January 16th, 2019. It will be a day long remembered in the NBA G League, the Texas Legends organization and the MacKinnon family. With a 126-108 win on Wednesday night, Legends coach Bob MacKinnon tallied his 200th victory in the G League.
In typical fashion, he places the credit anywhere but on his own shoulders.
“It means I’ve had very good players,” MacKinnon said after making history. “It means I’ve had very good coaching staffs and front offices. I’m fortunate that I’ve gotten the opportunity to be here with the Legends for three years and work with the best organization in the league.”
The Legends (9-19) used a 48-30 rebounding advantage to take down the Westchester Knicks (16-12). With two-way player Daryl Macon in Dallas with the Mavericks, Wade Baldwin IV led all scorers with 27 points on 13-of-22 shooting, adding eight assists and six rebounds. In five games since rejoining Texas, Baldwin has scored 24 or more points four times. His plus-26 plus-minus led all competitors.
Another returning Legend, Justin Dentmon played the role of sixth man and scored 22 points off the bench, going 6-of-11 from three-point range.
Coach MacKinnon has more than 30 years of experience coaching in college and the G League and is in his third season with the Legends. He’s had stops in Colorado, Idaho, Springfield and Los Angeles. But no place has become a home and family like in Texas, and it means a lot to him to win game number 200 with the Legends.
“To me it’s significant because I think this is the best organization in the league. The chance that Donnie Nelson and Malcolm Farmer and Mark Cuban have given me, to work with and learn from people like Rick Carlisle, has really been an unbelievable experience for me. It’s great to do it here with the Legends.”
He’s a G League champion and is also responsible for the most call-ups in league history, a point of pride for him and paramount to the players who call him coach.
“That’s the most significant thing. Again, it’s a result of having very good players to coach and working with very good assistants and front office people. That’s really the reason why I have these accomplishments tied to my name. It’s more about the other people.”
Rookie Ray Spalding had 20 points and 14 rebounds for his ninth double-double of the season. He also swiped four steals, tying a season-high. Xavier Johnson collected 16 points and 10 rebounds off the bench to record his second double-double of the year.
The newest Legend, Xavier Rathan-Mayes, started for the first time with his new team in his third game. He played his highest minute total to date at 36 minutes and posted 12 points with eight assists.
Kostas Antetokounmpo (11 points) and Keith Hornsby (10) rounded out double-figure scorers in the streak-snapping victory.
For the Knicks, former Legend Jameel Warney led the opposition with 25 points.
In the coaching ranks since 1982, MacKinnon checks all the desirable boxes as a coach and is one of the G League’s most respected names, spending many years running the league’s elite mini-camp and national tryouts.
At the end of the day, though you won’t hear it from him, he is one of the most important figures in the history of the G League.
“One thing is I do have really good relationships with players and assistants and front office people that I’ve worked with. Hopefully we’ve helped people and I’ve had a small role in helping people improve their careers and improve their lives.”
Coming back home after a three-game road trip proved an elixir for the Legends, who will now travel to Northern Arizona to take on the Suns (5-24) on Saturday night at 8 PM CT before returning to Frisco for a three-game home stand.