In August 2018, San Antonio Spurs in the NBA reached an agreement on a one-year deal to sign free-agent Quincy Pondexter. He played only 23 games for Chicago Bulls during the 2017-18 season before being waived midway through the season.
Having a past history of multiple knee surgeries which made him sit out for two full NBA seasons, Pondexter suffered an MRSA infection that complicated his recovery.
He comes from a family where basketball is taken seriously, his father, Roscoe, was a third-round pick by the Boston Celtics in 1974 and his uncle Cliff was drafted by the Bulls in the same year as the 16th overall pick in 1974 draft.
Pondexter was picked by the Oklahoma City Thunder as the 26th pick in 2010 NBA draft. He has averaged 5 points and 2 rebounds per game in 302 games with the Hornets, Grizzlies, Pelicans, and Bulls till now in his injury-plagued career.
Quincy Pondexter’s trade to Chicago makes him a newcomer. Even in the eye of team chaos, Pondexter’s debut with the Bulls had such a special meaning that when he entered the game to start the second quarter, he thought he would come to tears. Having been out of basketball the last two years after knee surgeries went bad, Pondexter came close to dying in a New York hospital in January when his organs began to fail after an MRSA infection.
Pondexter said “It wasn’t looking good. It was tough. I prayed. My family was there close to me. Being able to play basketball again in less than a year is crazy. It’s all God. This journey has been amazing.”
His journey took him from being in New Orleans, where his knee troubles started, to be an addition to the Bulls in a trade months ago when the Bulls picked up cash and a second-round pick from the Pelicans.
He dunks for his first points since the 2015 playoffs, when the Pelicans were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the eventual champion Warriors.
Pondexter, who calls basketball his “obsession” said “I love it to death. It’s my life, Basketball is what got me through it—my family and basketball. It was like, ‘How can I make this story even better? Do I quit?’ No. I watched so many inspirational movies, ‘Hacksaw Ridge.’ They get you through tough times because you say, ‘That’s going to be me.’ I’m going to be able to inspire someone down the road. That’s really helped me.”
Quincy Pondexter still with spurs as a veteran believes “Being able to play after two and a half years, it feels like hundreds of surgeries. It’s been a lot, I wouldn’t trade any of that for this moment right now and how I feel in my heart… The journey is worth it.”
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