Two Men Enter Bakersfield, One Man Leaves?

I blinked and missed the fact that Mateen Cleaves is now a member of the Bakersfield Jam. Cleaves was the 14th overall selection in the 2000 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons out of Michigan State and has previously played in the D-League twice, once with Huntsville (2003-04) and once with Fayetteville (05-06). Along with the acquisition of guard Brandon Armstrong, the Jam back court is starting to get a little crowded. Are the Jam preparing themselves for the departure of Gerry McNamara? Cleaves, who was previously last seen playing in Russia, already helped contribute to last Friday's win over Anaheim.

Whether Cleaves arrival has any bearing on McNamara's status, hopefully they can co-exist in the interim. G-Mac wasn't at Cuse back when Cleaves broke our hearts in the 2000 NCAA tournament. I was in a packed-to-the-gills Darwin's Bar watching the Sweet Sixteen game between the Orange and the Spartans. Michigan State was a #1 seed, playing in Detroit, and Mateen's mother had been on TV more often than the game itself. Still, the Orange were up ten at halftime and there was no doubt to anyone in the bar that we were not only winning the game but we were going to ride Jason Hart, Damone Brown and Etan Thomas all the way to the Final Four.


Then Cleaves drilled into his teammates during halftime and the
rest is history. I've never seen a group of people have the collective win knocked out of them so quickly...at least not outside the Carrier Dome.

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