Mavs From the Past: Brandon Bass

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Brandon Bass was an impactful journeyman who spent time on six teams during his 11-year NBA career. Even though he was 6′ 8″, he played bigger than his size, spending time as a power forward and center, doing whatever was necessary to help his team succeed, whether it was as a starter or coming off the bench.

High School Years

Bass attended Capitol High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 

By his senior year of high school, Bass was already ranked by Rivals.com as the 11th-best player and seventh-best power forward in the nation, as well as the third-best player in the Southeast.

In his senior year, he was named a second-team Parade All-American. He also made the EA Sports Roundball Classic Roster and the McDonald’s All-American Game.

In the McDonald’s All-American Game, Bass scored 14 points and racked up three assists.

College Years

Bass received offers from the likes of University of Connecticut, Louisiana State University (LSU), Mississippi State University, and the University of Southern California (USC) to join their basketball program. He ultimately chose to attend LSU.

Bass instantly became a starter on LSU’s men’s basketball team. In his first year on the team, he averaged 12.8 points per game (PPG), 7.4 rebounds per game (RPG), 0.6 assists per game (APG), 0.7 steals per game (SPG), and 1.9 blocks per game (BPG) while getting the start in all 29 games. In conference play, the Tigers finished second in the Western division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) with an 8-8 record. Even with their .500 record, the team was not able to qualify for the NCAA tournament. The team finished their season with an 18-11 winning record. At year’s end, Bass was rewarded for his impressive first season by being named to the SEC All-Freshman Team and being named the SEC Rookie of the Year.

The following season Bass improved on all of his stats as he had a career year. He put up 17.3 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 0.8 APG, 0.8 SPG, and 1.6 BPG while getting the start in all but one of the team’s 30 games for the season. The Tigers again finished second in the western division of the SEC with a 12-4 record. This time around, the team qualified for the NCAA tournament. LSU entered the tournament as the sixth seed in the Chicago Region of the tournament. The Tigers were quickly eliminated in the first round by the 11th seed, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). LSU finished the season with a winning record, 20-10. In his second year on the team, more awards and honors came Bass’ way as he was named to the SEC All-Tournament Team and the All-SEC first-team. He was also named the SEC Player of the Year by the Associated Press and by the coaches.

After his sophomore year, Bass declared for the 2005 NBA Draft.

Welcome to the NBA

Bass was drafted 33rd overall by the New Orleans Hornets in the 2005 NBA Draft. 

While playing for the Hornets, he got little playing time. He was sent to the Tulsa 66ers, the Hornets’ D-League team. During his two years with the Hornets, Bass averaged 2.2 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 0.1 APG, 0.1 SPG, and 0.2 BPG while taking part in only 50 games, four of which were starts. New Orleans missed out on the playoffs in Bass’ two years with the team.

Bass Breaks Out in Dallas

In 2007, Bass was a free agent and signed with the Dallas Mavericks. He continued to come off the bench with the Mavericks but his impact on the team’s success was felt a lot more than his years with the Hornets. He had a breakout year in his first year in Dallas when he put up 8.3 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 0.7 APG, 0.3 SPG, and 0.6 BPG. He made 79 appearances during his first year on the team, one of which was as a starter. The Mavs finished their season 51-31, good enough to clinch the seventh seed in the Western Conference. Dallas didn’t make it far into the playoffs as they were eliminated in the first round by Bass’ former team, the Hornets, in five games. Bass came off the bench in all five games and put up 11.6 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 0.4 APG, 0.6 SPG, and 0.6 BPG.

The following season Bass put up similar stats, as he averaged 8.5 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 0.5 APG, 0.3 SPG, and 0.7 BPG in 81 appearances with the team, all off the bench. Dallas finished the season, sixth in the West with a 50-32 record. In the first round of the playoffs, the Mavericks took down their rivals, the San Antonio Spurs, in five games. The Mavs playoff journey didn’t continue for much longer as the Denver Nuggets eliminated them in five games in the second round of the playoffs. Bass continued to impact the Mavericks off the bench as he put up 9.4 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 0.7 APG, 0.7 SPG, and 0.4 BPG in the playoffs.

Bass’ Best Years

During the 2009 offseason Bass signed as a free agent with the Orlando Magic. His numbers took a bit of a dip his first year on the team but bounced right back the following year. He spent two years in Orlando where he averaged 9.1 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 0.6 APG, 0.3 SPG, and 0.6 BPG. In his first year with the Magic, he continued to come off the bench but became a full-fledged starter the following season. Bass started in 54 of his 126 games with the team. The Magic made the playoffs both years Bass was on the team and even made it to the Eastern Conference Finals his first year there. In the playoffs, he averaged 4.8 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 0.2 APG, 0.2 SPG, and 0.4 BPG while getting the start in six of his 13 playoff appearances with the team.

Bass was traded to the Boston Celtics during the 2011 offseason. Boston was where Bass got his time to shine and show the world his full potential as a starter. In his four seasons with the Celtics, he averaged 10.6 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.1 APG, 0.5 SPG, and 0.7 BPG. He got many more opportunities as a starter with the Celtics than he did on any of his other teams starting in 224 of his 304 games with the team. The Celtics made the playoffs in three of Bass’ four years with the team, even making it all the way to game seven of the Eastern Conference Finals in 2012 before getting eliminated by the Miami Heat. He averaged 9.4 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 1.1 APG, 0.6 SPG, and 0.5 BPG while getting the start in all but one of his 30 playoff games with the team.

Final Years in the NBA

Bass signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2015 offseason. In LA, he was moved back to the bench, the role in which he started his NBA career in. Off the bench, Bass averaged 7.2 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 1.1 APG, 0.5 SPG, and 0.8 BPG in 66 appearances. The Lakers finished last in the Western Conference with a 17-65 record.

The following offseason, Bass signed a contract with the Los Angeles Clippers. In 52 games off the bench, he averaged 5.6 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 0.4 APG, 0.3 SPG, and 0.2 BPG. The Clippers finished the season fourth in the West with a 51-31 record. LA was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs after losing a hard-fought seven-game series against the Utah Jazz. Bass only played in one of the playoff games where he scored two points, grabbed one rebound, and a steal in four minutes.

The Clippers would be Bass’ final NBA team.

Bass’ time in Dallas was a changing point in his career. He had his breakout season and made his presence known off the bench while he was with the Mavericks. Bass averaged 8.4 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 0.6 APG, 0.3 SPG, and 0.6 BPG in his two years with the team. He played in all but four games during his tenure with the Mavs. He played in 160 games with the team and came off the bench in all but one of them. 

Playing in China

In August 2017, Bass joined the Liaoning Flying Leopards, a team in the Chinese Basketball Association. He played on the Leopards from 2017 until 2020 when the pandemic hit. In his three years on the team, Bass put up 22.3 PPG, 9.4 RPG, 1.9 APG, 1.2 SPG, and 0.9 BPG.

National Team

In early 2021, Bass was named to the United States national team that took part in the 2022 FIBA AmeriCup qualifiers.

Personal Life

Bass is married to Melissa Prejean. The couple has a son, Brandon Jr., and a daughter, Bella.

Legacy

Bass was an impactful player off the bench in his earlier and later NBA years. He got the opportunity to show everyone his full potential as a starter and helped his teams succeed. His time on the Mavericks will be remembered by Mavs fans as his breakout years and the time when he showed the rest of the league that he was meant to be there.



Categories: Mavs Fans For Life, Mavs From the Past

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