Mustafa Shakur Called Up to Washington Wizards
Shakur, in an interview with FanHouse on Friday night, said that he expected to be available to play in Washington's game Saturday night at home against the Boston Celtics.
"Hopefully, if everything goes right with my flights, I'll get there and get situated and then be ready to play against the Celtics," Shakur told FanHouse.
Shakur (shown right with the Tulsa 66ers) learned of the call-up Friday night after scoring 18 points on 6-of-14 shooting for the Vipers in Bismarck, N.D., against the Dakota Wizards after his Vipers overcame a first half deficit to pick up a 102-100 victory, their ninth in a row.
"I think when you come to the D-League, you have to just focus on what you're doing, try to be professional and play to your strengths while helping your team," Shakur said. "You can't really think about the call-up aspect of it because if you think about that, then it's hard to focus on playing and performing every night."
Shakur, a fourth-year pro out of Arizona, is averaging 18.4 points, 6.0 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 2.0 steals this month while making 51 percent of his field goal attempts. In his 69 game D-League career, the consistent point guard is averaging 18.4 points, 6.4 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 2.1 steals. His play last season in the D-League earned him an end of season call-up to the Oklahoma City Thunder as well as a training camp invite with the New Orleans Hornets this past preseason.
The Wizards have currently been playing with just two point guards, rookie John Wall and veteran Kirk Hinrich, since releasing Lester Hudson earlier this month.
"They were actually interested in me since last year but I ended up signing with Oklahoma City," Shakur remembered. "They've shown a lot of interest in me since then."
Knowing Washington might have a need for a third point guard, Wizards Vice President of Basketball Administration Tommy Sheppard scouted last week's D-League Showcase where Shakur earned Second Team All-Showcase honors.
"They're bringing me in because they like me, I guess. We haven't really talked about what I'll focus on yet, but I'm excited to go," Shakur said. "As soon as I get there I'm going right to the gym so we'll probably go over plays and get right to it."
Shakur is the third D-League call-up of the season, joining Larry Owens (San Antonio Spurs) and Zabian Dowdell (Phoenix Suns) in the NBA.