Robert Upshaw became a mythical figure among Los Angeles Lakers fans this summer. The undrafted seven-footer out of Washington who showed so much potential, but was also kicked out of two separate schools for undisclosed team policy violations was a fan favorite based off of what he could turn in to down the line if given time to develop.
The preseason results were... mixed. For every block or dunk Upshaw had, he had a possession where he did not show enough defensive awareness or looked lost in the offense. Still, many thought he was almost a sure thing to make the Lakers final roster based off of his potential alone. But when the roster cut deadline came, Upshaw was not one of the final fifteen players left on the Lakers' roster, with the ultimate decision reportedly coming down to the dependability and known quantity of Robert Sacre winning out over the enigma and unpredicatable play of Robert Upshaw.
Upshaw joined the Los Angeles D-Fenders, who kicked off their season on Friday night after the Lakers' loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Upshaw scored 11 points on 4-8 shooting to go with 6 rebounds and 3 blocks in his 16 minutes of playing time in the D-Fenders' 123-121 win over the Reno Bighorns. The highlight of the night was Upshaws' posterization of poor Vincent Hunter:
That was nasty. If Upshaw continues to have nights like this, one would think it is only a matter of time before he is called up to join an NBA team.