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Johnson-Odom sees opportunity to impress

by Max Rappaport, Sixers.com
Posted: March 14, 2014

Five days ago, Darius Johnson-Odom was in Erie, Pennsylvania, leading the NBA Development League’s Springfield Armor to a 113-109 win over the Bayhawks. Friday night, he and his new team face the Eastern Conference-leading Indiana Pacers.

Johnson-Odom signed a 10-day contract with the Philadelphia 76ers Friday, becoming the 34th GATORADE call-up of the 2013-14 NBA Development League season. Drafted 55th overall in 2012 by the Dallas Mavericks and immediately traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, the 6’2” guard appeared in four games for L.A. last season. 

He also played professionally in Russia and China, and, most recently, in the NBA D-League, where he’s averaged 22.0 points, 6.1 assists, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.4 steals in 27 games with Springfield. 

“I think the D-League is great,” Johnson-Odom said. “A lot of guys who kind of want to make their niche [in the NBA] give themselves a chance [by playing in the D-League].”

Joining a young Sixers team, the Marquette alum sees an opportunity to showcase his abilities right away. He was told that he might see his first action Friday night, mere hours after inking his contract.

“I’ve got to be ready tonight, so I’m staying [at the practice facility] to get some shots up,” he said. “Coach Brown has a lot of trust in me, he believes I can play in this league, and he’s given me an opportunity to prove myself.”

The Sixers take on the Indiana Pacers at 7pm Friday night.