For the interview segment where Alfonzo McKinnie talks about buying his mom a house, skip to 7:08 in the video.
OAKLAND – 2018 has been a tumultuous year for the Golden State Warriors.
The back-to-back champs got off to a fantastic start, winning nine of it’s first 10 games. The Warriors seemed to be playing the game with a energy and attitude that alluded the squad at the beginning of the 2017 season.
— Sam Hustis (@SamHustis) November 1, 2018
Recently, things have taken a turn for the melodramatic.
The Warriors lost a close game in Los Angeles, largely in part to a squandered final possession. Names were called. Allegiances were questioned. The longevity of this Golden dynasty has been put under the microscope.
But through all the chaos that comes with being one of the most-watched teams on the face of the planet, the rise of Alfonzo McKinnie has been one of the best storylines of the year.
After an productive but low-scoring college career at Eastern Illinois and later Wisconsin-Green Bay, McKinnie went undrafted in 2015. He moved to Luxembourg and played for the East Side Pirates, a team in the country’s semi-professional second division.
“I was in a situation where I was the only American on the team,”McKinnie told Bonnie-Jill Laflin during a sit-down interview at the team’s practice facility. “A lot of guys had day jobs. A lot of practices we weren’t able to play 5-on-5 because guys either were too tired for work or guys had to work.”
From there he had a stint in Mexico before bouncing around the NBA’s G League for a couple seasons. He ultimately signed with the Warriors before this year and landed a spot on the opening night roster.
Since then all McKinnie has done is come of the bench and give the Warriors hard-fought minutes filled with aggressive rebounds, sound defense and timely 3-pointers. It’s tough to find minutes on the globe’s best collection of talent since … ever … but McKinnie is averaging 14 points and 9 rebounds per 36 minutes.
By far his best game of the year cam in Chicago when he dropped 19 points and 10 boards on his hometown crowd. But that accomplishment paled in comparison to something else he did on his trip, buy his mother a house.
“My mom, you know we grew up on the West side of Chicago,” McKinnie said. “She’s been on the West side of Chicago her whole life basically. She always wanted that house outside of Chicago a little bit. Something she could call her own. And for me to be able to get that you know was a blessing.
When people ask players, ‘When you get a lot of money what you gon’ do?’ My response was always, ‘I’m gonna buy my family a house.’ And I was able to do that. And it was one of the best moments of my life.”