Player Preview: Damien Wilkins is kickin’ it old school

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 20: Damien Wilkins /

Many thought his NBA career was done, but Damien Wilkins has defied the odds at 37 years of age with the Indiana Pacers.

Damien Wilkins won’t be doing too much for the Indiana Pacers this season, but it’s truly an accomplishment to even be back in the league. Wilkins hadn’t played in the NBA since the 2012-2013 season so his journey back has been nothing short of inspiring, especially for young guys on an NBA roster.

Every young team needs a veteran, so Wilkins’ voice will surely be heard in the locker room. He’ll also get his fair share at minutes, especially early on with Glenn Robinson III sidelined. When the roster is healthy, Wilkins won’t be looking at many minutes as a third-string small forward/shooting guard.

When his number is called, Wilkins will be ready to produce. I know, he’s old. However, last season in the G-League, he averaged about 15 points per game for the Greensboro Swarm. He even had a 40-point game against the Maine Red Claws back in March.

Pulling stats predictions from thin air

Role: Backup Backup

Third-string guard/forward. His biggest asset will be the veteran leadership he’ll bring in the locker room and on the court. There is something to be said for having a player who knows the ups and downs of the NBA, and beyond.

3-4 months Months

With Glenn Robinson III out for a long time, Wilkins definitely could crack minutes in the high-teens backing up guys like Bojan Bogdanovic and Victor Oladipo.

18 minutes a game

Again, with Glenn Robinson III out for an extended period of time, Wilkins should be in the rotation early on in the season. I’ll go out on a limb and say he averages 4 or 5 points per game throughout that time. Through two games he’s averaging 6.4 points.

Player’s Season Summed up in One Bojack GIF

If you follow the Indiana Pacers, you need a sense of humor. Laugh so you don’t cry. And what’s funnier than Bojack Horseman? Nothing. Nothing is the answer.


You’re not as quick as you used to be, Damien.

Sweatin’ Bullets

Sweatin’ Bullets is an 8p9s tradition started by Jonny Auping in which we offer standalone facts, observations, and commentary, often devoid of context or fairness.

  • Nate McMillan was Damien Wilkins’ first head coach in the NBA. He played under Nate in Seattle. When Nate first got the Pacers job, Damien was one of the first to congratulate him on Twitter.
  • Damien Wilkins is the 5th oldest active player in the NBA. Who’s older? Vince Carter, Manu Ginobili, Jason Terry and Dirk Nowitzki.
  • The Pacers are Wilkins’ 6th NBA team. He previously spent time with the Oklahoma City Thunder/Seattle SuperSonics, Philadelphia 76ers, Atlanta Hawks, Minnesota Timberwolves and the Detroit Pistons.

One Key Question

Can Damien Wilkins become a key rotational player for a potential playoff team in the Pacers?

More from 8 Points, 9 Seconds

The Situation: Wilkins is technically a third string guard/forward, but with Glenn Robinson III injured, he’s a rotation player. He could prove himself, play well enough and keep that rotational spot. It’d be very difficult, but it’s possible.

Best-case Scenario: Wilkins keeps his spot in the rotation, even with Employee #40 (Legendary Mark Boyle Reference) healthy.

Worst-case Scenario: Wilkins is dropped from the rotation once Glenn returns.

Prediction: This is a developmental year for the Pacers. I think Wilkins will help develop the young guys by giving them guidance from the sidelines more so than by playing minutes, taking time away from those guys. I think Wilkins will play when needed, but won’t be a primary rotational player.

Next: Simon Says: The Pacers stay

Wilkins isn’t the most attractive player for a young, rebuilding team. However, his experiences throughout his NBA career can definitely motivate the young players. As the 14th guy, no one should be complaining about Wilkins being on the roster. That is, of course, unless Ben Moore really does develop into Bruce Bowen.