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Thursday, November 3, 2011
Jamaal Tinsley is No. 1 in D-League draft

By Dave McMenamin
ESPNLosAngeles.com

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- New head coach Eric Musselman won't be the only member of the Los Angeles D-Fenders with NBA experience representing the team in the D-League this season.

Jamaal Tinsley, who spent eight seasons in the NBA with the Pacers and Grizzlies, was selected by the D-Fenders with the first overall pick in the D-League draft on Thursday.

"I'm humble and blessed for this opportunity," said Tinsley in a release.

Tinsley, who averaged 9.8 points, 6.6 assists and 1.59 steals during his time in the NBA, filed the necessary paperwork to enter the draft just prior to Tuesday's deadline. He hopes to revive a basketball career that has made a few detours after he burst onto the NBA scene, taking home All-Rookie Second Team honors in 2001-02 with Indiana.

Tinsley, even though still under contract with the Pacers, was not permitted to attend team practices or games during the 2008-09 season after a rift with management occurred. He signed with Memphis prior to the 2009-10 season and averaged 3.5 points and 2.8 assists in 15.5 minutes per game, appearing in 38 contests.

He did not play in the NBA last season.

Ten years after being selected with the No. 27 pick in the NBA draft, the 33-year-old Tinsley found himself going No. 1 in the D-League draft.

"Our goal all along with the first overall pick was to take the player who we felt gave the D-Fenders the best chance of winning right now," Musselman said in a release. "In this case, we were able to do just that with the selection of Jamaal. The guard position was a point of emphasis for us entering the draft, and Jamaal's extensive experience in the backcourt provides the D-Fenders with a great foundation as we work towards our ultimate goal of winning a D-League Championship."

Tinsley was one of eight players selected on Thursday by the D-Fenders, the Los Angeles Lakers' D-League affiliate. The team held a pick in each of the draft's eight rounds.

Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.