Found April 09, 2012 on Waiting For Next Year:

Sunday evening provided excellence of all shapes and sizes. Beautiful outdoor venues and empty arena seats. Pine needle-based approaches and game-saving three-pointers. Leader boards and lottery balls. Consonants and vowels.

Bubba Watson battled Louis Oosthuizen in a sudden-death playoff at Augusta National; both golfers held off a charging Phil Mickelson who — if not for a complete debacle on the fourth hole — would have been right there with them if not a stroke ahead. Jose Bautista, baseball’s best hitter over the last two seasons, had a chance to provide additional heroics, down one run with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning. And there was Lester Hudson, locked into a duel with the world-beating Sundiata Gaines, late in the fourth quarter with the game on the line.

It may not have been in the same historical context as Oosthuizen’s 4-iron stroke from 253 yards out on the second hole — a well-hit Titlest ball that split bunkers and fell at the front edge of the green, only to gradually and gracefully decend toward the hole until it fell into the bottom of the cup for double eagle (or “albatross” as the kids call it) — but Hudson’s 18-point fourth quarter drew equal jubilation. Instead of the misguided high-fives from the collars, straw hats and seersucker in attendance at Augusta, Hudson’s supporters from the dark corners of the world where niche Cavalier fans reside. Those still cheering on as their team limps, literally, toward the finish line. 

With Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov looking on, Hudson crossed over Gaines, dropped floaters over the outstretched arms of Kris Humphries, and bounced back from an otherwise heartbreaking hurdle was all in a night’s work for the D-League call-up in the final day of his first 10-day run with the Wine and Gold. Moments after being called for a player control foul with his team down three points as the clock ticked closer to zeros, Hudson was fortunate enough to be provided a shot at redemption. A missed three-point attempt by New Jersey’s Anthony Morrow landed in the hands of Manny Harris who, after wasting time in an outlet to power forward Tristan Thompson, found Hudson waiting in the corner, wearing Deron Williams like chain mail. Desperation ran full speed into will to win, Hudson launched the three-pointer and found nothing but net.

A driveway dream, personified. Hudson, a well-traveled D-League call-up went from NCAA record books — the owner of Division I’s only quadruple-double — to playing in front of a few hundred locals in stops like Fort Wayne, Sioux Falls, and Rio Grande. And now, with that opportunity once again presented, Hudson appears to be grabbing it firmly with both hands, one converted field goal at a time.

The Cavaliers would ultimately lose the contest in overtime, but the ledgend of Lester Hudson is larger than ever. Providing eight points in the final four mintues of the Wine and Gold win over the Toronto Raptors, Hudson picked up right where he left off, registering eight points in his first two minutes off of the bench on Sunday. While Byron Scott would run with the starting backcourt of fellow D-Leaguers Donald Sloan and Manny Harris for defensive reasons, Hudson’s scoring could not be subsided when the Nets stretched their lead to seven points at the onset of the fourth quarter.

A 6-foot-3-inch, 190-pound guard who attacks the opponent with three-pointers and driving lay-ups. Tallying 49 points in his last two contests, getting to the foul line, and taking a team trailing late in games and providing heroics that result in wins or additional chances at such. Humble yet competitive, saying all the right things before, during and after contests, Hudson’s game has been that of recently injured point guard Kyrie Irving, without the fanfare of being a “What’s not to like?” first-overall draft pick.

As The Who’s “Baba O’Reilly” echoed through the speakers at the Prudential Center, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert took to Twitter to relay a message considerably different than the one from roughly one week earlier: “Lesanity! Lestyria!!” Gilbert thumbed, an obvious play off of the recently injured — and fellow D-Leaguer — Jeremy Lin. “I feel good about the franchise and the path we are headed down,” Gilbert said.

After hitting the three-pointer to send his new employer into an overtime period, Hudson would later tell the media that — despite being his NBA career-high — Sunday night was not his “best basketball, overall.” Firmly placing a wet blanket on his fourth-quarter shot over Williams, Hudson merely stated that “it wasn’t for the win.”

Admitting that he was too timid at his previous NBA stops, Hudson appears to be the quintessential representation of a player who is taking advantage of an opportunity. Playing for a team well out of contention, hoping to not only get another 10-day contract but a look next season and beyond, Hudson has gone from timid to reckless abandon, scoring in buckets and providing excitement to a team that had recently set the record for back-to-back home losses by margins of at least 35 points.

There is no telling what the long-term future holds for Hudson. Following the game, Cavaliers head coach Byron Scott stated that he expects the fiery guard to be with the team for at least the remainder of the season. From there, a lot of things have to happen for the Tennessee Martin alum to make his wine and gold jersey a fixture.

If the Cavaliers are looking for a reserve point guard, Donald Sloan has proven to be the superior distributor, dishing out 14 assists compared to just two turnovers in Sunday’s loss. Sloan’s defense on Deron Williams also earned applause. Hudson, conversely, may be a shooting guard in a point guard’s body. Or Daniel Gibson, for lack of better terms. Gibson, approaching the final year of his contract with the Cavaliers, is one of the team’s best wing defenders despite struggling from the floor this very season.

Antawn Jamison provided 34 points on 12-of-19 shooting. Alonzo Gee recorded a career game with 22 points, 11 rebounds and five assists. Tristan Thompson notched 15 points and 15 rebounds to go with two blocked shots. But knowing what we have in these three players, and having one eye firmly planted on the future, it’s Hudson’s recent string of play which is garnering the headlines.

How long these headlines last remain to be seen. All good things understandably come to an end. But for Lester Hudson, who will likely sign at least another 10-day contract at some point on Monday, the good things might just be getting started. He may not ever have a moment like Watson, whose triumph ended in firm embrace of a loved one after winning on the biggest stage, but if Hudson — via his run with the Cavaliers — manages to latch on to an NBA team via a guaranteed contract, his “big one” may have happened on Sunday night just hours after the green jackets were donned in Augusta. 

(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Cavs sign Hudson to second 10-day contract

Lester Hudson has earned himself another opportunity with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The team announced Monday that it had signed the former Tennessee-Martin standout to a second 10-day contract, one day after the 27-year-old guard scored a career high 26 points in an overtime loss to the New Jersey Nets. Hudson connected on nine of his 22 shots from the floor on Sunday, including...

Hudson bringing life to Cavs

CLEVELAND -- Random observations from the Cavaliers 103-90 win over Charlotte on Tuesday at The Q: 1. Lester Hudson. Those are two words Cavs fans are saying with an exclamation point after watching the 6-foot-3 guard total 51 points in his previous two games. That included a game-high 25 points against the awful Bobcats. 2. What makes this more impressive is how Hudson has done...

The Cleveland Cavaliers Have A Guard Named Lester Hudson

The Cleveland Cavaliers may have struck gold with a guard  that goes by the name of Lester Hudson. I know you’re saying Who? Lester Hudson the guy the Cavaliers brought up and signed to a ten-day contract. Hudson played so well and scored so many points the Cavaliers just signed him today to another ten-day Contract. If I was the Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert I would halt...

Box Score: Bobcats 90, Cavaliers 103

Maybe there’s something to this whole Lesanity thing after all? The Cavaliers took a lead into halftime, then came out cold in the 2nd half and saw the Bobcats come back and take the lead. From there, Lester Hudson took over. With Cavs owner Dan Gilbert sitting in with Fred and AC in the TV broadcast, Lester once again showed his boss why he belongs on the Cavaliers roster. Hudson...

The Lester Hudson experience, and that Hoop Dreams story personified

It's that other tale, sometimes told, that I'll always find more compelling than the one traditionally summarized in an NBA Boxscore. From Rick Telander and Darcy Frey, to Arthur Agee and William Gates, that hoop dreams story personified is one that will never sound repetitive to me. When truly realized, and put on display for all of us to see, however long that moment lasts...

Cavs sign PG Hudson to another 10-day deal

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed point guard Lester Hudson to a second 10-day contract on Monday. Hudson was coming off a career-high 26 points against the New Jersey Nets his last time out. Hudson, a second-round pick by Boston in 2009, is helping fill the void left with starter Kyrie Irving out with a shoulder injury. He has averaged 24.5 points his past two games.

While We’re Waiting… More on Lester Hudson, Ranking the Indians and early velocity figures

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com. “Which is why I appreciate what Lester Hudson did not just last night, but this whole weekend. When the camera followed Hudson to the Cavaliers’ sidelines late in regulation...

Lester Hudson Signed To 2nd 10-day Contract =)

I couldn’t be happier that Lester Hudson is playing like a complete stud. Believe it or not I was a fan of his since he was ballin’ at Tennessee-Martin. In fact I was such a passionate fan, I was incredibly frustrated and offended the Lakers didn’t draft or claim him (ask @dwayne429 for confirmation). Hudson transferred to UT-Martin from Southwest Tennessee Community College...

Cavs' Hudson promises resolve

Lester Hudson hasnt always been as aggressive an NBA player as he was this past weekend. In fact, there was a time when the newest Cavaliers guard kind of felt like he should just stay out of the way. I was way too timid, Hudson told FOX Sports Ohio of his previous NBA stint, which lasted a combined 36 games in Boston, Memphis and Washington. He also bounced around the NBA D-League...

Some Optimism In 2012 For Cavaliers Fans (Not To Be Confused With “Fans Of Cavaliers”)

The Cleveland Cavaliers will not be sniffing the playoffs for yet another season in the post-LeBron era. However, not all has been lost in Cleveland this year as it was last year. Despite the team’s 18-36 record, Kyrie Irving’s emergence as a rookie star has given Cavs fans hope for the future. 18.8 points, 5.7 assists, and 3.9 rebounds are pretty good numbers for a rookie —...

Cavaliers 103, Bobcats 90

Lester Hudson scored 25 points, including 14 in the fourth quarter, and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Charlotte Bobcats 103-90 on Tuesday night. Anthony Parker, who missed the two previous games with a bruised sternum, scored 19 points while Antawn Jamison added 17 for Cleveland. Gerald Henderson led Charlotte with 21 points. Rookie Kemba Walker scored 20 while D.J. Augustin...

Quote: Byron Scott No Longer Surprised by Lester Hudson

After you see it for the second game, you don’t really get surprised the third and fourth and fifth game. I know what he is. I know what type of player he is. I know he can put big numbers on the scoreboard given the opportunity. That part of his game I know. The other part is trying to get him to understand (that) on the defensive end he has to get better and I thought tonight...

Cleveland.com: On Cavs 2012 Draft and Accelerating the Oklahoma City Model

I wrote an article for Cleveland.com earlier today highlighting the fact that the Cavaliers are in a position to use only two drafts in order to acquire the same number of core pieces that the Oklahoma City Thunder did in three.  Here is a link to that article, and below is an excerpt: They followed the Durant pick by selected Russell Westbook and Serge Ibaka 4th and 24th overall...

Bobcats-Cavaliers Preview

The Cleveland Cavaliers expect to be without Kyrie Irving for at least the next two games, but his absence has been Lester Hudson's gain. The Cavaliers will try to end a six-game skid at home Tuesday night when they take on the league-worst Charlotte Bobcats, losers of 12 in a row. Cleveland (18-36) has lost 10 of 11 as injuries have taken their toll. Irving (shoulder) has...

Where’s Lester Hudson’s “Linsanity?”

On February 6, the shorthanded New York Knicks topped the Utah Jazz at home. The team’s two best players were inactive, dealing with various issues ranging from personal to health. The hero of the day — and subsequent weeks — was a hardwood vagabond, a scrappy guard who had been bounced from multiple NBA franchises, left to trudge through the murk and muck of the NBDL. Jeremy...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.