Originally posted on Stepien Rules  |  Last updated 4/14/13
"Did you congratulate Chris yet?" That was the question Luke Walton asked me on Friday, prior to the Cavaliers matchup with the New York Knicks.  "No, why, what happened?" I replied. "My man had a kid last night, big time stuff". "Wow, nice, congrats on that, Chris," I said, while standing by Walton and Quinn in the corner of the Cavs locker room.  "Yeah thanks man," Quinn replied. "We're pretty excited". It was at that point—mid-conversation with Walton and Quinn—I realized the shame it is that Cleveland hasn't had the opportunity to really meet the newest member of the Cavaliers backcourt since his arrival way back on March 20. What if we saw Quinn handing out celebratory cigars on Public Square this week, for example, and nobody understood why?  With this in mind—surrounded by the only other relevant storylines including Byron Scott's job status, Dion Waiters' whereabouts and exactly how many points Carmelo Anthony was capable of scoring in four full quarters against the Cavaliers—I decided it was time we make it a point to get to know Quinn a little better. After firing up my flipcam, Quinn and I talked more about how he's enjoying Cleveland so far, his familiarity with the Cavs long lineage of great point guards like Mark Price and Terrell Brandon, as well as his All-Star teammate Kyrie Irving.  Below is that conversation. [youtube]KT9sJ9NDvjg[/youtube] What I've always found interesting about Quinn's story is the manner by which he rose through the college ranks on his way to becoming an NBA player. I started thinking back through all that after our conversation. I actually followed Quinn's collegiate career pretty closely, and when he arrived at Notre Dame in 2002 he joined a team led by a sophomore point guard named Chris Thomas.  Thomas had been named Indiana's Mr. Basketball as well as a McDonald's HS All American in 2001, and was billed as the Big East's next great point guard. He had just earned Big East Freshman of the Year honors before becoming an Honorable Mention All-American during Quinn's first season. Thomas then declared for the NBA Draft in 2003, but did not sign with an agent. He eventually pulled out of the draft and returned to Notre Dame for his junior campaign. Before he graduated, Thomas became the school's all time leader in asissts, ranking fourth in NCAA history.  Thomas would injure his right knee prior to his senior season, however, and never be the same player after that. Despite the hype surrounding Thomas throughout his collegiate career—while the lightly recruited Quinn remained in relative obscurity on a national level—he never played a game in the NBA. Quinn, meanwhile, worked under the radar to improve to 17.7 points and 6.4 assists as a senior, assuming the point guard duties following Thomas' departure. This, after averaging only 3.9 points as a freshman from Dublin, Ohio. During the time since, Quinn has now appeared in 240 regular season games at the NBA level, playing parts of six seasons with four teams. After appearing in 41 games for the Spurs in 2010-11, Quinn spent last year's lockout-shortened season playing for Khimki in Russia.  Prior to joining the Cavaliers, he played for Valencia in Spain and then the Tulsa 66ers in the D-League.
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