Sundiata Gaines, former NBA D-League call-up, was called up to the New Jersey Nets basically because he was nearby and had a passport. Not that those are the only reasons, obviously, but I was told at the time that Orien Greene was also considered and didn't fill both of those requirements.
I probably should have written about this when I tweeted it, but somehow it got lost in the shuffle.
When the Nets realized they needed to sign a guard to bring with them to London because of injuries to point guards Deron Williams and Jordan Farmar, Gaines happened to be home in New York, which was convenient, and he also had a valid passport, which was essential.
"I just came home - I was in Minnesota - and New Jersey happened to call me, and asked me if I had a passport and if I could go to London, and I said, 'I have my passport,'" Gaines explained.
Gaines got the call late Sunday night, Feb. 27, he said. The Nets had a home game against Phoenix the next night, and were leaving right after the game. Time was of the essence. Orien Greene, who had been with the team for an earlier stint, wasn't near enough to get to New Jersey in time, so the Nets called Gaines, who three weeks earlier had been released by Toronto.
Oddly enough, 'Yata seems to just have a knack for being the right place at the right time.
It's worked out well for the Nets as he 6-foot-1 guard scored 18 points, grabbed six rebounds, dished three assists and picked up three steals for good measure. Most importantly, though, he didn't turn the ball over once in his 24 minutes of court time.
As for Greene, it looked like he'd be okay after heading to China. That no longer looks to be the case, however, after FIBA did something crazy.