The Indiana Pacers have announced that they have waived 37-year-old forward Damien Wilkins. His contract would have been fully guaranteed for the remainder of the season today if he was not waived.
Wilkins, who was called Wisdom by his teammates, started the game in last night’s win against the Chicago Bulls and had the best game of his brief Pacers career with 11 points, including three made 3-pointers.
Wilkins was a feel good story of a 37 year old that had battled his way back to the NBA after being out of the league for four years.
Wilkins, oddly enough, knew he was going to be waived at 2 p.m. yesterday according to Pacers.com’s Mark Montieth and then found out a few hours later that he would be starting that night with Bojan Bogdanovic out due to injury.
“Turned out to be a great night for my team and for me personally,” Wilkins told reporters today. “It was amazing. I didn’t want the game to end. I just wanted to keep playing.”
“I’m a fighter,” Wilkins said. “Always have been. Always will be. It’s the foundation of my life and my career.”
Wilkins said he was proud of the impact he made on some guys on the roster, mentioning specifically going out to dinner a few days ago with Myles Turner and them both getting things off their chest.
“He doesn’t know it, but I look up to him,” Wilkins said of Turner. “He’s an awesome teammate. Great young talent and I was glad I was able to connect with him and influence something.”
The Pacers now have an open roster spot and an open 2-way spot after signing Alex Poythress to an NBA deal for the remainder of the season.
In other unconnected roster news (Pacers didn’t have to waive Wilkins because of this), Glenn Robinson III returned to practice today for the first time since training camp. Robinson said that he hopes to be back before the All-Star break and is ahead of schedule on his return from injury.
“I think that every day it’s getting better,” said Robinson after today’s practice. “I’m working through some aches and some expected soreness, but every day I’m feeling better.”