– For Orlando fans wondering how Milovan Rakovic is doing, here’s some numbers; for Spartak St Petersburg in Russia (not Florida), Rakovic is averaging 7.2 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.4 fouls through 16 games in the Russian league. But as underwhelming as those numbers are – particularly those rebounding numbers from a 6’10 centre – you might take some solace in the fact that they’re not too dissimilar from those of Fran Vazquez. Or you might not, considering that Vazquez was picked ahead of Danny Granger.
– Fan favourite Peter John Ramos started the year with Fuenlabrada Madrid in the ACB, averaging 6.7 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, but has since returned to his native Puerto Rico. Ramos has signed with the Quebradillas Pirates, but hasn’t played a game yet, largely because the Puerto Rican league hasn’t started yet. The Puerto Rican league has something of a Chinese league thing going on there, whereby fringe and former NBA talent go there to achieve something that they never previously attained in the NBA – stardom. Players either signed for the upcoming BSN season, or rumoured to soon be, include Ramos, Rodney White, Ricky Sanchez, Ruben Wolkowyski, Robert Traylor, Esteban Batista and Marcus Fizer. Not a bad front seven, that, especially as it would see Fizer playing point guard, just like he’s always wanted.
– Allan Ray is in Italy, where he started the year not playing all that much for Lottomatica Roma (6.8 ppg in the EuroLeague, 12.9 in Serie A), before being waived and joining Carife, where his numbers have improved to 16.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg and 2.4 apg.
– You had probably assumed that, when the Clippers quietly waived Zeljko Rebraca in April 2007, that that was it for him. Struggling with chronic back injuries, Rebraca hadn’t played the entire 2006/07 season, and had managed only 29 unspectacular games the season before. But if you did think that, like I did, then you’d’ve been wrong. Rebraca kicked around for a few more months, before returning to give it one final shot with the powerhouse Spanish team Pamesa Valencia. It kind of worked, too – Rebraca returned to play in six games with the team, totalling 34 points, before retiring in December 2007, far more satisfied with this conclusion to his career than he would have been with the quiet waiving for Will Conroy that he had before. Good for you, Zelly!
– Justin Reed was one of the better players in the D-League last year, and made the training camp roster of the Philadelphia 76ers. However, he was then waived before camp even started (I never found out why, but I’m guessing it was injuries) and replaced by Cory Underwood. Reed later rejoined his D-League team of last year, the Bakersfield Jam, but his numbers have slipped from 20.3/7.1/3.7 to 11.4/4.9/2.2.
– If you are eagerly awaiting and utterly dependent on any new shred of Don Reid news, there’s something wrong with you, and I can’t help with it.
– Jared Reiner is in Germany, averaging 10.5 points and 9.0 rebounds for Bremerhaven, but he hasn’t played for nearly a month. A quick search reveals that this is due to a problem with his Sprunggelenksverletzung. I would love to play Scrabble in German. You’d need a big table, though.
– Felipe Reyes, Real Madrid forward and one of the better European big men for a while now, has made a big leap forward this year. Already good, Reyes has gotten even better just before his 29th birthday, and has taken last year’s Spanish league numbers of 13.8 points, 6.9 rebounds, and and turned them into 17.4 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. He also averages 13.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game in the EuroLeague. Unfortunately, he’s still undersized and unathletic, so his effectiveness in the NBA would be less spectacular. But if Luis Scola can make it, then Felipe Reyes can make it. I just don’t think he’ll bother.
– Former Virginia standout J.R. Reynolds is with ASVEL Villeurbanne in France, the team that Tony Parker just bought a chunk of. (Also, for whomever it was that sent me an email asking what kind of standard ASVEL played to, sorry I forgot to respond, but here goes; a decent one. The French league is weak when compared to other leagues such as the Italian, Spanish and Greek, but it’s OK compared to everyone else, and ASVEL are the league leaders right now. They were also in this year’s EuroCup, the second-tier European club competition, although they didn’t get very far. But Nick Fazekas and Chevy Troutman play for them, so there’ some quality for you.) Reynolds averages 10.4 points and 4.3 assists in 22 mpg, numbers which I’m guessing mean that he’s playing more point guard than ever before. But this is just a guess. (If he is, and if he’s doing it well, then his future prospects are looking brighter.)
– My boy Charles Rhodes is letting me down. I watched him for the Mavericks in this year’s Vegas Summer League, was duly impressed (as are Dallas, who bring him back for training camp) and spend my time singing his praises, and then he goes and does little with it. Playing in Latvia for Barons/LMT Riga, Rhodes averaged only 9.5 points and 6.2 rebounds in the Baltic league, alongside 12.7 points and 3.2 rebounds in the EuroCup, before leaving the team in January. He is currently unsigned, and I currently feel like a bit of a numpty.
– Darius Rice is either with the Uruguayan team Atletico Atenas, or the awesomely-named Filipino team Talk ’N Text Tropang Texters. Reports vary on that, although the Uruguayan team seems more credible. Other awesomely named Filipino teams include Darius’s former team, the Purefood Tender Juicy Hotdogs, and the implausible Rain Or Shine.
– Maureece Rice’s first professional season is going rather well. After a poor final season in college, where he scored 9.2 points per game on 34% shooting, Rice went undrafted, but got a training camp spot with the Sixers anyway. (So did two other people in this post; Reed and Reiner.) He didn’t make it, obviously, but he then went to the D-League and joined the expansion Erie BayHawks, where he’s gone on to do rather well. Rice averages 15.8 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists for an above .500 Erie team who, frankly, could be doing a lot worse than that. Particularly since they start a swingman at centre.
– Finally, former Timberwolves big man Chris Richard – ignominiously waived for the holy trinity of Calvin Booth, Mark Madsen and Jason Collins this past October – was the first pick in this year’s D-League draft by the Tulsa 66ers. Richard then averaged a slightly underwhelming yet All-Star-worthy 12.0 points and 8.3 rebounds in 20 games for the team, before being waived last week due to injury.
(Sprunggelenksverletzung means “ankle injury”, by the way.)