When the Thunder waived Nate Robinson on Saturday, the move marked the moment forward Ryan Reid fulfilled his NBA dream. With Robinson officially gone, Reid became the 15th man on the Thunder's roster. It's an achievement few, if any, observers ever thought Reid would reach. Analysts thought Reid overachieved simply by being drafted 57th overall in 2010 out of Florida State.
But Reid always had making the NBA on his list of goals, and when he got the news on Christmas Eve it couldn't have come at a better time.“It's one of the best Christmas gifts ever,” Reid said. “I've been working hard to be that 15th man on the roster. That's what I wanted … Just being here and being the 15th man on roster, even not being able to play, is still a good feeling. I'm cheering my team on and just being in the place that I want to be.”
Reid, who averaged 8.5 points and 5.8 rebounds in 48 games with the Tulsa 66ers last season, has now experienced a home game as well as an away game in the NBA. Everything, Reid said, is “just different,” from the talent to the travel.
“It's a lot more people in the stands,” Reid said. “You play in the biggest cities. You're on TV. And just being out there it's like, ‘These are guys I've been watching on TV and now I'm here.'”
Reid has been on the inactive list in each of the Thunder's first two games, meaning he sits on the bench in street clothes as opposed to dressing for the game. But that's just fine for him — for now.
“I'm not coming in expecting to play,” Reid said. “I know my role and I have to work for it, which is no problem.”
Reid credited the longer than normal offseason for giving him more time to get in shape and compete for a spot. Once he got called up from the 66ers to join the Thunder's training camp roster, he put it in his mind that he had a 50-50 chance of making the team.
Now, Reid says he's focused solely on basketball and becoming a better player rather than getting caught up in the lifestyle of being a pro. “We got a lot of guys here, especially older guys like Nick (Collison) who have been here,” Reid said. “And me and him kind of have the same role, so I've got to follow in his footsteps to see what he did to be successful and stay on the team. That's a good guy to learn from.”