Dowell is signed in Israel, putting up numbers quite impressively similar to those of his senior season in college. He’s playing for Altshuler Saham Galil Gilboa – a team that really needs to settle upon one name only – and is averaging 9.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.5 steals per game.
There are two types of players in Israel; Israelis and Americans. That’s basically it. Despite Israel being kind of in Europe, there are only a handful of non-Israeli European players in the league. And by “a handful,” I mean “two.” The breakdown of the nationalities of players on Israeli league rosters, according to Eurobasket.com, goes like this;
– 60 Israelis
– 50 Americans
– 7 Americans with dual Israeli citizenship (Chris Watson, Jason Thomas, Jeron Roberts, Shawn Weinstein, David Bluthenthal, Derrick Sharp, and ex-NBA player Cory Carr)
– 1 Australian (Julian Khazzouh)
– 1 player born in Belarus, but who has lived in Israel since childhood, goes by an Israeli name, and who holds a dual Israeli passport (Vladimir Yiermish/Vladi Ermichin)
– 1 Welshman who has played in Israeli since he was a teenager and who holds an Israeli passport (Tal Michael Dunne)
– 1 hybrid who was born in Sarajevo to Serbian and Bosnian parents, whose family fled to Israel during the war, and who then moved to America, but who considers himself Israeli (Robert Rothbart; read his quite amazing story here)
– ……and 1 Serbian (Sasa Bratic)
I don’t know if it’s all just a big coincidence, politically motivated, or because of some instilled belief that American players bring a level of flair that other countries can’t match (a belief which does exist in portions of the continent). But whatever it is, it’s a pretty jarring conclusion. 123 of the 126 players in the Israeli league hold either an American or an Israeli passport. If it’s diversity they want, it’s diversity they did not get.
Heat draft pick Robert Dozier is American, but he’s not in Israel. Instead, he’s signed in Greece, which means he has to spell his name weirdly due to the Greek alphabet that I don’t understand. (This is primarily because I have made no attempt to.) Known in Greece by what reads on the back of his jersey as being a bit like “Robert Ntoziep”, Dozier is playing for Kolossos Rhodes, and averaging 9.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. That’s “R” as in “Robert Ntoziep,” “O” as in “Oh my God, it’s Robert Ntoziep”……..et cetera.
Until recently, Jazz draft pick Tadija Dragicevic was a member of Crvena Zvezda in Serbia, and the team he’s been with for his whole life. A team captain, Dragicevic left the team during the summer, but returned just before the season’s start, and was once again the team’s best player. He averaged 13.8 points and 2.8 rebounds per game in the EuroCup, alongside 12.6 points and 4.5 rebounds per game in the Adriatic League.
However, Dragicevic left Red Star last week. And this time, he actually did it. Like the rest of the team, Dragicevic wasn’t being paid, so he left the team and signed with Lottomatica Roma in Italy. In doing so, Dragicevic agreed to forego the 120,000 Euros that Red Star still owed him. That was pretty magnanimous of him.
It was my very great pleasure to watch Dragicevic a few times at Crvena Zvezda this year. He is a very polished offensive player. He can drive, shoot and post, to great effect and with poise, grace, charm, penache and refinement. However, he can’t defend anybody. And he never could.
Despite signing with the Denver Nuggets for training camp – which would boost any man’s CV – Draper finds himself in only the Italian second division this season. Playing for Prima Veroli, Draper averages 15.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.8 steals per game, shooting 50% from the field, 43% from three-point range and 79% from the line. Draper signed as a replacement for Dawan Robinson, who got hurt in October and who still hasn’t returned. Yet despite those statistics, Robinson doesn’t lead the team in a single category. Not even steals. We’ll find out more when we get to H.
Former Nets draft pick Drejer signed a three-year deal with Lottomatica Roma in August 2007, but played only six games with the team before retiring due to chronic ankle problems. He was aged only 25 and has been out of the game since. Earlier this month, Drejer started a comeback when he rejoined SISU, the team he played for before he went to Florida. However, Drejer announced this comeback in the same week that SISU announced that they were perilously close to bankruptcy and stated letting players leave. So it’s too early to say if it’s been a success.
Drobnjak was in Turkey last year, where he played four EuroLeague games for Efes Pilsen but didn’t appear in a single Turkish league game. Since playing about 20 minutes all season didn’t really do much for him, Drobnjak moved to Greece and signed with PAOK Thessaloniki. On the season, he is averaging 8.8 points and 4.1 rebounds in 21 minutes per game, albeit shooting only 21% from three-point range.
I am currently compiling a list of 100 Cheesy And/Or Terrible Commericals Featuring NBA Players. Submit any you may have. The following advert doesn’t really fit the criteria, given that it’s not a real advert. But here it is anyway.
When Peja Drobnjak agreed to do an advert that featured him saying the phrase “spray me with the water,” he knew the Sonics wanted him to do it just so that we could laugh at him, right? Hopefully. If he did, I’m happy to laugh along with him. If he didn’t, I’ll just feel bad.
Alabama product Dudley is spending his fifth season with Turk Telekom, and he’s been there so long that he now goes by the name Ersin Dagli. On the season, Dagli is averaging 11.3 points and 5.6 rebounds per game in the Turkish league, alongside 13.2 points and 8.0 rebounds in the EuroCup. Impressively, Dudley has shot 150 field goals in the Turkish league compared to only 19 foul shots, which is Malik Allen like in its one-sidedness. He shoots more jump shots now, as you can probably tell.
Duenas retired in 2007, aged 32. He now works for Barcelona in some capacity, but my Spanish isn’t very good so I can’t tell you what it is. I could tell you what the Spanish for “milk wench” is, but Roberto Duenas is not a milk wench. Not yet.
In researching that underwhelming stanza, I was alerted to the presence of the Spanish word “desquitarse.” Easily my favourite Spanish word of all time.
After a summer that I’ve already talked about way too much, Duncan moved to Belgium and joined Liege. He is averaging 11.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.3 fouls per game in the Belgian league, as well 6.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.3 fouls in the EuroChallenge.
Dunston is spending his second season in Korea, where he’s so much stronger than most other players that his comparative lack of height and athleticism for a post man doesn’t really matter. He is averaging 14.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in 25 minutes per game for Mobis Phoebus.
Korean league rules allow each team to have only two imports, and the two can’t play together at the same time. This means that Dunston has to share the court time with Phoebus’s other import, Aaron Haynes, another 6’7 forward who averages 12.3 points and 4.8 rebounds in 21 minutes per game. This makes Dunston’s minutes rather inconsistent, and are the reason why he plays only half the game despite his excellent per minute numbers. Import players go to Korea anyway, though, because of the great pay and the many many games.
Dupree went to an NBA training camp this year, marking the seventh straight year he has been in a training camp. He lost out on a spot on the Jazz team to Wesley Matthews, and after that he moved to Germany. In the German league, Doop averages 11.7 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, while in the EuroCup he averages 9.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.4 fouls. He’s shooting 41% from three-point range in the German league, and 17% in the EuroCup.
An Israeli league-style breakdown of the German league’s diversity will follow another day, regardless of whether you want it or not.
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.