INDIANAPOLIS, IN—Former Wisconsin Badger Marcus Landry has been through this before.
After not being selected in the 2009 NBA draft after four years in Madison, the undersized forward spent July of 2009 with the Sacramento Kings summer-league team. While there he battled against some of the best young prospects in the nation including Tyreke Evans who would end up winning the NBA's Rookie of the Year.
Landry's ultimate goal a year ago in Sacramento: Nothing short of a lucrative spot on the Kings regular season NBA franchise. One year later, Landry is in a similar situation, just looking for an opportunity with the Indiana Pacers on their summer league team in hopes of maybe playing alongside the likes of Danny Granger and Troy Murphy.
"I've been through this before and at times it can get frustrating," Landry admitted. "I'm the type of guy who doesn't really let that get to me."
That positive attitude is exactly what Landry needs considering he's going toe to toe with recent Pacers draft picks Paul George and Magnum Rolle. His biggest source of advice and feedback comes from someone who knows the NBA pretty well. His brother Carl was a standout player at Purdue and just completed his third professional season ironically with the Sacramento Kings.
"He gives me a lot of advice and he keeps me pumped up and positive," Marcus admitted.
The two never had the chance to play together because while Marcus Landry was trying to catch the eye of coaches on the 2009 Kings Summer league squad, Carl was still a forward on the Houston Rockets. By the time Carl was traded to Sacramento on February 18th 2010, Marcus was long gone. While things didn't work out in Sacramento for Marcus Landry, a training camp opportunity with the New York Knicks certainly did.
He was invited to participate with the Knicks prior to the 2009 regular season starting and Landry impressed the coaches enough that he made the 15-man roster. Landry played in just 17 games for New York before being traded to the Boston Celtics in the deal that sent Nate Robinson to Boston as well. Landry ended the season in the NBA Developmental League with the Maine Red Claws.
After that stint with Maine, Landry's career has brought him to Indianapolis. Back in a gym, working hard, and trying to impress coaches like Jim O'Brien. In just over a year Landry's career has stretched about as far west as you can get in Sacramento California and about as far north east as you can get in Portland, Maine. For Landry though, the Midwest and the Indiana Pacers feels like a good fit.
"This is a great place to live, I really like Indiana. It's close to home and it's a place I'd love to play," said Landry. " I actually really wanted to play here last year but things didn't work out to well."
Things haven't worked out in Landry's quest to become an NBA player, but it doesn't look like he's going to stop working towards his goal anytime soon, whether that be with the Indiana Pacers or not.