Saturday, December 29, 2007

Spurs ink former Jayhawk Langford

After successful D-League stint, guard rejoins team that cut him in preseason


Langford signs with Spurs

Former Kansas guard Keith Langford inked a deal this afternoon with the NBA's San Antonio Spurs after spending the first half of the season in the development league.

KU prepares for Yale

The holiday break is over for the Kansas men's basketball team. They'll take the court against Yale on Saturday night.

Keith Langford, who was not selected in the 2005 NBA Draft despite being the sixth-leading scorer in Kansas University history, signed a contract Friday with the San Antonio Spurs.

Langford, 24, was plucked from the roster of the Austin (Texas) Toros, where he averaged 23.2 points and 6.2 rebounds in nine games for the NBA Developmental League team affiliated with the Spurs.

Langford made his NBA debut Friday night. He missed his only shot attempt and failed to score while playing four minutes, four seconds in the Spurs' 83-73 home loss to the Toronto Raptors.

"After he was cut in the preseason, coach Popovich (Gregg, Spurs) told him to go down to the D-League and be more aggressive, to have more of a killer instinct," said Langford's agent, Michael Whitaker of Reid Entertainment in Maryland.

"He said, 'This league is all about kill or be killed. With the game you have, the explosiveness you have, use it.' Look at the numbers he put up. The motivation was from coach Popovich doing the talking."

Langford declined six-figure offers from teams in Germany, Greece and Slovenia to attend Spurs' preseason camp, where he was a late cut. Instead of heading overseas, he elected to try to turn some heads in the D-League.

"It was a big financial risk. It paid off for him. He just needs to maximize the opportunity with the Spurs," Whitaker said. "With (Brent) Barry out two weeks (torn left calf muscle) and (Manu) Ginobili out (sprained index finger), there's a chance he'll get an opportunity. He has to make the most of it."

Whitaker said Langford stands to make about $6,000 per game until Jan. 10, when the Spurs must decide if they want to guarantee his contract.

If Langford is kept on the roster past Jan. 10, he would make $278,000 the rest of the season, the agent said.

"He understands the contract is not guaranteed until Jan. 10," Whitaker said. "As a player, you look for a shot. He's getting a shot.

"They like him. They told me he came close to making the team in camp. He had a real good camp. He knew he played well enough in camp to make it. He figured, 'I'm really close,' so he went to the D-League, where he was tearing it up. Now he has to play like he belongs."

Langford had a recent workout with the Denver Nuggets, who decided not to sign him. If he's cut by the Spurs, any other NBA team has the right to tender him an offer.

The Spurs cut point guard Darius Washington to make room for Langford, who spent last season with Vanoli Soresina in Italy and averaged 19.7 points and 4.8 rebounds in 34 games. During the 2005-06 season, he spent time with the Fort Worth Flyers of the D-League and the Kansas Cagerz of the USBL.

He becomes the 10th Jayhawk to be on an NBA roster during the '07-08 season. He joins Billy Thomas (New Jersey), Nick Collison (Seattle), Drew Gooden (Cleveland), Kirk Hinrich (Chicago), Raef LaFrentz (Portland), Paul Pierce (Boston), Scot Pollard (Boston), Jacque Vaughn (San Antonio) and Julian Wright (New Orleans).

¢ Intelligent players: No. 3-ranked Kansas (12-0) does not figure to overlook (3-6) Yale at 7 tonight.

"How can you not get up for Yale? They're a pretty smart school. They might try to outsmart us," senior guard Russell Robinson said with a smile. "We're coming off a break. We've got to be focused. We're playing well. We don't want to have any lapses."

"They are a good team," noted senior center Sasha Kaun. "They might not be a big name. (But) they run good offense. They are one of the teams you still have to take care of business and be prepared for."

Yale, which is led by guard Eric Flato (12.2 ppg), has lost by nine points to UMass, 11 to Stanford and 34 to UCLA.

"Our guys like playing games. Even though it's only been a week since we played, the guys will be excited to play," KU coach Bill Self said. "I think we'll have a good crowd. There will be a lot of people who haven't seen us play who will be able to come to the game (buying GA tickets). That lends to more enthusiasm."

¢ Happy anniversary: Yale player Travis Pinick will have several relatives and friends at tonight's game, including his grandparents, Ed and Valeda Pinick of Topeka, who will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary Sunday.

Travis' dad, Gregg, who was born and raised in Topeka and now is principal at Lutheran High in Orange, Calif., has been a lifelong KU fan, as has Travis, a 6-7 junior forward out of Lutheran High.

Gregg will be on hand for the game as well as Sunday's anniversary celebration.

Travis averages 5.0 points and 3.6 rebounds while logging 18.2 minutes a game for the Bulldogs.

¢ Thomas on TV: KU signee Quintrell Thomas will be playing on ESPNU (Cable channel 141) tonight. His St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.) High team will meet Houston Yates High in an 8 p.m. tipoff.


ralsterKUMed95 10 years, 5 months ago

Woohoo for Keith! As a 6'4" guard in the NBA, he is expected to do more than just be a slasher/goto guy he was at KU. This is a nice example for all the 'hopefuls' out there like Brandon Rush about what it takes. I am not comparing Brandon to Keith as their games are different. Always a good feeling when one of our KU players achieves their dream.

Ryan Gerstner 10 years, 5 months ago

That's great news for Keith! I'm glad to see him get another shot! I hope he makes the most of it.

CaramelMacchMan 10 years, 5 months ago

Good luck Langford...who i call "Slam it from the side line."....

ku98 10 years, 5 months ago

Outstanding news for Keith and for all the KU fans out there. He has worked hard for a chance to play in the NBA. I hope they sign him for the rest of the year.
Nice Christmas present for him. Good luck Keith, and make us proud!

Chris McIlvain 10 years, 5 months ago

I'm sure Langford's first move after getting signed was to log on to this website to read the kudos posts. LOL. Morons.

Jeffery Barrett 10 years, 5 months ago

apd, I'm sure you the first thing you do every morning is log onto this website to see what jackass comments you can make

JNgohawks 10 years, 5 months ago

I love that word moron. It was coined by some psychologist who was on the nature side of the nature - nurture controversy. He went to these poor areas and took pictures of the most ugly, inbred looking people he could find. He called them "morons" and promoted the idea that more upscale people like himself should only breed with themselves. The morons should of course only breed with other morons. Anyway he was found to have tampered with the photos of the "moronic" people he had taken, doing such things as smudging their eye areas giving their faces a more drawn out, dumb look. You know, like a moron looks. He did end up recanting his life's work on his death bed and admitted "nurturing" infants might have an effect. Anyway, I think the people posting on this sight are happy for Keith, feel like sharing the happy feeling with other fans, and really don't think that Keith got up this morning and ran to his computer to see what we posted.

smitty33 10 years, 4 months ago

Wow, JN, you've made this site intellectual. I think APD is just a Mizzery fan with nothing else to do.

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