“They always slept on me, so I had to be my biggest fan”: Will Barton’s gamble pays off with new deal

Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Missing two game-winning shots in a week might damage the confidence of some NBA players. In February, Nuggets swingman Will Barton misfired on a pair of three-pointers in two straight nights at the end of regulation that could've given his team the lead, the first a wild 34-footer against the Boston Celtics and the second a wide open look from the top of the arc against the San Antonio Spurs.

Denver fell short in both games. Yet later that week against Golden State, Barton was back out there in the fourth quarter going about his business as if his gaffes were ancient history. He scored 10 of his team-high 25 points in the final 12 minutes of play as the Nuggets earned an upset win over the back-to-back champs.

"They always slept on me, so I had to be my biggest fan," Barton said afterwards from behind aviator sunglasses.

In October, Barton bet big on himself by turning down a reported four-year, $42 million extension from the Nuggets. It was a lot of money for a reserve whose three-year, $10.6 million deal was set to expire at the end of the season. Barton felt he could get something even better. On Sunday, that gamble paid off as he agreed to a four-year, $54 million with the Nuggets that will allow him to spend his prime years in Denver.

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