Some basketball history was made in Sacramento today. The Kings signed center SimBhullar to a 10-day contract, making him the first player of Indian descent to make it onto an NBA roster.
The 7-foot-5, 360-pound Bhullar had been playing in the NBA’s development league with the Reno Bighorns. This season, he has played 39 games (starting 17) and collected 11 double-doubles, along with one triple-double. He’s averaging 10.3 points a game, 8.8 rebounds, and 3.9 blocks.
The Kings’ next game is tomorrow at home against the Pelicans. So Bhullar should be suited up and on the bench.
“He adds a very interesting dimension to the game," Kings coach George Karl told ESPN. "And our game is becoming an international game and India is becoming one of the greatest, largest, biggest democracies in the world and I think it's a good story and hopefully we'll find some minutes for him."
Bhullar was undrafted in 2014, but played for the Kinds in that season’s NBA Summer League. The Kings signed him in August 2014, making him the first player of Indiana descent to sign an NBA contract, then waived him in october. He then joined the Bulldogs, where his size made him stand out.
"The reception has been great, especially from the fans,” Bhullartold an Indian media outlet in March. “A lot of the guys are asking me about it, just being there with me and sharing my experiences especially going on that trip to China and seeing how everyone really embraced me and a lot of people were calling me the ‘Indian Yao’. That was a pretty crazy moment for me."
His first minutes on an NBA court might end up being just a bit crazier.
Photos: Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images