SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - The Golden State Warriors introduced free agent signee Kent Bazemore Thursday. The guard/forward is a former Old Dominion University standout who began his eight-year NBA career with the Warriors.
"I'm grateful to be back, excited to be back," Bazemore said. "When I left here, I didn't really foresee the things that would happen between now and then."
The 6’4” swingman split the 2019-20 campaign between the Portland Trail Blazers and Sacramento Kings, averaging 8.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.09 steals in 24.8 minutes over 68 games (21 starts). An eight-year NBA veteran, Bazemore owns career averages of 8.7 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.02 steals in 21.2 minutes over 551 career games (278 starts) with the Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Atlanta Hawks, Trail Blazers and Kings.
"A lot of the things I learned here in my first year and a half really helped - especially the locker room stuff," Bazemore added about starting his NBA career with the Warriors. "Golden State has always been part of my DNA as a basketball player. After the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (PIT), I worked out for Portland first, then I worked out for Golden State next. I had about five or six more workouts, then Golden State brought me back, and I got a shot on their summer league team. I was able to get my foot in the door, and made it to training camp and stuck around."
Bazemore spent part of the first two seasons of his career in Golden State from 2012-14.
"I really tried to help the team as best I could, even though I was only averaging four minutes a game," Bazemore, who has his jersey number retired at ODU, recalled. "It made me appreciate the game of basketball."
The 31 year-old signed a four-year, $70 million contract with Atlanta in 2016. His one-year contract with the Warriors will pay him $2.3 million.
"It's not about the money - you can't buy happiness," Bazemore admitted. "Being back here, I'm the happiest I've been in a very long time. This has been my happy place."