Pops Mensah-Bonsu, currently working to make the New Orleans Hornets, is pretty good at basketball. I know if you're reading Ridiculous Upside with your morning coffee, you probably already knew this, but the fact of the matter is that most people don't read Ridiculous Upside and thus might not have known how impessive Nana Papa Yaw Dwene Mensah-Bonsu can be when given minutes in any setting.
I first hyped Mensah-Bonsu way back in February of 2009 - basically as soon as it was relevant for me to write about him since he'd started that year in Spain with CB Granada. My man-crush (is that hyphenated? One word?) had actually begun when Mensah-Bonsu, J.R. Pinnock, Mike Hall, Carl Elliott, Maureece Rice and the rest of the 2005-2006 George Washington basketball team did work during the NCAA season before losing to Duke in the second round of the NCAA Tournament - though his time in the D-League and my time covering the D-League hadn't coincided until that point.
Anyway, back to the story at hand: Pops Mensah-Bonsu has been good at basketball for awhile and now I get to brag about thinking he's been good for a long time because he was good last night again in the preseason, guys.
"How good?" is what you're probably wondering, but I guess I'll let his statistics against the likes of the Hasheem Thabeet, Josh Davis, DeMarre Carroll and Darrell Arthur-led Memphis Grizzlies speak for themselves:
19 points, 10 total rebounds, four steals, four offensive boards, and a block while nailing eight of his 13 field goal attempts and 3-of-4 from the charity stripe.
I think this means Mensah-Bonsu has probably secured his roster spot ahead of Joe Alexander, just a couple of weeks after they were reportedly neck-and-neck because, for what it's worth, Alexander had one foul in his two minutes and 30 seconds of action compared to Pops' 32 minute-plus performance.
I love the preseason.