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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 64

- Brad Stricker

Stricker played his first two college years with Texas A&M back in 1995-97. He averaged 4.4 points and 2.5 rebounds before transferring to Arizona State, but had sat only one semester of his required three at ASU before transferring again, this time to Georgia State. There, in the 1998-99 season, Stricker averaged 3.9 points and 3.9 rebounds, before leaving with a year of eligibility left to go and join the real world.

Stricker started a construction company, Stricker Construction, and made a couple of returns to basketball. Although one of them is hard to verify. His CV says that he played briefly in the SWBL in 2001, winning the championship that year with the San Antonio Bombers; however, a Google search for "SWBL basketball" reveals the only such league in existence to be the Strathcona Women's Basketball League, and a search for "San Antonio Bombers" reveals only this. After that, Stricker played the 2001-02 season in Mexico, where he averaged 18 points, 12 rebounds, 4 blocks and 3 assists per game for Correcaminos Matamoros in the LNBP. But Stricker did not play for the next three years in order to run the construction company.

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 63

- Latrell Sprewell

We'll start by confirming the obvious; Sprewell has not played since his Timberwolves days. If he had done, that would be one of the transactions you'd have heard about without needing my support.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 62

- Tommy Smith

The last newsworthy thing that former Bulls forward Tommy Smith did was get arrested for kidnapping.

Smith signed with Liaoning in China in November 2008, but played in only two games (totalling 2 points and 12 rebounds) before being released. A couple of months after he came back to America, Smith was arrested on multiple charges after allegedly punching his girlfriend when leaving a party, breaking her nose, driving her away, taking her phone off her and abandoning her at the roadside by a lake. He later came back for her and took her to hospital, but she pressed charges anyway.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 61

- Marcus Slaughter

Slaughter is in France, playing for Nancy. France is a good place to go if you're an athletic 6'8 power forward, and Slaughter is producing, averaging 13.3 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.5 steals in only 23 minutes per game. He is shooting 64% from the field and 71% from the line, putting up a massive PER of 25.9.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 60

A previous post showed a little tizzy featuring Charles Gaines and Du Feng in game two of this year's CBA Finals. What looked initially to be Gaines dropping Feng cold with a swift and well placed right hand later emerged to be a fail of the highest order; after a lame headbutt on Gaines, Feng then went down to the ground like he'd been knocked clean out, whereas pictures of the incident showed that Gaines actually open handed Feng in the mandible. It was a shove more than a punch, and a valid retaliation to a headbutt. So far from being an inevitable suspension, Gaines was absconded from blame. And Feng looked like a big girly wuss.

Both played in game 3. Gaines was not suspended, and Feng (amazingly!) was not dead. Guandong won the game and took a 3-0 lead in the first to 4.


- Josh Shipp

Even though he spent quite a lot of his UCLA career deferring offensively to NBA calibre scorers, Josh Shipp has plenty of offense of his own. He is currently second in the Turkish TBL in scoring, averaging 19.3 ppg for Bornova (along with 5.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.0 steals). The Turkish league is far from the best in the world, and it's not got a lot of parity in it, but it's not a bad one, and scoring 19.3 ppg in it is no small achievement. Shipp is second only to Quincy Douby (23.6ppg), and ranks just ahead of Mire Chatman (Besiktas, 18.4ppg), Kedrick Brown (also Bornova, 18.1ppg), Quinton Hosley (Aliaga, 17.9ppg) and Lonny Baxter (Besiktas, 17.4ppg). That list is made up of all Americans, which alludes to the self-fulfilling prophecy that the best Turkish players don't play in Turkey. But Josh Shipp does, and he plays well.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 59

- Sofoklis Schortsanitis

Big Sofo has supposedly lost almost 150 pounds. This is good. The number is presumably exaggerated a bit, but whatever the amount he's lost really is, it's still good that he's lost it.

Last year, he was simply too fat play; allegedly nearer to 500lbs than 400, and seemingly trying his best to undermine the team that continues to persist with him perhaps long after they shouldn't, Sofo appeared in only 95 minutes all season, and fouled once in every four of them. How a man can get as big as he did is hard to fathom, and how a professional athlete (at least ostensibly) can get that big is simply mindblowing. But it happened. Sofo has always had a huge frame, yet with all that fat on him, he was heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEYYOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOGE. You could feel your head being drawn closer to the screen, such was his gravitational pull. He was the biggest basketball player I have ever seen. And it was reflected in his frankly pretty hopeless play.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Charles Gaines layeth the smacketh downeth

Part of the reason that the Chinese Basketball Association has sought the reinforcements of imports so much in recent years - particularly Americans, and particularly American big men - is to try to improve the physical play of a league that wants to shake its reputation of being "soft".

The following 45 seconds are not soft.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Why Derrick Rose Isn't Very Good At Drawing Fouls


In game one of the 2010 NBA Playoff Series between Chicago and Cleveland on Saturday night, Bulls point guard Derrick Rose shot 13-28 from the field, 0-2 from three point range, and 2-2 from the foul line, for a total of 28 points on 28 shots. He added 10 points and 7 assists, and generally played well; it was his scoring bursts in the second half that kept what could (and perhaps should) have been a blowout down to a single figure game for much of the fourth quarter. He also didn't run away from Mo Williams on defense as much as I thought he might, although this didn't prevent the rest of the team from doing so.

However, had Rose been the beneficiary of some foul calls, his stats would have looked even nicer, and the game would have been even closer. Shooting 28 field goals to only 2 free throw attempts is not easy to do, even if Rose has done it before, and for a man who takes only pull-up two point jumpshots, floaters and layups, it's very hard to do.

But it happened. And the reasons as to why it may have happened are evident in the following video.

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 58

- Marc Salyers

After years of being a huge scorer, Marc Salyers has been pretty ordinary this year. Playing for Le Mans, Salyers is averaging 11.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in the French league, He's still pretty good, but in relative terms he's having a down year. His PER is down 5 points from last year to an average of 15.2, and his Eurocup statistics were an almost identical 12.7/4.5/2.3. Le Mans are tied for the lead in the French league with Cholet, but lost to Cholet in overtime yesterday. Salyers had only 8 points in 34 minutes.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 57

My bracket:



My NCAA tournament bracket had more than a dollop of epic fail about it, so hopefully this one will be better that. I have incredibly few upsets scheduled, as you can see. And sorry to Portland fans for being the only sweep victims pencilled in; it's purely because of the Brandon Roy thing. With him, you might even take them. But without him, it's problems.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part Robinson

- Antywane Robinson

Former Temple forward Antywane Robinson was in the NBA as recently as 18ish months ago when he signed with the Sixers for training camp. He did not make the team - obviously, or else you would have heard about it - and moved to France to play for Cholet. He's been there ever since, and this year A-Rob is averaging 13.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in the French league.

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 55

Everyone is really happy that the Bulls are in the playoffs, I'm guessing. They shouldn't really be there, but they are, and it's a triumph of Joakim Noah over socialism. Good times.

On that subject, well-logoed blog The No-Look Pass asked me for my predictions for the Bulls playoff campaign, my thoughts on current Bulls related issues, and a brief reflection on quite what we've achieved in the last few weeks. Unfortunately, I responded with little more than a couple of Nazi jokes, a sodomy mention and some excessive Noah love. Read it all here.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 54

Shavlik Randolph was initially going to be in this post, but his arse got signed by the Heat, and players currently in the NBA don't go on the list. So we'll replace him with a Spaniard.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 53

- Pablo Prigioni

Prigoni left Tau Vitoria this summer after six years there, and moved to Real Madrid as a part of Ettore Messina's complete makeover of the place. He averages 6.9 points and 3.4 assists per game in the ACB, alongside 7.0 points and 4.5 assists in their now-ended Euroleague campaign. However, his defense, which was always a calling card of his, has started to slip. This is to be expected from a man who turns 33 next month.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 52

- Pavel Podkolzin

After his NBA career set new records for the most epic of all fails, Podkolzin returned to his native Russia to play for Lokomotiv Novosybirsk, the team he began his career with. Podkolzin is into his fourth season with the team, and has stuck with them even after they were relegated out of the Russian Superleague down to the second division. Statistics are hard to come across, because they're all in Russian, and Russians use the wrong alphabet. However, as far as I can tell, Pavel averages 12.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.9 fouls per game.

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 51

- Wesley Person

Person's last NBA gig came with the Nuggets in 2005. He later became an assistant women’s coach at Enterprise-Ozark Community College, before being moved up to the role of men's head coach back in July.

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 50

- Cherokee Parks

It was six years and five months ago that Cherokee Parks was last on the roster of a professional basketball team. The Warriors waived him in December 2003, and yet parks, aged only 31, never played again. He now owns a music club in is hometown of Huntingdon Beach called "The Brigg."

Unbelievably, the NBA's Cherokee Parks is not the only man in the world with that name.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 49

- Bo Outlaw

Outlaw last played in the 2007-08 season, when he played two games at the start of the year with the Magic before being waived in November. He now works for the team as a community ambassador.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 48

- Brad Newley

The Rockets seem to have an untoward number of draft picks who never play in the NBA, as well as an uncanny knack for accumulating unwanted draft rights from other teams. They currently have nine unsigned draft picks, most in the NBA, and while quite a few of them weren't their own picks, Newley was. The Australian guard spent his first two years after being drafted in Greece, but moved to Turkey this summer to play for Besiktas. He has averaged 16.1 points and 4.4 rebounds in Turkish league play, while upping his three point percentage from 32% last year to 43% this year. Newley missed two months of the year due to injury, but it didn't take him long to pick up from where he left off. In fact, his only single digit outing of the year was in the season opener.

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 47

- Mamadou N'Diaye

Mamadou N'Diaye missed last season with a serious knee injury. This year, he started the season by going for a tryout in Lebanon with Al Riyadi Beirut, but failed the physical as his knee had not yet recovered. Then in February, the comeback began when Mamadou signed with Maccabi Haifa in Israel. In 72 minutes of 6 games he has totalled 23 points, 20 rebounds and 4 blocks.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 46

The following lists mostly features people who arent playing right now.

- Mikki Moore

Mikki Moore isn't playing right now. He was signed by the Golden State Warriors this offseason to a one year minimum salary, in the same summer that saw them acquire Speedy Claxton and Devean George, which is some inactive list right there. Claxton and Moore have since been waived, and while Denver and Utah both expressed an interest in signing Moore, neither one did. Denver instead decided to sign Brian Butch (in a move that still hasn't happened yet), and Utah figured they would rather have two open roster spots.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 45

The Bulls just waived Jerome James and signed Rob Kurz (or, as Vinny Del Negro will no doubt call him, Rob Kirk.) Goodbye, Jerome. I'm glad you're not here any more. I'm not sure why you even were.

Chicago traded Larry Hughes to the Knicks last trade deadline in exchange for James, Tim Thomas and Anthony Roberson. Roberson is long gone, and Thomas and James played a combined 0 minutes for the Bulls this season while being paid $11.2 million. So, would we rather have had Larry Hughes instead?

No.

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 44

- Aaron McKie

Since his surprising and ultimately irrelevant "comeback" with the Grizzlies in 2007, McKie went back to where he already was; on the Philadelphia 76ers bench as an assistant coach. He did not play for the Grizzlies at any point. Probably best.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 43

- Amal McCaskill

A-Mac has been doing the D-Lang tour for a while now, and this year's installment of it saw him wind up in South Korea to play for Inchon Black Slamer. (If that's not a sex toy, I'll be shocked.) In 27 minutes of 48 games, the 36 year old McCaskill has averaged 11.9 points and 6.7 rebounds per game, shooting 57% from the field and 73% from the line.

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 42

- Chet Mason

Former Miami Ohio guard and Cavs signee Chester "Chet" Mason is spending his second season with Siroki Eronet in Bosnia. Most teams from the former Yugoslavia that we cover - Crveza Zvezda, Hemofarm, Cibona Zagreb, etc - are usually in either the Eurocup or the Euroleague, and also play in the Adriatic League. The Adriatic League is one of the strongest in the world for this reason. Yet Siroki are in none of them, nor are they in the EuroChallenge. It's pure Bosnian league for them. Mason is averaging 13.5 points, 8.1 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.4 steals per game, and three weeks ago he posted the David Lee-like statline of 27 points, 18 rebounds, 8 assists and 5 steals. Not bad for 6'5.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 41

- Demond Mallet

Former McNeese State guard Demond Mallet is playing with Turk Telekom Ankara. He averaged 12.3 points and 3.2 assists per game in their Eurocup campaign, and averages 10.2 points and 3.2 assists per game in the Turkish league. He does this while taking two three pointers for every one two pointer, and yet shoots them at a relatively sedate 35.6%. When he's hot, he's hot. When he's not, he's not. This is the level of analysis you come here for, no doubt.

Demond Mallet is Shaq's cousin. I wonder if Shaq knows this.

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 40

- Erazem Lorbek

Domen's brother is with Barcelona, whose basketball team are almost as much of a juggernaut as their football team. But let's not talk about their football team. Lorbek is averaging 10.1 points and 4.0 rebounds in the ACB, alongside 8.7 points and 3.9 rebounds for the inevitable Euroleague champions. He could play in the NBA, but he won't.

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 39

- Nick Lewis

D-League stalwart Lewis finally left there this summer after nearly three years, and moved to France to play for Roanne. He has averaged 8.6 points and 3.9 rebounds in 17 minutes per game in the EuroChallenge, 8.7 points and 3.6 rebounds in 15 minutes per game in the French league. Considering that scoring rate, maybe he should play more.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 38

- Maciej Lampe

Lampe started the year in Israeli with Maccabi Tel-Aviv, but the version of Maccabi that he had signed with in the summer did not last very long. It didn't take long before he was allowed to leave, at which point he moved to Russia to play for Unics Kazan. In the Russian league he is averaging 14.7 points and 6.3 rebounds; in the VTB United league he is averaging 14.5 and 6.0 rebounds; in the Eurocup he averaged 16.9 points and 9.5 rebounds. The idea that Lampe was a combo 3/4 was never right in the first place, but it's definitely not right now - he's emerged as a good if inconsistent post player with occasional three point range. He's not Dirk, and he was never going to be Dirk. But he does have NBA talent, even if he didn't exactly shine in the Euroleague this year.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Antoine Walker released by Puerto Rican team

It's been well documented of late, but here it is again.

Former NBA player Antoine Walker is broke. He earned (so to speak) $110 million over his career, and yet he wasted it all. Now, only 15 months removed from his last stint on an NBA roster, Walker is in serious financial straits, facing legal troubles for both unpaid gambling debts and for failure to maintain properties that he owns in Chicago. His agent sued him for unpaid fees - and won - and the NBA paychecks stopped coming last year.

Whatever Antoine had, he spent, and he spent it on things with no redeemable value. Clothes, cars, drink, food, blackjack hands and dishonest associates. None of that means anything to a creditor. It's all gone. Antoine is broke.

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 37

- Petteri Koponen

Blazers draft pick Koponen is still only 21 years old, but is already playing his second season with Canadian Solar Bologna in Italy's Serie A (known as La Fortezza Bologna until about two months ago). Last year he was something of a bit part player in Serie A play, but this year he's one of their best, ranking second on the team in minutes per game (26.8) and points (11.7). Koponen is shooting 44% from three point range and is also third on the team in assists with 1.7 apg, a team where the team leader (Andre Collins) has only 2.6 in over 29 minutes per game. Good old Italy.

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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."