Akingbala came out of nowhere to be a decent rebounder and defender for Clemson in his senior season, and was a training camp invite of the Celtics in 2006 as a result. After that he went to the D-League for a bit, and has spent the last three years touring Europe. He is currently with Nancy in France (pronounced Noncy, which is even funnier), averaging 11.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game in the French league. Akingbala exclusively does “big man things”, as evidenced by his 47% FT shooting and 2 assists all year. But as athletic interior players go, you could do worse. The King Baller also put up a 9 points, 7 rebounds, 8 blocks stat line earlier this month, which is not bad going.
After at least seven years there, Akyol finally left Efes Pilsen in his native Turkey this summer, and moved to Italy to join Air Avellino. He missed six weeks due to injury, and has appeared in only six of 11 Serie A games for the team, but he’s averaging 7.0 points and 2.2 steals in 21 minutes per game. The 17% three-point shooting is not a great start, and nor is the five total assists, but Akyol is still young. He’s only 22. Feels like he shouldn’t be by now.
D-League veteran and occasional NBA flirt Alexander has ditched both of those on-off girlfriends in favour of going to South Korea. Playing for the LG Sakers, Alexander averages 14.4 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 28 minutes per game, shooting 65% from the field and 61% from the foul line. The South Korean league plays a huge, NBA-like amount of games; opening night was on October 17th, and LG have already played 30 games in those two mere months. All that court time and all those statistics are part of the reason why fringe and former NBA players like to go there; a longer breakdown of the South Korean Experience can be found by clicking the words South Korean Experience.
Alexander fell out of the NBA in 2001 after bouncing between Denver, San Antonio and Orlando for a few years, but he didn’t hitch on straight away with the first six-figure European contract that he could get. Instead, he sat out the 2001/02 season, and then went to the D-League for a year, where he starred as a veteran amongst whippersnappers and built himself a new CV. Alexander DID sign in Italy with Lottomatica Roma for the 2003/04 season, and performed pretty well for a EuroLeague-calibre team, but the D-League came first for Alexander (and also afterwards; he went back there for the 2004/05 season too). Seemingly it worked, because Alexander did then get back into the NBA, playing a few games for the expansion Bobcats as Brevin Knight’s mentor (maybe). This Bobcats gig was also Alexander’s last, and he now works as a radio announcer for University of Virginia games.
Of all the people I’ve tried to find out about, Courtney Alexander has been the hardest. He hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2nd May 2003, and he never played outside of it. He spent the whole 2003/04 season on the injured list, and although he signed with the Kings in October 2004 and made the team for three weeks, he spent all that time again on the injured list and never played for them. Alexander’s only other NBA contract was a training camp invite to the Nuggets in 2006, where he did not make the team. He has not played since, nor has he been found since. And I’ve done a lot of looking.
Finally found him, though; he and his wife has set up a foundation called “CA Press”, a foundation seemingly set on both academic and spiritual excellence. The foundation is advertised as being “non-profit”, but given that his wife seems to have given up a career in order to help run it (according to the About page), clearly they’re turning some kind of trade from it.
Shagari Alleyne started this season in Norway. I told you about this at the time, but no one would fault you for not noticing. He left the team (Tromso) before playing a game, and came back to America, where he signed with the D-League and was taken in the fifth round of the draft by the Albuquerque Thunderbirds. The Thunderbirds released him before the season started, and a couple of weeks ago, Alleyne signed with the Halifax Rainmen in Canada, who play in the Premier Basketball League. You’ll notice we don’t cover Norway and the Premier Basketball League on here as a rule.
In his first game with the Rainmen, Alleyne put up 5 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks in 16 minutes. In his second game the following night, Alleyne put up 3 points and 0 rebounds in 8 minutes. In the third game, he perked up a bit, totalling 8 points, 14 rebounds and 6 blocks in 19 minutes off the bench, in a PBL game against the Vermont Frost Heaves that the Rainmen won by 45 points. What’s a Frost Heave?
Teammates of his that you may have heard of include former Blazer Desmond Ferguson, former NBA draft pick and middle aged man Gordon Malone, as well as D-League veterans John Strickland and Gary Ervin. But lest it needs to be said, PBL basketball is relatively new and not yet strong. (Nor is Norwegian league basketball.) The intent of the PBL is to surpass the ABA, and they’re doing fairly well at that, mainly because they have infinitely more sensible expansion credentials. But it’s still not significant to the NBA landscape, which is what this website is supposed to focus on.
Allred, a D-League veteran, turned down the D-League this year to try and get some money. He initially signed with Napoli in Italy, but got out of there just in time. (More on their downfall later.) Allred then signed with Scavolini Pesaro for two months, another Serie A team, but in four games he totalled only 42 minutes, 21 points (on 22 shots), 16 rebounds, 2 steals, 0 blocks, 0 assists and 9 fouls, shooting 46% from the field and 20% from the foul line. He last played on November 1st, and left in late November when his 60-day contract expired.
I still haven’t bought his book, but you still should. He’s writing another one, although this time it’s a work of historical fiction. There’s also apparently a book of poems on the way.
Almond went to camp with the Magic, a team who at least understand that you can never have too much jump shooting. Us bandwagon Bulls fans have made quite a song and dance this year about how bad our three-point shooting has been; so would you if you replace Ben Gordon’s soothingly sensual buttery touch with the claw-like scratchings of John Salmons. But they are only actually tied for 26th in the league in three-point percentage with Memphis, and three teams (New Jersey, Detroit and Minnesota) are somehow even worse. There are also nine teams in the league shooting .318% or worse from three-point range this season. Why is this the case? It needn’t be. The world of basketball did not run out of shooters. The NBA just stopped getting them.
Anyway, the Magic didn’t keep Almond, because a taxpaying team already with J.J. Redick doesn’t need him. So Almond went back to the D-League with the Springfield Armor, for whom he is averaging 28.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 2.8 turnovers. Sounds about right.
After going undrafted, Aminu was picked up by the Miami Heat for training camp, but he never really had a chance of making the team and was an early cut. He then went to the D-League and was picked tenth overall by the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, who then immediately traded him to the Erie BayHawks in exchange for Rob Kurz. At Erie, Aminu is averaging 10.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 0.6 blocks in 24 minutes a game.
Anderson signed with Maccabi Tel Aviv fantastically early on this summer, and he’s still there. In the EuroLeague, Anderson is averaging 13.1 points, 3.3 fouls, 3.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 steals in 25 minutes per game, and in the Israeli league he’s averaging 10.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 18 minutes a game. There have been rumours a-flying about Maccabi potentially getting rid of him, but rumours like that have accompanied many Maccabi players this year, especially Maciej Lampe. And neither has left yet.
Speaking of Maccabi, if anyone was wondering if Derrick Sharp went back there for a 14th consecutive season, the answer is yes.
Anderson’s last basketball employment was with the Bobcats back in 2007. He has not signed anywhere since, and nor has he been linked to anyone. Anderson recently signed up to join a program at the University of Kentucky that helps former players complete their degrees, as has Ron Mercer.