– Anthony Lever-Pedroza is playing for a team called Soles de Mexicali, in a country that you can probably guess. About two hours ago, I watched a FIBA basketball magazine show that bizarrely and unexpectedly featured clips from a Soles de Mexicali game. I didn’t spot Anthony James Norwood Lever Pedroza Durazo, though. Anthony James Norwood Lever Pedroza Durazo averages 20.3 points in three Liga Americas games; also on his team are former Timberwolves guard Dejaun Wheat (who barely plays) and former Suns centre Horacio Llamas (who averages 16.3 points and 7.0 rebounds). That unlikely duo are both 35, seeing out their professional lives at Soles de Mexicali – where fringe NBA careers wind down.
– Ron Lewis is in Israel, averaging 16.3 points per game for Ironi Nahariya. Impressively, Lewis has shot 94 free throws to 140 field goals, for a 1.51 PPS average. Less impressive is the 72% that Lewis is shooting from the line, and the 25% that he’s shooting from three-point range. But he’s scoring at a very high efficiency anyway.
– Nick Lewis had a try-out in the Spanish LEB Gold to begin the year, but didn’t sign, and went back to the Bakersfield Jam in the D-League. Building on his decent season of last year, Lewis is averaging 16.5 points and 7.7 rebounds per game, averaging 1.45 points per shot. I stand by that metric, even if I stand alone.
– Sergei Lishouk is still with Azovmash Mariupol in his native Ukraine. Lishouk/Lischuk averages 7.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and 3.0 fouls per game in the EuroCup, alongside 10.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.1 fouls and 1.2 blocks per game in the Ukrainian league. Since his rights were traded away by the Grizzlies last year, Lishouk can’t even get to the NBA summer leagues any more, seemingly closing the door on the NBA career of this soon-to-be 27-year-old veteran, who did so well for about twelve months and who then didn’t take it anywhere.
– Shaun Livingston has been rumoured to return to the Heat, although no one’s given me a reason as to the purpose of this yet. Speaking of the Heat, they’re the fifth best team in the Eastern conference without any kind of bench. It cannot overstated how good Dwyane Wade has gotten. He’s managed to take an extra massive leap forward. And I didn’t think he had another one in him.
– Randy Livingston retired at the end of last season and is now an assistant coach with his final team, the Idaho Stampede. Randy originally said that he was 99.5% sure that he was retired at the end of the 2005/06 season with the Chicago Bulls, but clearly changed his mind, and had a couple more good seasons in the D-League as well as one more short NBA stint with the Seattle Supersonics.
– Steve Logan has played a total of 24 games in the last four seasons. 19 of those were in the 2005/06 season. Since then, Logan has done the following; one game in Poland in November 2006 (1 point), four games in Israel in March 2007 (2 points, 4 assists), and one signing in Mexico in August 2008 (no games played). I do not know why his career has come to this. If you do, let me know at the usual address.
– David Logan is playing, unlike Steve, for Prokom Trefl Sopot in Poland. Other Prokom players already mentioned in this list have included Koko Archibong, Ronnie Burrell, Daniel Ewing and Pat Burke, with more to come. So they should be familiar to you by now, as should the Procol Harum jokes. Logan leads the team in scoring by miles, averaging 18.7 points, 3.2 rebounds. 3.7 assists and 2.2 steals per game in the Polish league, alongside 17.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.4 steals in the EuroLeague. David Logan, by the way, is a former NCAA Division II player of the year. This reminds me of what I wrote back during my Horace Jenkins update, in which I asked how many Division III players have played in the NBA. As far as I can tell, the answer is 7, but I don’t know who all of those seven are. Jenkins was one, as is Devean George. Andy Panko’s one-minute NBA career gets him on this list, and Greg Grant managed a few years with a variety of different teams. But as for who the rest are? I don’t know. If you do, usual address, etc.
– Raul Lopez is playing for Real Madrid, backing up Sergio Llull. Lopez averages 6.6 points and 3.1 assists per game in the Spanish league and 5.9/2.8 in the EuroLeague. However, he recently hurt his leg and will be out for three weeks, which probably means more time now for Pepe Sanchez. Speaking of, a post-Pepe Sanchez update update: Pepe Sanchez hasn’t scored a single point since the last time we checked in on him. Nice.
– It was really hard to find into on Felipe Lopez, so you’d better respect it now that I got it. Felipe is signed with Fuerza Regia Monterrey in Mexico, but he is also rumoured to be in talks with Saitama Broncos, a team in Japan’s BJ League. The Broncos are coached by another ex-Jazz player, David Benoit, which may explain this otherwise random connection.
And finally, some predictions. Buoyed by my success at suggesting that Steve Francis should be traded to Memphis, I’m going to do something never before seen on this blog. In place of my usual approach of dunking all over everybody else’s predictions, I’m going to try some of my own. It’s a brave, out of character, and (some would say) foolish move, which puts the pressure on me to be sensible and insightful, two things at which I struggle mightily. But I’m doing it anyway, if only as an exercise in personal development. I intend to come out of this exercise as a better, well-adjusted person. Consider this before you write insulting comments below.
Excuses now made, let’s run it.
1) Amar’e Stoudemire is going to the Bulls, if only because John Paxson is sick of hearing about the Pau Gasol thing. (In fairness, when he had an expiring contract, Jerry West didn’t want it, and wanted Luol Deng and Ben Gordon. Then later, when the Bulls didn’t have an expiring contract, it was the first thing Memphis wanted. The circumstances were a tad unfair.)
You heard it here first. Unless you’ve already heard it somewhere else, in which case you didn’t hear it here first. Or unless they don’t actually happen. In that case, you didn’t hear them here at all.