The Tulsa 66ers have experienced their fair share of turnover this season. First year head coach Darko Rajakovic, has gracefully managed the high amount of player movement, as his team sits 4 games above .500 and in the eighth overall spot in the standings. In fact, Perry Jones, Jeremy Lamb, and DeAndre Liggins, are set to join the team once again heading into this weekend's set of games. Yet, the former Miami Heat,
New Jersey Brooklyn Nets, and San Antonio Spurs point guard Chris Quinn, has been a steady piece for Rajakovic, as Quinn has had a major impact in guiding his Tulsa teammates to their current winning streak .
Over the 66ers' last 14 contests, they have only dropped four games. The team has played with high energy on defense, and a balanced offensive attack. Quinn spoke with RidiculousUpside.com, and discussed the reasons for his team's recent hot streak. "We are playing more together as a team, moving the ball, and getting important stops on the defensive end. Those have been the real factors as to why we have had success."
Quinn played three seasons with the Miami Heat from 2006-2009 after going undrafted in the 2006 NBA Draft. In his senior year at Notre Dame, Quinn averaged 17.6 points, 3.7 rebounds and 6.4 assists. After his senior year, he signed a partially guaranteed contract with Miami, and participated in the Orlando Summer League. Quinn's first ever NBA start would come later that season, by filling in for a suspended Gary Payton, and scored 14 points. Quinn managed to play in 168 total games with Miami, and would later go on to play for both the Nets and Spurs.
Quinn's highest season averages in the NBA, came in his second year as a pro. In the 2007-2008 season, Quinn parlayed an impressive Summer League performance (15.2 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 2.7 assists) into a season where he posted 7.7 points, 1.9 rebounds, and 2.9 assists in 60 games for the Miami Heat.
After playing overseas for two different teams, Quinn is back on American soil and enjoying his time in the NBA D-League. However, Quinn had nothing but great things to say about his time over in Europe. Quinn played in Russia and Spain after his time in San Antonio. Often times players decide that Europe is perhaps a better fit for them personally and financially, as opposed to getting quicker recognition in the NBA D-League, but at the expense of receiving a much lower salary.
Quinn described both of his experiences abroad, and his current stint in the NBA D-League as positive. He added, "both (Europe and the NBA D-League) have their pluses and minuses. Russia and Spain were incredible experiences, and the D-League has been wonderful. I'm blessed to be able to experience a lot of different things because of basketball. I feel very fortunate to be able to use basketball in order to gain the memorable life experiences that I have had. My time in Tulsa has been great."
In addition to Quinn's NBA experience and international experience, the 66ers are perhaps anchored by another NBA veteran, Rasual Butler. Butler brings 10-years of NBA experience with him to the team, and Quinn spoke highly of the mix between experienced players and young guys on the 66ers. Quinn said, "Playing with Rasual is tremendous, he is a 10-year guy and we also have Andy (Rautins) who played in the NBA. We try to help out the young guys.Those particular guys on our team have had a tendency to pick up things fast, it's been fun. In the last month especially, our young guys have been really stepping up and mixing in nicely."
Butler, along with the aforementioned Rautins and Dominque Sutton, have all benefited from Quinn's near flawless point guard play. Butler is averaging 17.9 points, and 4.9 rebounds since joining the team in mid-January, while Rautins leads the team in three pointers (114-255) and points (470). Sutton is averaging 12.0 points and 7.0 rebounds. In just 18 games, Quinn leads the team in total assists with 115, and has become the key piece in Tulsa's offense.
This season with the 66ers, Quinn is averaging 13.6 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 6.4 assists in 32.2 minutes. During Tulsa's 4-game winning streak, Quinn has dished out 31 assists and turned it over only 4 times. Quinn can be a valuable asset for NBA teams looking to add a veteran point guard, who can pass the ball, yet commit very few turnovers in the process. Quinn himself feels ready for another crack at the NBA, and after being asked if his game is currently at the NBA-level, he said "Definitely! I'm in game shape because I'm playing a lot here. My skills are at a high-level, and I feel that playing in the D-League resembles the game play of the NBA. I feel like I could contribute for sure."
As the 66ers press on with their season, Quinn's undeniable contributions to the team will only increase. His veteran leadership skills, matched with his precision passing abilities and high percentage shooting, have enabled Quinn to become one of the top point guards in the NBA D-League.