Friday, March 14, 2008

Where is Gerry McNamara Now?

Each college basketball championship week has a different story. Two years ago, it was Gerry McNamara and Syracuse's improbable run through the Big East Tournament. McNamara was plastered on the sporting publications for days after his multiple game-saving shots. Who couldn't love the guy who looked like us, who made us say, "Damn, if only I practiced on my shot like he did." Of course, with all the attention McNamara received came plenty of complaints about how overrated had McNamara become. While that is true, to an extent, we all want to know the same thing: what has McNamara done professionally, where is he now?

Gerry McNamara went undrafted in the 2006 NBA Draft. Many scouts worried that McNamara's game would not transfer to the NBA. DraftExpress, while noting McNamara was among the most accomplished NCAA players and possessed the greatest leadership abilities of all the prospects, wrote:
McNamara noticeably lacks quickness and explosiveness, and already struggles creating his own shot against top notch defenders. This shows up on the other end of the floor as well, where his lack of lateral quickness could make him a liability in the NBA. McNamara is not a pure point guard either. His shot selection can be very poor as evidenced by his 35% shooting from the field as a senior. For someone with such a great reputation as a perimeter shooter, the 33% he shot from behind the arc this past season does not exactly back that up.
Following the draft, McNamara signed with the Orlando Magic to play on their summer league team, hoping to challenge guard Travis Diener for a roster spot. Unfortunately for McNamara, things did not work out. Diener was among the top performers in the entire summer league while McNamara was hampered with a groin injury, hampering his play.


In September of 2006, McNamara signed with Olympiacos BC to play in their Euroleague games. Through five games, McNamara played just one minute. McNamara, obviously upset with the situation, was able to negotiate a contract buyout. The good news: he earned $90,000 for that one minute.

Following his stint in Europe, McNamara signed with the Bakersfield Jam of the NBDL. Bakersfield gave McNamara the opportunity to play. "I've been playing, which is what I came here to do. I was overseas and I wasn't getting any run, and here I get to play with talented guys and get a chance to prove myself," said McNamara. His first professional season was a success. McNamara was named to the NBDL Western Conference All-Star team and finished the season averaging 10.8 points and 5.2 assists.

McNamara made another attempt to land in the NBA in the summer of 2007, joining Philadelphia 76ers' summer league teams. Again, McNamara was unable to play his way to an NBA contract, scoring just 5 points and recording 21 minutes over 5 games in the Vegas Summer League. McNamara then left the team during the Rocky Mountain Revue, with ankle injuries a likely cause.

On August 21, 2007, McNamara signed a $400,000 contract with Panionios BC of the Greek League. Four games into the season, McNamara was released. "The coach wanted him, but the owner wanted someone else," McNamara's agent, Bill Neff, said. "The owner fired the coach and got his way." That someone else? Michigan State star and McNamara's former Bakersfield teammate Mateen Cleaves.

McNamara signed to play for BK Ventspils, a Latvian team who won seven straight Latvian League titles until last season, in February of 2008. To date, McNamara has played in three games, with one start. He is averaging 4.3 points.

While McNamara's career at Syracuse was one filled with big plays and championships, he has yet to make a name for himself professionally. Hopefully, McNamara is able to take advantage of his opportunities in Ventspils. Surely, it will last longer than his previous stops.

5 comments:

Joyce V,  June 16, 2008 at 9:48 AM  

The reason Gerry McNamara wasn't overrated was his natural leadership qualities. Although his free-throw and three-point percentage were remarkable, it was his ability as floor general that the NBA has overlooked that was his true talent. Looking back over the last couple of NBA seasons...there are more than a couple teams who could use him as their floor general!

Anonymous,  November 17, 2008 at 10:46 AM  

Joyce, get real. G MAC is a great ball player for Scranton. He had one shot at the NBA, to come out of college "Highly recruited" go to the summer workouts and just play lights out. Instead he showed up with a groin injury and overweight (one may have been the cause of the other who knows) Thus no chance. Getting better or smarter (at Basketball) were never the problem it was getting quicker, and I don't see age doing that for him. If his goal was to be John Stockton, then he needs another goal. However now that I type this, I might say to him, hit the weight room, he's a little stockier than most small guards, perhaps he could use some added strength to make up for the quickness issue, also might add some deeper range to his shot. I do think with a change and some breaks he could play backup minutes for a good team. And if they need a game winner?????

Anonymous,  November 17, 2008 at 10:46 AM  

Joyce, get real. G MAC is a great ball player for Scranton. He had one shot at the NBA, to come out of college "Highly recruited" go to the summer workouts and just play lights out. Instead he showed up with a groin injury and overweight (one may have been the cause of the other who knows) Thus no chance. Getting better or smarter (at Basketball) were never the problem it was getting quicker, and I don't see age doing that for him. If his goal was to be John Stockton, then he needs another goal. However now that I type this, I might say to him, hit the weight room, he's a little stockier than most small guards, perhaps he could use some added strength to make up for the quickness issue, also might add some deeper range to his shot. I do think with a change and some breaks he could play backup minutes for a good team. And if they need a game winner?????

Anonymous,  November 19, 2008 at 8:40 PM  

That pisses me off still that anybody would EVER say Gerry McNamara was overated. He was far from it. People who didn't like Syracuse got tired of heering about how ggod he was and how he could hit a pull up jumper from just about any where on his half of the court. Just like Beohiem said "They wouldn't have won ten fuckin games without him and it was a bunch of bull shit". He was great!

Anonymous,  January 26, 2009 at 9:08 AM  

McNamara was great and fun to watch. Without him, Syracuse would have been like they are today-- a collection of talent with no pure shooter and floor leadership and as usual, foul shooter. I hope he gets a chance to make it. Certainly the sixers need someone like him so why not give him the chance to prove himself or fail. At least, they would get some fans from Scranton!

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