The long journey back into the L is complete for Dante Cunningham.
The New Orleans Pelicans inked the 6-foot-8, 230-pound forward Thursday, and he suited up last night for 11 minutes in a 112-85 road loss to the Golden State Warriors.
Cunningham, 27, was out of a job despite having felony domestic assault charges against him dropped in August. He says that getting his basketball career back on track is a huge relief.
Per the AP and the Pelicans’ team website:
“It’s such a relief,” Cunningham said in a phone interview. “I just knew that with the time and the situation that was going on, I kind of had to wait it out and get the right opportunity.”
Cunningham said his conversations with the Pelicans were centered on “making sure that all the facts were consistent with what I had to say and what the police report had to say and what the police had to say. At this point now we’re just moving on.”
New Orleans (8-9) used one of its two open roster spots to sign Cunningham, who worked extensively with Pelicans Coach Monty Williams when both were in Portland during Cunningham’s rookie year of 2009-10. That relationship was one reason the Villanova product was enthusiastic about signing with New Orleans. […] “It’s a blessing,” Cunningham said. “Coming from Portland my rookie year, he was a coach I looked up to. He taught me the ropes, taught me how to be a professional. Taught me what you need to do to be successful in this league. Clearly, he has the formula. Coming out of the situation I was in, I couldn’t ask for a better situation than this right here.”