Who has it better than DeAndre Liggins right now?
The two-time NBA D-League Defensive Player of the Year and key contributor to the record-breaking 2016 champion Sioux Falls Skyforce is seeing all of his hard work pay off this season.
Liggins, 28, is just another example of persistence personified as he never gave up on his dream and now finds himself on the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers as a key contributor.
“It’s been great, [an] unbelievable feeling. It just shows when you work hard and never give up — for the guys in the D-League now — just continue to stay with it, you never know where you’re gonna be, even if you don’t get a Call-Up,” Liggins said. “That was my case last year, I didn’t get a Call-Up, played Summer League in Cleveland and look at me now. It just shows I’ve stayed consistent, kept working and developed my game.”
The guard from Kentucky now finds himself in an incredible situation and even though he experienced success in the D-League, Liggins still admitted that he never truly pictured himself in a scenario like this, even though playing in the NBA was his end goal.
And now he takes nothing for granted, especially having the opportunity to play alongside an all-time great player like LeBron James: “Every day I wake up, even going into practice every day to see these guys is just a great feeling for me.”
The other Cavs players have praised his defensive prowess, but to Liggins, that’s just who he is. In fact, he actually leads the Cavs with a 2.7% steal percentage this season.
He takes pride in his ability to stop the other team’s best scorer and knows that his skills on that side of the ball are the most important thing he can contribute to a Cavs team that already features high octane scorers like James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love.
“Aw, that’s my defense man, that’s what I’m known for. That’s what I was known for in the D-League. The two years I was there, Defensive Player of the Year, so I continue to carry that niche and bring it to a contender like these guys.”