People have to respect someone like Damien Wilkins. He's 34-years-old and enjoyed a nine-year career in the NBA from 2004 to 2013. After his last season in the Assocation with the Philadelphia 76ers, most thought the wily vet would fade to black and never be heard from again. Wilkins is the nephew of the Human Highlight Reel, Dominique Wilkins, so that was not an option. After playing overseas the past few seasons in China and Puerto Rico, Wilkins entered his name in the D-League Draft pool. The Iowa Energy would select Wilkins with the No. 16 pick in the D-League Draft, clearly indicating that the 6'6" forward wants another chance in the NBA.
The former undrafted player is fourth in the D-League in scoring at 28.3 points per game, sporting a true shooting percentage of 60.9 percent. He's also averaging 10.3 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game for the Energy. Wilkins is clearly using his NBA experience to get an upper hand on the competition in the D-League, which can sport a lot of young 20-year-old kids yearning for their first chance to taste NBA action. Wilkins has had nine-years of NBA experience, but he's trying to tick that number up another notch. His scalding hot start to the D-League season has the Iowa Energy with a 3-0 record and earned Wilkins the honor of being named the first NBA D-League Performer of the Week this season.
The old veteran does not even appear on the D-League official prospect watch, which is typically filled with young players gunning for NBA dreams like Seth Curry and Carrick Felix. Sure, it'll be difficult to find a team that wants to sign a 34-year-old to a contract this early in the NBA season, but just wait. When the playoff races are getting closer and 10-day contracts are being handed out, an NBA team will call Damien Wilkins, who has an upper-hand on everyone in the D-League with his experience in over 500 NBA games. For right now, being named the first Performer of the Week in the young D-League season and almost averaging a triple-double will have to do.