In an interview with Steve Simineri, Yogi Ferrell has high praise for Ronald Nored, his coach when he played for the Long Island Nets, and his D-League experience in general.
Ferrell, who started the season with Long Island, was called up to the Nets, then waived and sent back down, ultimately had a fairy-tale call-up not with Dallas. Early on, he helped the Mavs win some big games, but he settled down a bit in recent weeks.
The Long Island Nets, he told Simineri, helped him big-time.
“They definitely got me in the mindset of pick and roll different reads that I need to have, especially coach [Ronald] Nored with finding guys getting into the lane, making the right passes, on time, on target, finding the big man in the roll,” Ferrell told Siminieri, writing for NY Sports Day. “So being in that D-League, especially with coach Nored and that stint helped me out.”
The Nets waived Ferrell on December 8 and signed Spencer Dinwiddie, who was playing with the Windy City Bulls. Ferrell returned to the D-League and averaged 18.7 points and 5.8 assists in 18 games with Long Island.
It wasn’t just about the points, Ferrell told Simineri.
“A lot of guys got misconceptions about the D-League that it’s just you got to go out and score a bunch of points,” said Ferrell. “But it’s just all about making the right plays and finding your niche and you get to the right team, I was very fortunate for Dallas to pick me up and you know, starting to learn and find my ways.”
“Right team” is an understatement. In the first few games with the Mavs, Ferrell was a wunderkind. Against the Spurs, he finished with nine points and seven assists in a 105-101 win against the Spurs. Then, on national TV, he exploded for 32 points, setting the NBA rookie record for most three-pointers in a game —nine— and finding himself in chest bumps with a grateful Dirk Nowitzki.
Ferrell described how he was playing for Long Island when he was surprised to get a call from his agent, Keith Kreiter. Ferrell told Simineri he had an offer from a team in Russia.
“I was thinking about it,” Ferrell admitted. “My agent had called me about it the day before the Mavericks called, so just in like the beginning talks of it, didn’t know if I was going to go when, if it was going to be this year or next year but yeah that was actually an idea. I wanted to see what was going to happen this year and next year was probably when I was going to give serious thoughts about it.”
The Nets took some hits from pundits and fans for letting Ferrell go. The headline for Simineri’s story encapsulates what many wrote, “The One Who Got Away From Nets.”
The Nets remain happy with their choices: bringing up Dinwiddie who’s only a month older than Ferrell and giving more minutes to Isaiah Whitehead, who’s a year younger. Both are big guards which Atkinson prefers and both have played well. You can make the argument that in recent weeks, Dinwiddie has played at least as well as Ferrell. Ask the Chicago Bulls.
Sean Marks told WFAN last month that while he’s happy for Ferrell, the 6’0” guard hadn’t shown the Nets what he’s displayed in Dallas.
“A great young man. We’re very happy for him. Would we like him on our team? would we like him to be a Net? Sure but we could say that about a handful of guys,” Marks told Evan Roberts. “He is in the right system, the right place for him now. He got an opportunity with the Nets and to be quite frank, he wasn't performing the way he was performing for the Mavericks when he got a shot.”
Both Marks and Ferrell would certainly agree on one thing: he got better in the D-League.
- Mavericks’ Yogi Ferrell: One Who Got Away From Nets - Steve Simineri - NY Sports Day