Lester Hudson averaged 2.3 points during the 2009-10 NBA season. He played a lot less while on the Washington Wizards last year, averaging 1.6 points in 17 games. This season, in six games, Hudson is averaging 12.7 points, 3.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals. In the last two games Hudson has scored 23 and 26 points respectively, both career highs.
Maybe it was due to the far that his 10-day contract was about to expire, but Hudson has put together some amazing performances as of late. But who exactly is Lester Hudson?
Well, Hudson may have had the best season of any one player in the Ohio Valley Conference in 2007-08 for Tennessee Martin. Hudson has recorded the only quadruple-double in NCAA, with 25 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals versus Central Baptist College. On top of the quadruple-doulbe, he had a triple-double, eight double-doubles and ended up in the national ranks in points (25.7, fifth) and steals (2.8, fourth).
In his two seasons at Tennessee Martin Hudson became the first player to win the OVC Player of the Year award, and he did it two years in a row. He was also named to the All-OVC first-team in his two years in the NCAA. And i forgot to mention, he was named an All-American by the Associated Press.
He was taken in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics in the second round, spending only 33 games with the C’s before being traded to the Memphis Grizzlies midway through the season. He averaged 2.3 points and 0.3 steals in his rookie season.
He played 19 games with the Washington Wizards in the 2010-11 season, averaging 1.6 points and 0.4 steals. He had digressed a little, as he knew he had to play better to stay in the NBA instead of rotting away in the Developmental League.
Then, he got his chance. He was signed by the Cavaliers out of the Developmental League team the Austin Toros. He was signed to a 10-day contract, and in his first four games he averaged 6.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists and one steal. Knowing that his time was running out, he delivered two back-to-back impressive performances.
Against the Toronto Raptors on Friday, April 6 Hudson scored a career-high 23 points and also had seven assists, three steals and two rebounds. He was auditioning for the Cavs, and he performed very well in the first act. The best part is the Cavaliers also broke their nine-game losing streak with a win.
In the second act against the New Jersey Nets on Sunday, April 8, Hudson delivered the game-tying trey with three seconds to go in regulation to send the game to overtime. Unfortunately the Cavaliers could not come away with a win, but Hudson again scored a career-high 26 points and also added four rebounds, three assists and two steals. He officially kept his NBA hopes alive, at least for 10 more days.
That’s right, the Cavaliers offered Hudson another 10-day contract, probably to see if he can consistently score 20 or so points off the bench every night. His next chance to prove that he wasn’t a one-time act was Tuesday against the horrendous Washington Wizards.
Hudson once again proved that he is capable of playing at the NBA level by dropping a team-best 25 points. He also added eight rebounds, six assists and one steal off the bench. That’s a pretty impressive streak of three games for Hudson.
In seven games with the Cavaliers this season Hudson is averaging 14.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.4 steals. And that’s all on 25.6 minutes per game. And sparked by the tweets by Cavs owner Dan Gilbert invoking “Lesanity,” comparable to “Linsanity,” Hudson is becoming a sort-of success story.
Hudson has had some ups and downs in his NBA career so far, but he is making the most out of his opportunity with the Cavaliers. Hudson will most likely end up on the roster until the end of the season. Whether the Cavaliers sign a deal with him for next season is a mystery, but if Hudson keeps pace with how he’s performed in the last few games he deserves the chance to play on the Cavs roster next season.