The NBA now has its first Indian player
With the Minnesota Timberwolves and Sacramento Kings both buried at the bottom of the Western Conference standings, there generally wouldn’t be much of anything newsworthy in an April meeting between the teams, but with Sim Bhullar who has now become the first player of Indian descent to play in the NBA after making his debut for Sacramento Kings, it became big news. The 22-year-old came on with 16 seconds remaining in the Kings’ 116-111 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.The 7ft 5in Canada-born centre signed a 10-day contract to join the Kings’ roster after playing his college ball at New Mexico State, and going undrafted before spending the past season playing for the NBA Development League’s Reno Bighorns, where he averaged 10.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 3.9 blocks.Bhullarsaid he hoped he could help grow the game in India: “It was a great feeling and I’m happy to be kind of an ambassador.” Bhullar added: “Hopefully more kids growing up will see there’s a player of Indian descent on the court and we can get a couple more Indian NBA players.”
A sports betting expert analysed his performance and unfortunately, the big man didn’t have an opportunity to impact the game, as he subbed in with under 20 seconds to play.”I told him to enjoy the ride,” his teammate, Omri Casspi, said after the game. “You got 2 billion Indians looking up to you. Be the best role model you can be and have fun with it.”
The fact that Casspi spoke out was emblematic as he himself was the first Israeli-born player in the NBA, so he certainly had a unique perspective on the moment.
A crowd of 16,770 gave the 7-foot-5 Bhullar a standing ovation when he replaced Jason Thompson and lined up along the key while teammate Ray McCallum took the second of two free throw attempts. A top NBA tipster knows that while it remains to be seen if Bhullar will stick with the team beyond this season, at 7’5″, the team would probably love for him to join them at centre, he’ll always have a slice of NBA history to look back on. He’ll also likely become a hero to Indians around the globe and as he is still a young player, Bhullar probably won’t be satisfied with appearing for a few seconds at the end of a meaningless game and will look to carve out a more substantial role with an NBA team next season a top NBA prediction suggests that there will be more to come!