Future Watch: Alfonzo McKinnie Basketball Cards, Warriors – We’re down to three teams left in the 2018-19 NBA season. While the Raptors and Bucks are tied 2-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Golden State Warriors are getting some beneficial rest after sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers. Despite the sweep, the Warriors have dealt with some serious injuries to their rotation, including former Finals MVP’s Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala. This has given journeyman Alfonzo McKinnie an opportunity to join the Warriors playoff rotation, and he’s been a solid contributor.
Alfonzo McKinnie was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1992. He played his first two years of high school ball at Curie Metropolitan High School. He finished his prep career at Marshall Metropolitan where he earned All-Red West Conference honors and averaged 11.2 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. McKinnie was lightly recruited out of high school and would attend Eastern Illinois University. In his sophomore season, he averaged 10.2 points and 7.0 rebounds per game.
After his sophomore season, McKinnie transferred to UW-Green Bay. He suffered two meniscus tears and would eventually have his meniscus removed. He finished his college career averaging 7.1 points and 5.1 boards in 96 games. After going undrafted in 2015, McKinnie traveled overseas to play for the East Side Pirates in Luxembourg’s semi-professional second division. With the Pirates, McKinnie was solid scorer averaging 26 points per game.
In 2016 he joined the Mexican team Rayos de Hermosillo. McKinnie would help lead the Rayos to the regular season title and the CIBACOPA finals. After the season, he had his sights set on making an NBA team. After an impressive tryout with the Windy City Bulls of the G-League, McKinnie would make the team and play in 50 games during the 2016-17 season. He averaged 14.9 points and 9.2 rebounds over 30.5 minutes per game. Not bad for a guy who had to spend $175 just to try out for the team. Read more about that HERE.
In the summer of 2017, McKinnie signed with the Toronto Raptors. He would play and start in 35 games for their G-League affiliate: Raptors 905, and saw action in 14 games with the NBA squad. His numbers in Toronto weren’t spectacular, but with Raptors 905 he averaged 14.0 points and 7.5 rebounds. After the season, he was waived by Toronto. Later that summer, he signed with Golden State.
McKinnie would earn a spot on the Warriors opening night roster and spent the entire 2018-19 season with the team. On October 29th he picked up his first career double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds in a road win against the Bulls. This was a big showing for McKinnie in his hometown. After the game, he introduced his parents at the team dinner. He was officially ingratiated as a Warrior.
In 72 games, McKinnie drew five starts and averaged 4.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.3 three-pointers per game. In the playoffs, he’s played in 16 games with one start. In Golden State’s two most recent games on the road in Portland, he averaged 23.8 minutes, 8.5 points and 5.5 boards. He came up big in their game 4 win with a crucial offensive rebound/put-back in overtime. Damian Lillard “broke” his ankles on a crossover early in the game, but McKinnie bounced back and helped the Warriors earn a victory and their fifth straight trip to the NBA Finals.
There’s a good chance Andre Iguodala is back for the Finals, which would push McKinnie back to the bench. No matter his role, McKinnie has proven he can make an impact on the game. Standing 6’8”, he’s an aggressive rebounder. In his last two games he has five offensive boards. Offensively, he can shoot the three and cuts hard to the basket for easy plays at the rim.
Stars obviously get the most hobby love based on their exposure and high-level consistency, but not every player on a trading card is a bona fide STAR. Alfonzo McKinnie’s journey to the NBA and his performance in the Western Conference Finals deserves some attention from collectors. Could another player on the Warriors bench have stepped up and done the same thing? Sure, but Steve Kerr gave McKinnie minutes in these crucial playoff games and he lived up to the challenge. Fans in the Bay should be collecting and rooting for Alfonzo McKinnie in the Finals. Not every player in your collection needs to be a star. Collect McKinnie for his story and for his impressive play on the biggest stage.
Look for Alfonzo McKinnie’s rookie cards in 2017-18 NBA products from Panini. He appears in a Raptors uniform in Contenders, Donruss Optic and Status. If you’re looking for him in a Warriors uniform, look for him in the retail only 2018-19 Threads, or scoop up a Panini Instant card from this year’s playoffs. If the Warriors take home the trophy, you can expect to find him in Panini’s NBA Champions team set shortly after the Finals.
Follow him on Twitter @_Alvo_.
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