Mac McClung Talks About His G League Journey and His NBA Experience
Mac McClung has lived in 5 completely different cities and performed for six completely different groups since his skilled profession started slightly over a yr in the past. It has jumped from coast to coast, from the G League to the NBA, from starter to order.
“It was loopy, however that is how the sport goes,” McClung stated in an episode of “The Break,” a collection produced by G League. “If I’ve to play for 30 too [teams] I’ll play for all 30 to realize it.
Life on the fringes of the NBA is commonly a curler coaster. And even for an ex high school superstar and social media sensation Like McClung, the highlight is not very brilliant on G. That stated, Texas Tech’s 6-2 safety is quietly making massive strides.
After being unprepared in 2021, McClung ultimately landed with the Los Angeles Lakers affiliate, the South Bay Lakers. He averaged 19.6 factors, 5.8 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.2 steals within the first 13 video games of the season earlier than being referred to as up by the Chicago Bulls in mid-December. A whole lot of gamers entered COVID-19 protocols that month, leading to an unprecedented variety of alternatives for G Leaguers. McClung signed a 10-day contract with the Bulls and made his NBA debut nearly precisely a yr in the past (2 factors in 3 minutes towards the Hawks). Chicago gave him a second 10 days, however McClung acquired no extra taking part in time and returned to the South Bay Lakers in January.
First identified for his jaw-dropping dunks, the 23-year-old has demonstrated his versatility as knowledgeable. On his return with South Bay, he averaged 21.6 factors, 7.5 assists, 6.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals to earn the 2021-22 Kia NBA G League Rookie of the Yr (earlier winners embody Paul Reed, Quinn Prepare dinner, Tim Frazier and Robert Covington) ). In April, Los Angeles awarded McClung a two-way contract and took him to the ultimate sport of the common season. He had a stable efficiency (and a Lakers victory) that night with certainly one of his jaw-dropping signature dunks…
Regardless of a busy however profitable rookie yr and spectacular displaying within the 2022 Summer time League, McClung hasn’t constructed an opening-day roster. He turned down million-dollar presents from abroad golf equipment, selecting as a substitute to rejoin the G League and pursue his NBA dream. A member of the Philadelphia 76ers affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats, McClung has had success in quite a lot of roles this season. He dropped a career-high 44 factors in November and shortly had a second profession triple-double (21 factors, 10 rebounds, 10 assists). Some nights he supplied a much-needed objective spark from the bench; in others, he was the Blue Coats’ major quarterback, main the offense and helping his teammates.
SLAM caught up with McClung over the past G League Winter Showcase in Las Vegas. Delaware received each video games at McClung’s annual scout occasion, averaging 12.5 factors (59 % capturing), 7 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals.
SLAM: What was your mindset if you entered the showcase?
Mac McClung: Simply to get essentially the most out of no matter my position is for the staff. We received 2-0, that is all the time nice. I want we have been within the winners group. However sure, simply take advantage of it. Present me that I can adapt to any state of affairs.
SLAM: How are you a distinct participant this season in comparison with final season?
AA: I believe I’ve gotten higher at adapting to conditions. It is like if you happen to’ve seen this yr, I’ve performed quite a lot of completely different roles for this staff. And I really feel like I’ve a optimistic affect on every one, and I hope folks notice that and notice that I can adapt to any state of affairs.
SLAM: Is there something particular you are engaged on this summer time?
AA: It is actually only a film examine on endurance. When your minutes are reduce off and all, folks often wish to push issues. I realized [hold] come again and likewise play the sport accurately regardless of the case, which sounds simple however is more durable than it seems.
SLAM: Are you able to summarize what this previous yr has been like for you, ups and downs and completely different groups/cities?
AA: It has been a rollercoaster if you happen to’ll excuse me. That was one of many issues I talked about with my household. In case you let success decide your happiness, it is going to be only a rollercoaster as a substitute of shopping for daily and course of. This is without doubt one of the issues I do. And daily I do what I really like. It is my objective to get higher daily – not [moving] up and down [from the NBA]. So when I’ve that point, I hope I can catch it.
SLAM: Are there any particular moments that sum up how chaotic final season was for you?
AA: In case you take a look at the entire state of affairs, I’ve modified groups greater than as soon as. Different groups took me. right here in [Las Vegas] Once I began the Summer time League with the Lakers, I completed with the Warriors. Simply having the ability to adapt, man. It is simply League. You need to test what they will do. I can not management which staff I play for or if somebody desires to offer me a chance. I simply all the time keep prepared.
SLAM: Are you able to describe your thought course of when deciding to rejoin the G League or signal an abroad staff?
AA: Shout out to my finest buddy Zac Ervin. I used to be supplied some huge cash to go overseas – I may most likely change my life with that cash. I all the time inform myself I will maintain going till I make it [to the NBA], as a result of I imagine in myself. And also you have been supplied that factor and also you turned: oh man. This modifications. However my son Zac was like, “Man, that is not you.” As a result of we labored daily from the seventh grade to the final grade. Day by day. It was like, “Man, you were not within the health club for this.” So I, Rattling, that is not me. I will take it when it comes.
SLAM: How was your transient expertise within the NBA final yr useful? What did you get from him?
AA: It is simply good to see and be taught. I believe that is the largest factor – expertise. Relating to rising up, folks speak, you’ll be able to work on some issues, however expertise is invaluable, my buddy. Being there earlier than is efficacious. I acquired to the touch the NBA slightly bit and do away with these nerves, these tensions and see what it is all about. And when my subsequent alternative comes, I am prepared.
SLAM: What are you able to present to an NBA staff proper now?
AA: A number of issues – that is what I am attempting to point out. I’m numerous. In order for you me to return and be the quarterback and get the others concerned, I can do this. In order for you me to attain, I can rating. I will be lively – I will rebound, dive down, simply [providing] power in any method you need from me.
SLAM: What’s the largest false impression about your sport?
AA: I wasn’t a lot of a quarterback in faculty. However I believe if you happen to watch these video games, I might actually embody my teammates.
SLAM: What’s the largest false impression about life in G League?
AA: Individuals do not perceive how lonely that is, I do not suppose. Not simple. “Each 5 days one thing modifications,” Andre Ingram advised me. One thing modifications each 5 days within the G League.
SLAM: What are your total targets for this season?
AA: To continue to grow daily, man. I wish to play within the NBA. I imagine I’m an NBA participant. However that may come once I maintain engaged on it daily, when I attempt to enhance daily.
Pictures through Getty Photos.
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