After last playing in the NBA in 2009, Rashad McCants is now on his second team in Puerto Rico this season where the former 14th overall pick in 2005 keeps his NBA comeback story alive.
Update: Apparently four minutes of basketball was enough to decide Rashad McCants future in Puerto Rico. After joining Piratas de Quebradillas on Thursday, the team released him on Friday afternoon after McCants went scoreless in four minutes of play on Thursday night against Vaqueros de Bayamon.
The way Rashad McCants sees things, he is staging the greatest NBA comeback story ever.
But there is an integral part missing from the grand scheme -- a front office willing to leave McCants' past in the past.
The one constant theme that's followed McCants since he was selected 14th overall out of North Carolina by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2005 -- aside from being athletically gifted -- has been the perceived bad reputation from his days at Minnesota, to Sacramento and his three-game showing for the Texas Legends two years ago before signing in China.
He failed to live up to that end of the bargain too and never made it to China.
Yet through it all, McCants has never been arrested, suspended by an organization or even benched for reasons deemed disruptive to a team.
So is this a case of a player being black-balled by the NBA?
Or the result of some admitted poor decisions on McCants' part?
For the last month, McCants has called Puerto Rico's BSN (also known as the National Superior Basketball League) home with one goal in mind -- getting back to the league.
Considering the number of NBA veterans that opted to play in Puerto Rico this season, McCants and his agent, Lindsey Maxwell, believe the BSN can be the platform to make the jump back to the NBA. Along with McCants, the BSN features Al Thornton (Brujos de Guayama), Melvin Ely (Brujos de Guayama), Patrick O'Bryant (Vaqueros de Bayamon), Mike Sweetney (Vaqueros de Bayamon) and Donta Smith (Vaqueros de Bayamon among its most notable players.
After starting the season with Caciques de Humacao, the 6-foot-4 shooting guard moved to Piratas de Quebradillas on Thursday. On the season McCants is averaging 18 points per game (in 6 games) and his new contract will only be for one week, with a team option to extend it through the season depending on his play.
The crazy part: McCants was signed to replace Ricky Davis who fractured his finger and is sidelined six weeks.
The last time McCants was associated with an NBA team was with the Houston Rockets during training camp before the 2009-10 season, but that stint was short-lived. McCants suffered an abdominal strain and was unable to compete in camp. And although the Cleveland Cavaliers offered the guard a spot on their summer league team in 2010 -- which McCants declined for "personal reasons" -- it's now been three seasons since he last appeared in the NBA with the Kings.
"As young as I was, I made mistakes that I can't take back and I just didn't have leaders in my corner to help correct my decision making. I had to filter out my mistakes and learn from them as I furthered my career. I am currently in the process of making a remarkable comeback and I am prepared to demonstrate my growth as both a team player, and as the all-around exceptional athlete that I actually am," McCants explained in an interview from February.
"For the last 3 years, I have been searching for answers I had the whole time. Now that I have good people around me that have helped me to realize my true self, I know what has to be done. I have to knock the door down and be the professional basketball player I know I can be and I will do just that."
Reading how McCants talks about his past and growth through this experience, it's easy to think about Stephon Marbury in China. There's no doubt Marbury has done his own soul searching over the last three years, with that road finally leading to the CBA Finals with the Beijing Ducks and reaching cultural icon status.
Can McCants find himself and similar success during his process?
Prior to signing in Puerto Rico, McCants was staying in Los Angeles and working out at the Lakers practice facility before the start of their training camp.
We all know how that story turned out.
The Lakers went about their season and are getting ready for another postseason run.
McCants, on the other hand, took his game to Puerto Rico where he will now play for his second team of the season in the past 30 days.
The NBA comeback continues, but exactly where and when remains to be seen.