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Friday, March 26, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 36

- Sergei Karaulov

Spurs draft pick Karaulov played in the Russian second division last year for Nizhny Novgorod. He averaged 11.2 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, which aren't bad numbers I guess. But to put them in some sort of context, Karaulov averaged 17.2ppg and 9.5rpg for a different second division team in the 2003-04 season, the year before the Spurs drafted him. So somehow, in the six years post hence, the soon-to-be 28 year old Karaulov has gotten worse.

This year, he has upgraded from the Russian second division to the Russian superleague. This is good. But what is not good is Sergei Karaulov's performance this year. In 12 games for Krasnie Krilya Samara, Karaulov is averaging 3.8 points and 2.6 rebounds, totalling 45 and 31. Those aren't very good numbers, but they're even worse considering that 25 points and 9 rebounds of that (as well as 4 steals) came in one game, a late December loss to Dynamo Moscow. Therefore, outside of that one game, Karaulov has totalled 20 points, 22 rebounds and 27 fouls in 100 minutes.

Some Spurs draft picks pan out. Some don't. This one didn't.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 35

- Bobby Jones

Former University of Washington forward Bobby Jones was a second round draft pick of the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2006, who was traded immediately to the Sixers. He signed a two year deal with the team and played spot minutes of 44 games in his rookie year, before being traded again in the offseason to the Denver Nuggets as a part of the Steven Hunter/Reggie Evans swap. Denver played him in 25 more games but waived him before the contract guarantee date, at which point Jones signed two ten day contracts with the Grizzlies. After the expiration of the second one came a fresh one with the Houston Rockets, quickly followed by two more with the Miami Heat, and one with the San Antonio Spurs, before Denver picked him back up for the last week of the season. Denver signed him to a contract that ran through the 2008-09 season with various guarantee dates along the way, and precisely because of that, Jones's unguaranteed deal became a trade chip, one capitalised upon when he was traded along with Taurean Green to New York in exchange for Renaldo Balkman. The Knicks waived him a day later, which prompted the Heat to claim him off of waivers, yet he lasted only about a week there before Miami waived him prior to his contract guarantee date kicking in. A month later, Jones joined the Sacramento Kings for training camp, but did not make the team. And that was Bobby Jones's NBA career.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 34

- Britton Weaver Johnsen

Johnsen has spent the year with Panellinios in Greece. He averaged 6.2 points and 3.2 rebounds per game in the Greek league, alongside 7.5 points and 4.1 rebounds per game in the Eurocup. However, he has not played for last six weeks due to a knee injury.

One thing I didn't know until about Britton Johnsen until just now; a decade ago, he got into a fight with Amadou Makhtar N'Diaye (not Mamadou), who accused him of using the N word. I'm guessing Johnsen used the word "bigger" at some point, which N'Diaye misinterpreted. Either way, strange times.

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 33

- Jan Jagla

Former Clipper and German national team member Jagla has spent the season with Prokom Sopot Gdynia in Poland. Gdynia are the best team in Poland and are also a Euroleague team, which is why they have imports such as Jagla, Lorinza Harrington, Qyntel Woods and Daniel Ewing. They also used to have Pape Sow, but he left the team in February to sign in Spain. It was reported that Jagla had left the team with him, but that report was erroneous, for Jagla has spent the whole year there. He averaged 7.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per game in the Euroleague, alongside an almost identical 7.3 points and 4.0 rebounds per game in the Polish league.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 32

- Lindsey Hunter

Lindsey Hunter was finally crowbarred off the Bulls roster a couple of weeks ago. This was a good thing; Hunter hasn't been an NBA calibre player for 5 years, yet in all that time teams have believed so much in his off-court attributes that they have caved to his demands and signed him as a player, rather than as a coach. Never mind, it's over now; Hunter was waived a fortnight ago to make room for Chris Richard, and immediately was hired (reclassified) as a player development assistant.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 31

I wasn't initially going to mention this, not until we got to Marko Tomas's entry at least. But, prompted by Jonathan Givony, I will relent and do it now.

An amusing scandal has broken out in the world of Croatian basketball. A team called Cibona Zagreb are perhaps the best team in the country; they were in the last 16 of the Euroleague just last month, and currently lead the powerhouse Adriatic league with a 19-5 record. Players on that team include former Bulls centre Dalibor Bagaric (whose name was brutalised into Dalibor Ballagachayridge by English commentator Roy Birch last week), former Real Madrid sharpshooter Marko Tomas, Slovenian shooter Samo Udrih (Beno's brother and one time Maverick), and balding former Mississippi State guard Jamont Gordon (covered here earlier this week). It's a deep team that also houses upcoming draft prospect Bojan Bogdanovic (a tall wing player with a fine jumpshot, if not much else) and Leon Radosevic (a 19 year old big man who, in true Croatian style, cannot rebound). Cibona have long had a strong youth movement, and this continues today.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 30

- Josh Heytvelt

Gonzaga graduate Josh Heytvelt is one of the best players in Turkey. His team (Oyak Renault Bursa) are third last in the Turkish TBL with a 6-16 record, but it's not the fault of Heytvelt, who averages 16.6 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. The scoring ranks 10th in the league, and the rebounds rank second only to Jamar E. O'Davidson. Bursa won a massive game at the weekend when they beat the high flying Turk Telekom; Heytvelt played all 40 minutes and put up 26 points and 13 rebounds. (Ricky Davis had 20 for Turk Telekom in his second game for the team. He scored 8 in the first.)

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 29

- Jason Hart

Hart first signed with the Timberwolves for training camp, and the depth chart alone was enough to help him beat out the other 470 competitors for the 15th man spot. However, despite the Wolves' lack of a third point guard, Hart played only 5 minutes and ended up being traded away, twice. Sort of. The Timberwolves first had a deal with New Orleans that would have seen them trade Hart (or rather, his unguaranteed contract) to the Hornets in exchange for Devin Brown and cash, and the deal was so close to being done that a press release even appeared on the Timberwolves' website. However, Phoenix snuck in at the last minute and offered Minnesota a better deal, giving them Alando Tucker and a second rounder for Hart instead.

Phoenix then waived Hart, and New Orleans eventually got their man when Hart signed a ten day contract with them as injury cover when Chris Paul first went down. Since then, however, Hart has been unsigned. He can often be seen in the crowd of Syracuse home games, although there aren't any more of them scheduled until November time now.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 28

One final Mengke Bateer note - while I called him Mongolian earlier, he's actually from Inner Mongolia, which is considered part of China, in much the same way Vermont is considered part of the USA. I didn't realise that there was a difference between Mongolia and Inner Mongolia, but there is, and so I will bring that difference to you now.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 27

- Marcus Haislip

An established and productive forward in the Euroleague these last couple of years - if kind of disliked by certain sections of the European audience who abhor athleticism when it comes at the expenses of pick and roll defense - Haislip left Unicaja Malaga this summer after two seasons to return to the NBA to play for the Spurs for the minimum salary. This represented about a 75% paycut for Haislip, yet he did it anyway, because American citizens like playing in America. It didn't work out for him, though - in three months with the team, Haislip played all of 10 games and 44 minutes. Then in early January, Panathinaikos came in for him, looking for a short injury reinforcement. Haislip negotiated a buyout with San Antonio (which wasn't difficult; "you can forget what you owe me if you let me leave") and signed with Pana, for whom he is averaging 11.0 points and 5.0 rebounds in the Greek league.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 26

In the previous post I talked about Hawks draft pick Sergiy Gladyr, but did so while omitting a potentially interesting/amusing piece of information. Gladyr has not played since Valentine's Day, when he left a game against Meridiano after only 9 minutes with an injury and never returned. The injury is a broken hand, one which Gladyr suffered by punching an advertising hoarding. Maybe he was feeling a little unloved that day. I feel your pain brother.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Robert Whaley arrested for carrying drugs in his arse



The cheerful looking sausage in this picture is former Utah Jazz and Toronto Raptors big man, Robert Whaley. You may remember him, or you may not. But if you do, it's probably because either:

a) you're a Cincinnati Bearcats fan who remembers Whaley for the one year of fail he brought your team in 2003-04 before being forced to transfer due to off-the-court issues,

b) you're a Raptors fan who remembers Whaley's inclusion as a throw-in in the trade that ended the Rafael Araujo Experience, or

c) you're a Jazz fan who remembers Whaley as being the fat one that was arrested alongside Deron Williams back in 2005, in an incident that saw them humiliate and besmirch themselves by giving false names to the police.

Either way, your memories of Robert Whaley probably aren't great.

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 25

- Sergiy Gladyr

After being drafted by the Atlanta Hawks this summer, Gladyr left the Ukraine for the first time and moved to the ACB to play with Suzuki Manresa (formerly known as Ricoh Manresa). Manresa have an 11-13 record on the season, yet they're comfortably in the middle of the table, currently placing 10th out of 18 ACB teams. Gladyr is third on the team in scoring with a 9.9ppg average, alongside 2.1 rebounds, 3.6 fouls and no other significant statistics per game. For a shooter, though, he's not shooting too well, shooting only 32% from three point range. And given that he has attempted 135 three pointers compared to only 35 two points, that's not ideal. It is not an ideal first season in Spain for Gladyr; that said, for a 20 year old in the ACB, it's pretty good. Young players don't normally play much there.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mengke Bateer Is A Coconut Wielding Homicidal Badass

Everyone remembers their first Mengke Bateer experience. Mine came in the 2000 Olympics. In a game against the USA in which Yao Ming beasted from three point range (true story), and in which Wang Zhizhi picked up four first half fouls, Mengke came in and hit some mid range jumpshots, in that way that he does. It was kind of fun, if ultimately kind of forgettable.

Bateer went on to enjoy a few years in the NBA. He started out as a training camp signee of the Denver Nuggets in 2002, yet was waived before the season started. He thus went back to China and averaged 24.3 points and 14.2 rebounds per game for Beijing, before returning to the Nuggets in February 2002 to see out the season with them. Bateer played in 27 games for that God awful Nuggets team and even squeezed out 10 starts, averaging 5.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.5 fouls in 15 minutes per game. You'll no doubt have noticed that that's a lot of fouls.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Chinese Basketball Association Statistics, 2010



The Chinese Basketball Association and its compelling protagonists have a particular level of focus on this website, for the simple reason that they're totally awesome. Any league that saw Olumide Oyedeji average nearly 20/20 can peak the interest of any of us.

Fringe NBA players like playing in China; the exposure isn't huge and the standard isn't great, but the CBA pays very well, and it is unashamed in copying the NBA model of basketball not much imitated around the globe. They've changed their style to match up to the NBA game; games are 48 minutes long (like the NBA, and unlike basically every other league in the world), and there's about three of them a week (unlike most other domestic leagues, which have 1). This teams playing lots of games with less emphasis on practice is a lure to players; after all, as that great philosopher of our time Nate Dogg once said, "playas play on, play on, keep playing on." Words to live by.

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"The brain behind ShamSports could have been featured in a number of these Twitter lists, but because his website often spends our entire working day lodged in one of our browser tabs we decided to take the boring route and place Mark amongst the professors. Deeks might be the funniest man you've never met, he does exhaustive work with the NBA's salary minutiae and transaction follow-ups, and he's a stone-cold must-follow. Stone-cold fox, too, ladies. Or, some gentlemen."