Despite playing a mere seven minutes for the Toronto Raptors coming into the game since he was traded to them, Sebastian Telfair went from scout team quarterback to leading his new team to a victory over his former team.
Like his native New York brethren has said before: He came. He saw. He conquered.
And it was very personal.
The Phoenix Suns traded Telfair at the deadline to make room for the younger point guards they are trying to groom into NBA players. That is a part of the business. Though going from a bottom five team in the west to a bottom five team in the east is not the ideal situation for a veteran who evolved into one of the better back-up point guards in the league over the past two seasons.
Over the course of his career, Bassy has been traded a total of six times, but in none of those situations did he feel like he had a home within the franchise. He had that here.
"I loved the city and the fans. I learned a lot here and grew as a person," Bassy said after the game.
Portland, Boston, Minnesota, Los Angeles (Clippers), and Cleveland have all traded the veteran point guard throughout his career as a part of a package. Then, Phoenix traded him to make it six times in an eight year career as he has become a victim of circumstance everywhere he has landed.
He came out with an energy and played 26 minutes, the equivalent of his final three games with the Suns before he had to update his passport and head to Canada.
During his final three games with the Suns, he logged a total of 26 minutes and didn't get a lot of time on the court as the team was focused on the development of Kendall Marshall and Diante Garrett. Nobody was supplanting Goran Dragic as the starter so the backup minutes were split three ways and there had to be an odd man out. For one night, Bassy was no longer the odd man out in this arena.
The intention may not have been to come in and outplay the collective roster at the point guard position, but that is exactly what he did by himself. His intensity on the defensive end frazzled and disjointed the Suns offense, stepping up and guarding the likes of Dragic, Marshall, Garrett, Michael Beasley, and anyone who caught the ball and was in his crosshairs.
"Knowing your personnel and knowing what guys want to do, knowing their plays definitely had an advantage tonight."
After two years in this system and with most of these players, Bassy was able to call out the plays to his team as his former team began to set them, leading to a U.S. Airways Center record 29 turnovers by the Suns. That passion that Bassy played with out there was on full display as he had something to play for tonight beyond just a win.
One game is not definitive proof anyone made a mistake, but Bassy left a lasting memory for those who made the "mistake" of trading him.
"I was thinking about going out there and competing. I was here and I was somewhere where I was comfortable and happy, but someone took that away from me. I wouldn’t say I was bitter, but I would be ashamed of myself if I wasn’t a little bitter or take this a little personal."