Bob Duff: Calgary’s Jordan Bachynski ready to stand tall for Pistons

 

 
 
 
 
Arizona State's Jordan Bachynski (13) celebrates with fans after an NCAA college basketball game win against Arizona, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, in Tempe, Ariz.  Arizona State defeated Arizona 69-66 in double overtime.
 

Arizona State's Jordan Bachynski (13) celebrates with fans after an NCAA college basketball game win against Arizona, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, in Tempe, Ariz. Arizona State defeated Arizona 69-66 in double overtime.

At 7-foot-2, Calgary’s Jordan Bachynski is the longest of Detroit Pistons, both in terms of height and wingspan.

Bachynski, 26, may also be the longest of long shots to make the Detroit roster, but that isn’t about to deter his enthusiasm for the process.

After all, when you’re an NBA prospect and you’re from Calgary, beating the odds is nothing new.

“I’m the outlier,” joked Bachynski, noting that the large percentage of Canada’s ever-growing NBA population hails from the GTA.

“Originally I am from the Toronto area. I was born in Hamilton. Had my parents not moved out west I’d be just another Toronto guy.”

Bachynski’s best chance to make the Pistons is to prove to them that he isn’t just another guy.

“A big, big thing for us this year, one thing the coach (Stan Van Gundy) has been stressing, is defensive intensity, and that’s something that I’ve done really well throughout my career,” said Bachynski, who led the NCAA in blocks (133) and blocks per game (4.03) as a senior at Arizona State in 2013-14.

“When I get my chance I need to show them that I’m the guy that we can centre the defence around. I’m going to change shots, I’m going to block shots, and I’m going to deflect balls on passes. I’m going to rebound. I’m going to pass well.”

At the end of an NBA bench, there’s a fine line between those who make it and those who end up on the outside looking in.

“There are a lot of guys in the (NBA) D-League that could play in the NBA, who are on the fringe,” said Bachynski, who played 18 games last season for the D-League’s Westchester Knicks.

He’s also served NBA summer league tours with the Charlotte Hornets, Orlando Magic and Toronto Raptors, always on the cusp of taking that next step in the league itself.

Arizona State’s Jordan Bachynski (13) celebrates with fans after an NCAA college basketball game win against Arizona, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, in Tempe, Ariz. Arizona State defeated Arizona 69-66 in double overtime.

He’s of the opinion that this opportunity is best suited to the on-court skill set he has to offer.

“It seems like with this team, there’s a good chance for me to make the team,” Bachynski said. “They’re really focusing on defence and that’s my speciality.

“When I came here, I knew what I had to do. I still know what I have to do. I have to go hard every day, I have to challenge the guys and show Detroit that I’m a guy that’s going to help the team out.”

Bachynski is also meshing well with Van Gundy’s intense workout regimen, seeing it as similar to what coach Herb Sendek demanded from him at Arizona State.

“Stan is a really hard-nosed guy,” Bachynski said. “I think there’s a lot of similarities between the way he coaches and the way Herb coaches.

“A lot of guys find it tough to play for coaches like that. They require a lot of you and it’s not because they’re trying to be mean. It’s because they see the potential in a lot of the players. They see what you could be and they hold you to that regard.

“So anytime a coach is – as bad as it sounds – anytime a coach is happy with you, he’s not pushing you to get better. That’s something I think Herb does really well and something I think Stan does really well. They don’t take mediocrity. They only accept exceptionalism.

“If you can handle that, it makes you a great player, a far better player.”

Bachynski believes he can be a guy to make the Pistons better.

“Practices have been really tough but that’s the kind of ball that I love,” Bachynski said. “I love to work hard, I love to defend and I think I’ve got a good chance with this team.”

bduff@windsorstar.com

twitter.com/asktheduffer


 
 
 
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Arizona State's Jordan Bachynski (13) celebrates with fans after an NCAA college basketball game win against Arizona, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, in Tempe, Ariz.  Arizona State defeated Arizona 69-66 in double overtime.
 

Arizona State's Jordan Bachynski (13) celebrates with fans after an NCAA college basketball game win against Arizona, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, in Tempe, Ariz. Arizona State defeated Arizona 69-66 in double overtime.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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