Chicago Bulls guard Denzel Valentine was completely showed-up by Frank “Nitty” Sessions, a Drew League vet who used to be a cell phone store manager.
Bulls guard Denzel Valentine had a hard time in the Drew League. Let’s just say “embarrassed” is an understatement.
Denzel Valentine teamed up with the Drew League in L.A. over the past weekend to give back to basketball fans and showcase his talent against scrappy street players on a local scale.
Franklin “Nitty” Sessions humiliated the former 14th overall pick from Michigan State, scoring 44 points on him and his teammates while talking trash the entire game.
Denzel Valentine looked out of his element the entire game and was even benched in the 4th quarter. Valentine finished with only 9 points and 6 rebounds. From the videos that have gone viral on all facets of social media, you can see Valentine getting frustrated, air-balling 3-pointers, and getting ripped-up on a couple occasions.
There’s even one play where Frank crosses over on him and drains a midrange shot from the free-throw line over Valentine. What makes the situation seem even worse is there are videos of DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay (current NBA players and Drew League participants) laughing at Valentine getting worked on.
Don’t get me wrong, Frank Nitty isn’t just some bum basketball player off the streets. Frank was teammates with Damion Lillard in college at Weber State where he won Newcomer of the Year and All-Conference Second Team for the Big Sky Conference back in 2010.
Many NBA players participate in the extremely competitive pick-up-style basketball tournament to get some good cardio, to play good competition during the offseason, to give back to the community, or to work on moves that they normally wouldn’t try in a professional league.
Although the videos are tough to watch as a Bulls fan, its safe to assume Valentine was not playing at his full intensity.
Also, in his defense, Valentine is not a great one-on-one defender nor is he a spectacular one-on-one scorer at that.
Valentine more than likely won’t be asked by the Bulls to guard small point guards one-on-one. Plus, he gets most of his scoring opportunities from catch-and-shoot plays or plays coming off screens anyway.
What does Valentine’s future hold?
Even though this situation should not be taken very seriously, it is still worrisome to see how Valentine will fit in with the Chicago Bulls this upcoming season.
Valentine left a message for the front office at the end of last season stating, “I feel like I should have a bigger role next year.” With the Bulls most recent offseason activity, it seems like the Bulls have ignored his request. The Bulls offered Zach LaVine and Jabari Parker big-time contracts and drafted Chandler Hutchison.
It seems like the closer it gets to season the further Denzel Valentine is sliding towards the end of the depth chart. Valentine is still under his rookie contract and projected to make $2.09 million where the Bulls will have to make a decision on him next summer.
Valentine started 37 of the 77 games he played in last year averaging 10.2 points per game along with 5.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists.
Valentine contributed a lot last season but It’s really hard to tell how the Bulls will use Valentine this upcoming season.
They may just use Valentine as an insurance policy if Parker or LaVine face any injuries during the season or he may get some major minutes off the bench. The only way we will find out is when the season begins.