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Wizards 2014-15 Player Previews: Garrett Temple

Garrett Temple #17

2013-2014 Key Stats

Games played, started: 75, 0

Total minutes, per game: 638, 13.3

Points per game: 1.8

Field goals: 51-141 (.362)

Assists per game: 1.0

Steals per game 0.5


Garrett Temple is undoubtedly that guy that every team has on their bench. Some call them minute eaters, others use the phrase role players, and another ‘cliche’ term would be “core guy”. Whatever you may refer to G-Temp as, the Wizards are a perfect fit for him, and vice-versa. While Washington was busy unveiling new alternate uniforms and signing some guy named Paul Pierce to their roster, Temple’s re-signing went quietly under the radar.

His stats, as seen above, are nothing to write home about but for what Temple may not bring to the table in the box scores, he does to the chemistry and depth of the team. Standing in at 6’6″, Temple is tall enough to cover both guard positions and runs Coach Randy Wittman’s offense as a point guard perfectly for the role of “here’s the ball. Don’t mess it up kid.” Garrett has quickly earned the respect of his coach and his back-court teammates and is often called upon to help close out things defensively for the Wizards — a role I can only see increasing as he adds to his four year tenure in the league.

The Best and Worst of 2013-14

Being a backup guard in the NBA can be a tough job but when the two guys in front of you are John Wall and Bradley Beal, it’s going to be hard to put together a hightlight reel or mixtape to showcase your talents. How many people outside the DC area could possibly know that his alma mater is Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge?

That said, and thanks to the Vine efforts of us and some of our media friends (TAI, Blog So Hard) we do have some plays to highlight for Otto Porter’s doppelganger.

So, nothing fancy, and maybe some would even argue this was a failed shot attempt, but the bottom line is this is a play that personifies the traits Wittman and the Wizards love about Garrett. He didn’t allow the play to be a turnover, stuck with it and kept his eyes up which allowed him to find the Euro-departed Jan Vesely for the lob.

Another perfect example of patience and vision displayed by Temple on this pass to his twin, Otto Porter.

Remember — we said he could play defense too.

No debate that Jan Vesely had to have been a big fan of Temple’s considering he’s in half of the latter’s highlights.

Against the newly revived rivalry with the Bulls, Temple showed off a little bit of clutch and a little bit of range to end the 3rd quarter.

Both these plays from the same game show the versatility of Temple and why he continues to be a key player for this Wizards team.

I realize that chopping up eight Vine clips and calling them season highlights is a stretch but we have to make due with what the Internet has to visually offer us, especially considering the limited minutes of play we are dealing with here.

With that in mind it’s also hard yet somewhat easy to pick on a guy and look for the worst in his game. That’s why for Temple’s worst, I am bringing out ESPN’s latest rankings of NBA players where Temple checks in at number 422.

Here are some names ESPN has him listed in front of so you can have some sort of reference:

425: Pierre Jackson
431: Aaron Gray
438: Namanja Nedovic
448: Jordan Clarkson – I have no idea why I would use this specific player for comparisons sake
460: Andrew Bynum
462: Keith Bogans
474: Jason Collins
495: Joey Doresey
500: Shayne Whittington – How could we provide a list and not have the 500th best NBA player on it.

Luckily when told of his ranking Temple didn’t take to his Twitter account to show his anger with something like “422 !!!” Instead his next post on social media was so Garrett Temple:


Sticking to family traditions, a strong social media game, and his long road to DC

Family traditions

Temple’s parents are Collis Temple and Soundra Johnson Temple. Garrett’s father was the first African-American to play basketball at Louisiana State University (1971-74). At LSU, Temple wore the number 14, swapping the number 41 his dad and brother (Collis III – LSU, 1999-03) wore. As a senior in high school Temple averaged 13.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists in leading University High to the 2004 Class 2A state championship. At University High, Temple also competed in track and field, where he was a long jump and triple jump specialist. Garrett lists his biggest influence as “his father, because he went through it and knows the ropes.” If only pops could have given the Wiz Kids the recipe to beating the Pacers.

Strong social media game

Temple 1

Coming off the heels of athletes self-imploding on social media, I listed this because I think it’s important that people take care of and responsibly portray themselves in media. Temple lists his top priorities as God, family, and basketball. I’m not going to get up on a soap box or anything here but you can tell a lot about a person in the way they speak, how they react to world and national affairs and nothing I’ve seen from Temple tells me that he’s anything but a very well educated and respectable person.

He also happens to have a hell of a sense of humor in addition to being a great teammate. On Twitter you can find him shouting out his fellow players, giving well wishes to those who have departed, and providing positive support to others even if they are not his own teammates.

Did I mention before that he’s a consummate pro?

The long road to DC

The NBA life of Garrett Temple has not been an easy one and from the outside looking in — albeit with a little bit of insight because we see Temple behind the curtains — I think it’s easy to understand why he has the qualities he does as a person. First, you must credit his parents and upbringing but I think a good dose of humility has to come from a four-year NBA resume that includes being undrafted and stints with the following teams:

2009–2010: Rio Grande Valley Vipers (D-League)
2010: Houston Rockets
2010: Sacramento Kings
2010: San Antonio Spurs
2010: Rio Grande Valley Vipers (D-League)
2010–2011: Erie BayHawks (D-League)
2011: Milwaukee Bucks
2011: Erie BayHawks (D-League)
2011: Charlotte Bobcats
2011–2012: Novipiù Casale Monferrato (Italy)
2012: Reno Bighorns (D-League)
2012–present: Washington Wizards

With his re-signing to the Wizards this offseason, this is the most stability Temple has seen since he played four years at LSU. Although the numbers may not prove it, if he contributes in the ways that Coach expects, continues to be the ultimate practice player that John Wall loves to compete against, and provides those sparks defensively off the bench, Temple will keep growing as an under-the-radar fan favorite this year.

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