Sessions settles in
Ramon Sessions’s nomadic NBA career stops in the District, and he’s fitting in nicely.
milwaukee — Ramon Sessions has never really found a home during his nomadic NBA career. But if he were to pick one stop, it would be Milwaukee, if by default. The Bucks drafted him 56th overall, four from the bottom, in 2007, and he spent the majority of his rookie campaign in the D-League before appearing in 79 games with the Bucks the following season.
“Technically, I was here for two seasons, which is the most I’ve been anywhere,” said Sessions, usually the Wizards’ backup point guard but their starter against Milwaukee on Saturday in John Wall’s absence. “This was the place that drafted me, so it’s always the place that gives me that home edge over anywhere else.”
Washington, however, is coming close. Sessions, 29, arrived in the District in February, salvaged from a toxic situation in Sacramento when the Kings traded him for Andre Miller in an exchange of backup point guards. The Wizards envisioned Sessions orchestrating the second unit with a pace similar to the first unit, something they couldn’t do with the older Miller at the helm.
Sessions was called into emergency relief during the second round of the postseason, when Wall sustained five fractures in his left hand and wrist. Sessions started in Wall’s place for three games against the Atlanta Hawks. He netted 21 points in his first start but struggled over the next two games, shooting 7 of 24 from the field, before Wall returned.
Wizards center Marcin Gortat, who is at his best rolling off picks for point guards, cited a lack of chemistry with the newcomer, an obstacle that could only be overcome with time. Sessions, unlike Wall and Miller, is a score-first point guard. Adjustments needed to be made.
“If a point guard drinks clear liquor and I drink dark liquor, that’s not going to work,” Gortat said.
Five months later, the synergy, according to Gortat, is markedly improved. The two have fostered a relationship on and off the court. The Wizards’ refurbished offense, an up-tempo system focused on spacing, has only helped Sessions, a relentless penetrator who is at his best pushing the pace and driving downhill to the basket.
“The floor is open, it’s spread. There’s a lot of gaps, a lot of seams,” said Sessions, who averaged 7.4 points and 3.1 assists in 28 regular season games with the Wizards last season. “There’s more reads. For me, it’s one of those things that I feel like better suits my game, playing in this kind of offense, up-tempo. I mean, it’s fun.”
Sessions has rarely been recognized for his passing ability, but team officials have been impressed this preseason with his use of the offense to create for others.
“You know the spots the guy’s supposed to be in and it’s so spread out that the guy’s got to make a decision,” Sessions said. “For me, it’s kind of slowing the pace down and waiting until it opens up because at some point something’s going to open up. It’s hard to guard everything in this offense.”
Sessions, like many of his teammates, is slated to become a free agent next summer, so there’s a good chance he will be back on the move again. Until then, he’s happy to settle in.
“Being here another year,” Sessions said, “that doesn’t hurt at all.”
Notes: The Wizards were without Alan Anderson (ankle), Jared Dudley (back), Nene (calf ), Garrett Temple (hamstring) and Martell Webster (hip) because of injury. Wall was also not available; the all-star point guard was excused to attend the Light the Night Walk in Washington in honor of his friend Damiyah Telemaque-Nelson.
Ramon Sessions has bounced around the NBA playing for several teams but is gaining comfort in running the Wizards’ offense.