Last month, the "RBA Sports Summer Showcase" took place at the Basketball City facility in the Big Apple, where NBA executives from teams like the Knicks, Nets, and Grizzlies observed a number of promising prospects.
While the various scouts present came out to watch a couple of the more notable players, they were in for a surprise as journeyman Brian Kortovich stole the show during early scrimmages. The guard quickly went to work, making it rain and knocking down jump shots from all around the court. Though he was in fact quite bold in his shot selection through the workout, the 28 year old certainly seemed to have enough game to back it up.
After bouncing around a number of locations overseas in the past, Kortovich is looking to build upon his successful showing this summer and finally break into the NBA once and for all. Take the jump to find out more.
Certainly familiar with the time, effort, and persistence it takes to make it to The Association, Kortovich has been on the grind for years. But perhaps what sets him apart, however, is the type of company he keeps while looking to heighten his competition.
"First and foremost, Steve is such an easy-going guy," Kortivich said of Nash. "He's very approachable. When we would work out, he would come right up to the facility on his skateboard. You would never know it was him."
The guard continued, "Steve and I got together to play some two on two and run some drills. We've kept in touch and I text him every week. He's been giving me tips. Steve likes to play a lot of soccer in the summer, and that plays into why he's so successful on the basketball court. He does some excellent footwork drills and happened to show them to me too. Anytime a two-time M.V.P. tells you what he does to be so successful, you don't hesitate. I've been doing them myself ever since."
Of course, while having a player of Nash's caliber in your corner doesn't hurt, it was Kortovich's connection with Lewis that actually granted him a unique opportunity.
"After I worked out with Rashard in Vegas, he got me in touch with his agent, Tony Dutt," the guard said. "Rashard put in a good word for me, and a few weeks after that I met with Tony and talked about how he could help me secure a spot in NBA vet camp this coming fall."
"If that doesn't happen," Kortovich added, "obviously the D-League is a great opportunity too, because that's the quickest way you can get called up to the NBA. But just to have a guy like Tony go out of his way and take a chance on me proves I'm ready to break in."
And the 28 year old is certainly no stranger to the D-League ranks. In addition to spending training camp with a couple teams in past years, Kortovich has also taken the high road, paying his own way through open tryouts.
He went on to say, "The D-League is very competitive, and if you're not in an NBA camp, it's the best way to go, in my opinion. If you play well, people are going to notice. But I'm just like everyone else. I've gone to open tryouts, paying the necessary fees and travel expenses. You have to do whatever it takes, and I feel like I've shown D-League executives that I've been doing just that. I'm going to keep working hard, and good things will come. The D-League is the best stepping stone to the NBA"
After having spent the 2010 and 2011 NBA preseason with the Knicks and Nets, respectively, Kortovich is still keeping a positive attitude with just weeks remaining before training camp starts for many teams. Playing with and receiving encouragement from quality players like Nash and Lewis only further proves just how close this basketball journeyman really is. What's more, what Kortovich truly values is having an agent with Dutt's reputation looking out for him.
Addressing whether or not he believes he'll be in veteran camp with an NBA team next month, Kortovich asserted, "Based on talent alone, I definitely feel as though I deserve it. I've proven myself while playing in front of league executives. I'm a positive guy, so I really hope so. Working with a guy like Tony has really opened up some doors and opportunities for me. We're just going to look for the best situation for me, and I'll be ready."