Strawberry Fields Forever
The Albuquerque Thunderbirds are barely a blip on the Duke City's sports scene, but there is one big reason why now could be the best time to checkout our own NBA Developmental League team.
DJ Strawberry, who played his college ball at Maryland, was drafted by the Phoenix Suns in the second round of last year's NBA draft. The Suns are a potential championship team so Strawberry hasn't and isn't going to see a lot of playing time this year, but the Suns did want him to see some action somewhere, so they sent him down to their Developmental League affiliate, the Thunderbirds.
In a game in late December, I saw Strawberry pour in 43 points against the T-Birds hated rivals (I have no idea if they're our hated rivals) the Utah Flash. He's averaging close to 32 points a game, plays lock down one-on-one defense and is a menace in the open court because of his speed and leaping ability.
Strawberry may never be an NBA superstar, but he's already a D-League phenom and a real joy to watch.
The T-Birds play their home games at Tingley Coliseum which is actually decently suited for basketball games. The team's next home game is Tuesday, Jan. 15 against the mighty Colorado 14ers, but that game starts at 1:45 p.m. for some reason. Their next game at a reasonable time of day is Friday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. For tickets and other T-Bird info, checkout [link].