Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 10
January 10th, 2010
– Rick Brunson
The last time we checked in on Eric Daniel Brunson, he was the director of men’s basketball operations at the University of Virginia. He’s moved now, however. After Virginia head coach Dave Leitao resigned last April, Brunson took over the head coaching role until his replacement was announced, a role that didn’t involve a huge amount of coaching as their season had already finished. Once the handover was completed, Brunson left the program and became an assistant coach at Hartford, where he remains.
– John Bryant
Bryant went undrafted out of Santa Clara on the basis that he was too slow for the NBA. He went to the Kings for summer league, but played only eight minutes, even after Spencer Hawes decided not to turn up; Bryant then went to the D-League, where he averages 13.7 points, 10.9 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game for the Erie BayHawks. The rebounds rank fourth in the league, and two of the three ahead of him are NBA assignees (Joey Dorsey and D.J. White). However, he also averages four fouls in only 34 minutes.
– Greg Buckner
Buckner was waived by the Mavericks in training camp and has not signed elsewhere since. His unguaranteed salary would have been a pretty awesome trade chip at the deadline, but the Mavericks – already with Erick Dampier’s unguaranteed contract for next year, Josh Howard’s team option, Drew Gooden’s expiring/unguaranteed and Shawne Williams’s expiring – figured they had enough trade chips already. To be honest, I think they should have kept Buckner’s unguaranteed over Williams’s expiring, as the value of that unguaranteed would have been magnified in this economy. But I guess even the Mavericks have a budget limit, which is fair enough.
Remember the Love Mayo trade on draft night 2008? Eight players were involved; Love and Mayo (obviously), Brian Cardinal, Mike Miller, Jason Collins, Antoine Walker, Marko Jaric and Buckner. Minnesota took the opportunity to get a good contributor in Miller (which, it later turned out, was also a big part of getting Ricky Rubio), while Memphis traded up for the player they wanted more, taking the opportunity to open up $6 million in 2008/09 cap room in the process. All things considered, a win-win situation, if you look at the deal independent of the prospects. But the four players Minnesota received (Love, Cardinal, Collins and Miller) are still in the league, while three of Memphis’ four acquisitions are out of it already (Jaric, Walker, Buckner).
I just thought that was interesting. It probably isn’t.
– Rodney Buford
Rodney Buford has been around the houses lately, touring the Far East last year, and spending at least parts of the last three seasons in Ukraine. This year he’s gone to Germany, playing for Eisbaeren Bremerhaven, where Buford averages 31 minutes, 17.5 points and 4.1 rebounds per game, shooting 48% from three-point range.
He’s not German, so he’s blending right in.
– Louis Bullock
Bullock is into his sixth season with Real Madrid. He’s averaging 10.4 points per game in the EuroLeague and 11.1 points per game in the Spanish league, although he’s shooting only 86% from the line. I say “only” because this man never seems to dip under 92%. On the flip side, he has 83 points on 47 EuroLeague shots and 187 ACB points on 113 shots, with a combined true shooting percentage between the two of .682%. As shooting/scoring specialists go, that’s kind of handy.
– Pat Burke
Pat Burke is unsigned. Last year in the EuroLeague, he averaged 10.7 points, 6.9 rebounds for Prokom Sopot of Poland, but they did not bring him back this summer.
Pat Burke is also 36, so he may be unsigned from here on out. I’m assuming he’s retired, but the only thing online I can find that suggests that is an old Bebo profile.. And I don’t think the seminal sentence “Pat Burke announced his retirement from pro baskeball dis summer!!” is quite the authentication that I’m looking for. But it’s a hint, at least.
– Antonio Burks
Burks is still recuperating after being the victim of a near-fatal shooting last summer. He was a spectator at an illicit backyard dice game that he probably shouldn’t have been at, when two teenagers tried to rob the game. One of them, 18 year old Darquan Swift, shot Burks in the abdomen and fled the scene. Burks almost died from his injuries, spent several months in hospital (much of which was spent on a ventilator), and had to survive multiple life-saving operations; he has only recently gotten out of a wheelchair and into the crutches phase. Swift was arrested after an anonymous tip-off and was charged with first degree murder; the case is ongoing.
The news doesn’t really get any better for Burks, though. Not only does he have to face extensive rehab from his injuries, but he also has some criminal proceedings to go through. Burks turned himself into the authorities only a couple of days after appearing in court to identify Swift, the warrants against him being for unpaid child support, driving without a seatbelt and driving with a suspended license. Burks claims he was unable to pay the child support (which happened before the shooting) because he was suspended from playing basketball, which is also true; he was suspended by FIBA for a year in November 2007 after walking out on his previous team, Crvena Zvezda, in April. Crvena Zvezda hadn’t paid him for a month, yet apparently that wasn’t deemed valid enough of a reason to leave, and Burks was forced to miss the whole 2007-08 season. And while he was able to play in 2008-09, splitting the season between Bulgaria and Poland, he didn’t play especially well and probably didn’t earn a huge amount in the process. And then the shooting incident happens.
– Kevin Burleson
Former Bobcats guard Burleson is in Romania, playing for Ploiesti. The Romanian league is…..well, it’s weak in the grand scheme of things. But Ploiesti are a EuroChallenge team, which gives the gig a small degree of pedigree. Burleson averages 11.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game in the Romanian league, alongside 12.3/3.4/1.8 in the EuroChallenge.
– Stanley Burrell
Burrell is in Belgium and putting up by far the best assists numbers of his young life. In 27.7 minutes per game for Verviers-Pepinster, he is averaging 9.7 points, 5.2 assists, 1.9 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game, shooting 48% from the field (albeit with only a 60% free throw percentage). After never averaging more than 3.8 assists per game in his college career, and only 2.0 last year in the D-League, Burrell this year has only three games in which he had less than five. And those are continental assists, which are harder to get. The 5.2 assists also leads the whole Belgian league; it officially is Hammer Time there right now.
– Steve Burtt
Steve Burtt went to Cyprus this summer. I don’t know why such a large amount of semi-decent players went to Cyprus this year compared to usual – we’ve already had a couple in this series, and there’s more to come. But what I do know is that there’s no Cyprolesian statistics available, and that Steve Burtt was released soon after arriving. He has not signed elsewhere since. And he also shut down his Twitter account.
– Jackie Butler
Jackie Butler has disappeared off the map. It was two and a half years ago that the Rockets released him in preseason despite his guaranteed contract, and he has not signed anywhere else since. His only scheduled appearance was at the Vegas Summer League in 2008 with the Charlotte Bobcats, but he did not appear. Butler was rumoured as a candidate for a spot in the Chinese Basketball Association this season, but I don’t think it ever got beyond the whispers stage, and he is not there now.
– Jamar Butler
Ohio State guard Jamar Butler is in Greece, playing for Gymnastikos Olympia Larissas. (Larissa is the place, not a thing. It’s not “the Olympia Larissas” as in “the Charlotte Bobcats”. If you must put it in that way, it’s more like the Larissa Gymnasts.) For the Gymnasts, Butler averages 13.3 points and 3.1 assists per game, shooting 45% from the field and 41% from three-point range.
Why do all Greek surnames end in -s?
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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