In what should be no surprise to the Dallas Mavericks fans out there, Yogi Ferrell has been selected to the NBA All-Rookie 2nd Team earlier today.
Earlier this year, Yogimania took the world by storm (sort of). After four years at Indiana, the diminutive point guard went unselected in the 2016 Draft. But old Yogi Ferrell never gave up on finding that pic-a-nic basket of his NBA dream.
Ferrell initially found an NBA home with the Brooklyn Nets. After being largely unproductive with the team, he was demoted to the D-League. A couple of months later, the Mavericks came calling with a ten-day contract. As Mark Cuban would later say, the decision was made to sign Yogi because he went to Indiana, Cuban’s alma mater.
At that point in the season, the Mavs had been using a revolving door of ten-day players to see if they would strike gold on a possible rotation guy. After Pierre Jackson, the previous ten-day hopeful, went down with an injury, Yogi got the call he had been waiting for.
Immediately, players and coaches alike were impressed with his IQ for the game. The ever-patient Coach Carlisle praised his ability to quickly remember the playbook and Yogi found himself starting against the Spurs in his very first game, and he did not disappoint. Yogi put up 9 points and 7 assists to help deliver the Mavs’ first regular season win in San Antonio since the 2010-11 season.
Yogi didn’t stop there though. In what was perhaps the most inexplicable back-to-back in the NBA last year, the Mavs faced the defending champion Cavs the very next day. Yogi then proceeded to top himself by dropping 19 points and nabbing four steals in a great all-around performance.
It was already established that Yogi was a stud at basketball, but then came his performance against Portland. On February 2nd, Yogi lit the world on fire, on national TV no less, and delivered his magnum opus. He finished with 32 points with 9(!) three-pointers, including one with 30 seconds to go that all but sealed the win. That last one got him a big bear hug from Dirk, as well as tying an NBA rookie record for 3-pointers in a game. Not bad for a guy on a ten-day contract.
Yogi continued his stellar play throughout the year. He provided consistency and smart playmaking on a nightly basis. While the Mavericks missed the playoffs, Yogi cemented himself as a legitimate player in this league, averaging 11.3 points and 4.3 assists per game for the Mavs, all while shooting 40% from three-point land.
Good enough to earn him 2nd Team All-Rookie honors. In total, the Mavs have had 7 players make the All-Rookie team since the team’s inaugural 1980-81 season, and none since Marquis Daniels in 2003.
In an otherwise bleak season, Yogi gave us something to cheer about. He was undoubtedly one of the better feel-good stories in the NBA last year. But more than that, he represented a burgeoning youth movement in Dallas. Less than a month after his signing, the team acquired Nerlens Noel. A couple months after that, Dennis Smith Jr. is a part of the team.
Hopefully this season for Yogi was just the tip of the iceberg. Though he will likely come off the bench next year. If he can bring the same intensity he did last year, then the Mavericks are going to be just fine.