Former Tokyo Apache big man Jeremy Tyler scored a team-high 20 points on 8-for-12 shooting and blocked two shots in the New York Knicks’ 91-80 victory on Friday over the Los Angeles Clippers in the teams’ final game of the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.
Tyler, a 22-year-old free agent, averaged 12.8 points and 6.4 rebounds in five games for the Knicks. He is trying to secure a spot on an NBA team’s roster for next season.
New York went 2-3 in the Summer League, which wraps up Monday.
Tyler suited up for the Tokyo Apache in 2010-11 after beginning his pro career in Israel as a teenager.
A second-round draft pick in the 2011 NBA Draft — traded for cash by the Charlotte Bobcats to the Golden State Warriors — the San Diego native bounced around the NBA (Warriors and Atlanta Hawks) and NBA Development League for the past two seasons.
In a revealing look at his mind-set as the Summer League wrapped up following his fourth pro season, ESPN.com writer Ethan Sherwood Strauss interviewed Tyler for a story posted on the True Hoop blog on Friday.
Tyler’s increased intensity was a topic in the article, and he expressed a great commitment to that aspect of his game.
“I guess, as hard as I was going before didn’t work,” Tyler was quoted as saying. “Got me back down to the D-League. Got me down in some bad situations. What I thought was working hard wasn’t enough. So you gotta step it up. Take it to the next level.”
Reading Tyler’s comments in various published reports and listening to him on a recent NBA-TV interview, it’s clear he’s done a lot of growing up since the last time this reporter met him for a face-to-face interview. That was on March 10, 2011, at Yoyogi National Gymnasium No.2, in what turned out to be the final game in Apache history. (The team, which entered the bj-league in 2005, folded months later.)
The following remarks from the ESPN.com story illustrate that point.
“It’s a ‘Go get it at any means necessary’ mentality,” Tyler told ESPN.com “Whatever it takes. Because, you never want to leave like I left Golden State. You never want to leave any situation knowing you could have did more. I want to know, to myself, for my own satisfaction. If it (had not) worked out, I gave it my all.”