Troy Hudson during his Minnesota days - Issac Baldizon/NBAE/Getty Images
Troy Hudson landed a training camp invite with the Sioux Falls Skyforce, and Hudson hopes his comeback to the NBA will begin this Saturday as Sioux Falls officially opens camp. The 36-year-old guard hasn't played with NBA-type competition since 2008, is he really primed for an NBA comeback at this stage of his career?
As NBA D-League training camps get under way, the players who will be battling it out for roster positions leading into the D-League season come from varied backgrounds. Some will enter as bright eyed rookies, others as returning players who spent last season grinding away for a shot with an NBA team, and others will land in camp from their D-League team's NBA affiliate. Troy Hudson falls into that last category. You may remember Hudson, a shifty guard with dreadlocks that bounced wildly as he drove the lane for teams such as the Minnesota Timberwolves, Orlando Magic, and the Los Angeles Clippers. He also spent time with the Utah Jazz to start his career, and finished it as a member of the Golden State Warriors.
In the 2002-2003 season, Hudson enjoyed his best season in the NBA and as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves he helped the T-Wolves take the Los Angeles Lakers to six games in the first round of the playoffs, where Hudson averaged 23.5 points, 5.5 assists, and 2.0 rebounds. During his five years with the Timberwolves, Hudson averaged 14.2 points, and 5.7 assists a game and earned more than $30 million during his time in Minnesota.
Now Hudson finds himself as a member of the Timberwolves D-League affiliate the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Head coach Joel Abelson is on record stating that Hudson is coming back for the right reasons. It has also been noted that Hudson, who has been entrenched in promoting his hip hop record label efforts that last couple of years, is not initiating a comeback as a last ditch money grab. It appears that Hudson, even at 36-years of age, is staging this comeback for basketball reasons only. If Hudson can prove that he can utilize his experience while having enough physical capabilities to allow him to compete with NBA talent, than perhaps this comeback can end the way he intends it to.
Players such as Antoine Walker, who claimed they were using the D-League as a comeback tool, yet showed up out of shape and were ineffective on the court, are still an easy example for doubters to cling to. Comeback efforts such as Hudson's are easy for many to brush aside as plausible. With the level of talent that the D-League has demanded over the years, if a comeback effort is anything but a true commitment from that particular player, it will easily be dismissed once they get out on the court. The D-League is no longer a place for NBA relics to languish while collecting a paycheck.
There is no better place than the D-League for Troy Hudson to stage a comeback to the NBA if he is serious about getting back there, and playing with a franchise such as Sioux Falls with multiple affiliates, it is reasonable to think that they will likely take notice. Hudson has situated himself nicely for his ultimate goal with the Skyforce, but step one will be proving himself in their upcoming training camp.