As a rookie in the NBA, emmetta Tilley was already on the defensive end of some of the most physical basketball in the world.
He was a two-time All-Star with the Brooklyn Nets, and in his rookie season, he averaged 10.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.6 steals.
“I’ve been a huge fan of him ever since I was a kid growing up in L.A.,” Tilley said.
“He’s the ultimate baller, he has a big heart and he loves basketball.”
Tilley was traded from Brooklyn to Phoenix in 2016 for two second-round picks and a second-rounder in 2018, and while he never played for the Suns he still felt like he’d made the right decision.
“[I was] really happy to be traded, it was a lot of fun,” he said.
After two years with the Suns, Tilley returned to the Heat, and he spent the first nine seasons of his career with the franchise.
Tilleys best offensive season came in 2017-18, when he averaged 15.5 ppg and 5.6 rpg in 28.2 minutes per game.
He played in just 11 games in the 2018 NBA Playoffs and missed all of the 2017-19 season after suffering a right knee injury.
The next season, Tilleys best statistical year came in 2018-19, when Tilley averaged 15 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1 assist per game in 31.3 minutes per contest.
The Heat drafted Jalen Jones in the first round of the 2019 NBA Draft, and Tilley had an impressive rookie campaign.
In 2017-2018, Tilkes best statistical season came during his sophomore season, when his numbers dipped slightly from the year before, but he still finished the year as the sixth-highest-scoring player in the league with 15.9 points per game and led the Heat in assists.
Tilks best defensive season came as a rookie, when the Miami Heat’s defense ranked seventh in the League, allowing just 97.4 points per 100 possessions.
The NBA season is a great opportunity for young players to show their true potential, but Tilley’s career has been defined by his desire to improve and improve on his defensive ability.
His ability to play the game at a high level is something that Tilley has always valued, and the Miami native feels like he has earned the opportunity to prove himself as a defender.
Playing at a higher level, playing at a position that allows him to make plays, Tilks passion for the game is what makes him such a special basketball player, and as a result, he is a fan favorite in Miami.