Where Are They Now, 2009; Part 35
February 19th, 2009
– Rich Melzer is currently unsigned, and played only three games last season for the German side Quackenbrueck, whose name also doubles as a duck’s favourite breakfast. Having just turned 29, this doesn’t seem like a particularly healthy direction for Melzer’s career to be going towards. Then again, he used to play in Australia, so this might be better.
– Pops Mensah-Bonsu is a legend. There are two reasons why I think this. The first is because he’s English. The second is because he’s a legend. Pops started the year with DKV Joventut Badalona in Spain, playing five Spanish league games and totalling 14/9 in his one EuroLeague game, before injuring himself (I think it was his shoulder) in late October. DKV released him (I think it was by mutual consent), and Pops spent the next three months on the sidelines. However, in late January he returned, and was acquired by the Austin Toros of the D-League as just one more in their long line of decent big men this season. In the six games that Pops has played for Austin, he has absolutely beasted in the way that only legends can, averaging a fully-stuffed stat line of 25.3 ppg, 12.5 rpg, 2.3 apg, 4.7 fpg, 2.8 spg and 1.3 bpg, and shooting 61% from the field. This man can, will and should be in the NBA.
By the way, with him, Luol Deng, Ben Gordon, Joel Freeland and potentially Kelenna Azubuike (whose initial application for a British passport was turned down, even though he was born in London, due to the immigration status of his parents at the time), British basketball finally has something that it has never previously had; genuine hope. That’s a starting five that could beat the Kings right now, and it’s all ours (sort of). In a period of world basketball that sees old mainstays like China and Lithuania getting up there in age with no great influx of youth coming through, Britain has a chance to make an impact on the world basketball scene for the first time since…..well, ever. We’ve been so far behind for so long that you might not even notice it happening, but in the not too distant future, this could be a team that plays in the important competitions for a change. And believe me, this would be an achievement. Even losing at a high level would be solace of sorts. Maybe one day, we’ll develop a product worth televising.
– Ron Mercer is also a legend, albeit in a different way and to a far lesser degree. Since his retirement back in late 2006, Mercer’s sole foray into the headlines was back in 2007, when he was cited for misdemeanour assault after punching a bouncer in the face at a strip club. It is not known what else he does with his time.
– Scott Merritt is playing for InterCollege Etha Engomis in Cyprus. He averages 16.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 4.0 fouls. Haven’t a gag for this.
– Aaron Miles is signed with Panionios in Greece. I had a Panionios game to watch the other day, but my bastard Sky+ (it’s like Tivo) recorded over it. Oh well. Miles is averaging 11.0 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists in the Greek league, with 13% three-point shooting, alongside 10.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 25% 3FG in the EuroLeague.
– Oliver Miller’s last basketball gig was as the player/coach of the Arkansas RiverCatz (the Z makes it appeal to children!) in the ABA back in 2006/07. I don’t know how it went, nor what he does now. But he does (or did) have a clothing label called “Da O Zone”.
– Reggie Miller is now an announcer.
– Paul Miller now comes off the bench in Poland. For Anwil Wloclawek, Miller averages 10.7 points and 5.4 rebounds a game. One of my favourite memories from this past summer league was a clip of Quentin Richardson walking up to Miller with a camera on him, and repeatedly (and playfully) punching him, while Miller stood still and looked a bit bemused by it all. If you saw this too, you’d understand.
– Ricky Minard is in his second season with Premiata Montegranaro in Italy, where he seems to constantly go by the name Minardi for some reason. (I guess it’s deliberate and not just constant typos. By the way, best Formula 1 team of all time other than Forti.) Minard averages 17.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists, making him one of the leading scorers in Serie A. And that’s a pretty impressive boast.
– Albert “Miracles” Miralles is into his fourth season with Pamesa Valencia, and might be a lifer. Miralles averages 5.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.0 fouls in the EuroCup, and 5.9 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.5 fouls on the season in the Spanish league. To read a recent crudely translated interview of his, click this. Notice how it doesn’t mention the NBA anywhere.
– Dwayne Mitchell is in the D-League with the D-Fenders, who got allocated him after he was cut from the Lakers training camp. This is the benefit of signing lots of long shots to your training camp roster. The downside is when you get a Jason Richards or Mike Wilks-like situation, where the player gets injured in camp and you have to pay them for the full season. Mitchell averages 17.3 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.4 assists, but is shooting worse than ever from outside, with only a 19% three-point success rate.
– Finally, Jerome Moiso was Pops Mensah-Bonsu’s replacement at Joventut. How coincidental! Moiso averages 7.1 points and 4.3 rebounds per game in the Spanish league, while shooting 71% from the field.
I am continuously intrigued by the esoterica and minutiae of all the aspects of building a basketball team. I want to understand how to build the best basketball teams possible. No, I don’t know why, either.
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