017
Despite playing just a dozen games for the Legends, for whom he averaged 17.3 points and 8.1 rebounds, Acy made sure to share the love with his developmental brethren playing for $19,500 to $26,000 in pursuit of their NBA dream. And he didn’t stop there. According to ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt, who found the gesture so generous he made his “1 Big Thing” for the day, Acy personally sought the shoe size of everyone in the organization, including interns, before sending a pair to them all.
“He showed every one of these guys the way a pro handles his business,” Legends coach Bob Mackinnon told Van Pelt, adding that Acy also showed up every morning with donuts and muffins for all before getting to work.
This comes as no shock to the Legends’ parent company, the Dallas Mavericks, who were kicking themselves for having to waive the Texas native and acquire him in the D-League when injuries to Deron Williams, Devin Harris and J.J. Barea left the NBA outfit in need of a point guard. That forced the Mavericks brass to make the difficult decision of cutting Acy and signing playmaker Jonathan Gibson.
“It was very difficult to let Acy go because he’s a warrior and he’s exactly the kind of guy that we want in our culture,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram following the transaction in November. He’s a guy who is a good NBA player and who is still young and who is still getting better.”
“He’s the best,” added Cuban. “I told him I’ve paid guys twice and three times in a season before so to be ready, anything’s possible.
“Staff was heartbroken, I was heartbroken. We just didn’t want to give up on any of our youngs and Quincy was just on a one-year deal. Purely a numbers game, and it was brutal.”
Free to sign with anyone during a nearly two-month D-League stint, Acy finally got a call from the Nets, who signed him to a 10-day contract on Jan. 10. In limited minutes, he made enough of an impression that Brooklyn offered him a second 10-day deal, and he responded with a respectable 6.2 points and 3.2 rebounds in only 14.9 minutes a night. The hard work Mackinnon told Van Pelt that Acy put into expanding his shooting range was paying off in the form of a stunning 64.7 3-point percentage on 1.7 attempts per game, and the result was a guaranteed $1.75 million contract for the rest of the season.
The Nets mark Acy’s fifth team in five NBA seasons since being drafted 37th overall by the Toronto Raptors. He’s averaged 11 points and 7.4 rebounds per 36 minutes in 237 career games, and he’s been a fan favorite everywhere he’s been in the association, from New York to Sacramento (twice), but that “numbers game” Cuban mentioned in cutting him has too often made him the odd man out.
“I just know who I am,” Acy told in-house Texas Legends beat reporter Asher Feltman. “I go out there and I do what I do and do it to the best of my ability. I’m not out there trying to do too much, I stick to the key principles and I embrace it.
“There’s positions out there for guys like me. You know, it’s only there for those who want to do the dirty work. … Everybody can’t be a superstar so you gotta be a superstar in your own right. So that’s my inspiration.”
In turn, Acy’s story serves as inspiration to every dude down in the D-League still chasing that NBA dream, and maybe new shoes and a little extra spending money make the road a little easier, too.
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