A talk with former Warriors guard pushed Alfonzo McKinnie to Golden State


Will Bynum appeared in 15 games with the Warriors during the 2005-06 season. He averaged 3.6 points and 1.3 assists in about 11 minutes per appearance.

Why does that matter to you right now? Because without Bynum's influence, Alfonzo McKinnie may not be on the Warriors today.

Marc Spears of The Undefeated has the details:

McKinnie said he had several opportunities to join NBA training camps this past offseason. But his mentor, former NBA guard Will Bynum, pushed him to sign with the Warriors.

“I was talking to one of my big homies, Will Bynum, at his house,” McKinnie said. “He said, ‘Ain’t nothing else to think about. I don’t care what they offered you. It’s Golden State there. You have to go there and lay it all on the line.’ ”

And lay it on the line he did. It was widely assumed that McKinnie would end up in Santa Cruz, but the 26-year old snagged a roster spot.

[RELATEDAlfonzo McKinnie's meteoric rise continues in Warriors' win over T-Wolves]

He's averaging 6.1 points and 4.3 rebounds in about 13 minutes per game, and is shooting 59 percent from 3-point range (10-for-17). The Chicago native racked up 19 points and 10 rebounds last week in front of friends and family at the United Center.

On Friday night against the Wolves, he recorded eight points and eight rebounds in a career-high 27:22 of playing time. He is truly one of the best stories in the NBA this season.

“It doesn’t matter where you start,” McKinnie told The Undefeated. “You just have to keep working hard day in and day out. Just wait for the right opportunity to present itself. And when it does, take full advantage of it and see what happens.

“That is pretty much what I did. I just continued to work. You see where I am at now.”

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

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