D-League stalwart Lewis finally left there this summer after nearly three years, and moved to France to play for Roanne. He has averaged 8.6 points and 3.9 rebounds in 17 minutes per game in the EuroChallenge, and 8.7 points and 3.6 rebounds in 15 minutes per game in the French league. Considering that scoring rate, maybe he should play more.
Former Minnesota Gopher and Minnesota Timberwolves swingman Quincy Lewis is retired. He was playing as recently as last year, playing in the EuroCup with Bilbao, and while he averaged only 5.4 points and 2.5 rebounds per game, it was at a good standard of basketball and on a deep team. Nevertheless, Lewis retired aged only 32, and became a volunteer assistant coach at DeLaSalle High School. He also majored in Sports Management back in 2007, and is now the CEO of 20/20 Sports Management.
Lewis is playing his second season with Nymburk, a Czech Republic team. No one signs in the Czech Republic unless they have good reason, and Lewis does; Nymburk were in the EuroCup, and made it as far as the quarter finals before losing to Bilbao. Lewis averaged 11.7 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists in that campaign, alongside 12.5 points and 2.6 rebounds in the Czech Republic league. It was my very great pleasure to watch Lewis in several of Nymburk’s EuroCup games, yet it was a greater pleasure to watch Phillip Ricci, Michael Lenzley and Petr Benda. One has no neck, one is British, and one has a surname that is also a perjorative term. Something for everyone there.
Former Grizzlies draft pick Lishouk, whose rights are now owned by the Rockets, is playing in Spain with Valencia. After spending his whole career to date in the Ukraine, including spending the last four years at Azovmash, Lishouk (who is usually known as Serhiy Lishchuk in Europe) moved to Spain to become a part of Valencia’s ever-changing ten-man rotation, and to bolster their EuroCup campaign. He has averaged 8.7 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.3 fouls and 1.3 blocks per game in that campaign, alongside 7.8/3.3/3.4/0.8 in the ACB.
It is clear to see why Lishouk was drafted, and it is also clear why he didn’t play the NBA. As the numbers above indicate, Lishouk can flat-out block shots, particularly when you consider that those numbers all come in less than 20 minutes per game. He does so at the expense of fouling, but such is the life of a shot-blocker. He’s also a big old boy (the 6’11 232lbs measurements do not do that justice) with a surprisingly good jump shot (shooting 23-62 from three point range on the season, or 37%.) However, Leesh also suffers from the classic shot-blockers curse of bad rebounding, recording fewer rebounds per game than fouls, which just isn’t enough. He’s also very slow, which is part of the fouling problem, and he’s also now 28. Lishouk can score with the jump shot, on the pick-and-roll or through size alone, but he’s a defence-first player who struggles to defend quicker guys. And there’s a lot of quicker guys.
Livingston said he was going to retire after the 2005-06 season, which he spent playing power forward for the Chicago Bulls. (He did genuinely play power forward at one point. Scott Skiles’s four guard line-ups were the stuff of dreams.) But he didn’t, instead cranking out two more years in the D-League, averaging more than 10 assists per game both times, and even getting another NBA contract with the Seattle Supersonics. Livingston did finally retire in 2008 after winning the D-League championship with the Idaho Stampede – although this didn’t stop the Erie BayHawks from picking him in the expansion draft a few months later for no obvious reason – and he became a coach. He started out volunteering with the Jazz during the summer, was quickly as an assistant with the Stampede, and moved last year to the expansion Maine Red Claws to be an assistant there. Livingston has also been completing his degree at the University of Phoenix in his spare time. He is destined to be a head coach some day, and possibly at the NBA level too. Let’s hope he forgets what he saw about four-guard offences.
Sergio Llull was awesome, which is why the Rockets bought the #34 pick from Denver and drafted him ahead of DeJuan Blair. And he still is awesome. Llull is averaging 9.0 points and 2.1 assists in 20 minutes per game in the ACB, alongside 9.5 points and 2.0 assists in 21 minutes per game in the EuroLeague. He is shooting 48% from three in the ACB and 42% from three in the EuroLeague, with 370 total points on 246 total shots, for a true shooting percentage of .673%. And this is as a 6’3 guard. Llull is still neither a point guard nor a shooting guard, but he has a blazing hot jump shot and a Sham-like 76 inch vertical leap. What’s not to like?
Lofton is not having as good of a year this year as he did last year. Then again, having as good of a year as he did last year is basically impossible. Last year in Turkey, Lofton averaged 20.2 points per game, an average boosted in particular by two games. On February 8th 2009, Lofton posted 47 points, 1 rebound and 1 assist, shooting 3-5 from two-point range, 2-2 from the foul line, and 13-20 from three-point range, doing a damn fine Damon-Stoudamire-when-the-Blazers-were-tanking-that-time impression. He bested it a few weeks later on April 25th, when he totalled 61 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists and 6 steals in a win over Koleji, shooting 4-6 from two-point range, 2-2 from the foul line, and 17-22 from three-point range. If you didn’t know what kind of player Chris Lofton was before this, you can probably tell now.
These performances attracted the attention of the NBA, and Lofton had a stint with the Boston Celtics in summer league this year. He again shot the ball incredibly well, going 15-25 from three-point range in five games, yet he also put up only 3 assists in that time (as a 6’2 guard), and the Celtics passed on signing the next Eddie House. (Perhaps in part because they already had Eddie House.) Lofton then moved to Spain to sign a short-term contract with Caja Laboral, and moved to Estudiantes Madrid after it expired. On the season he is averaging 12.7 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists, shooting 36% from three-point range. His highest scoring output of the year has been a mere 25. It’s harder in Spain. But the man can shoot.
Logan continues to play in Poland with Asseco Prokom Gdynia, and is also now a member of Polish national team. He is in his second season with the team, and averaging 17.4 points and 4.8 assists in Polish league play. Logan also averaged 15.3 points and 3.4 assists in EuroLeague play, making him one of the EuroLeague’s highest scorers this year. Not bad for a man from Division II University of Indianapolis.
David Logan fact: David Logan wears his headband at an angle that mimics Scott Skiles’s hairline. He seems to believe it is possible for a man to sweat at that angle. It is not. Someone should make a list of players who wear their headband in a stupid way. I’ll start; David Logan, Wayne Chism, Reggie Jackson of Boston College, Bulls-era Eddie Robinson, DeShawn Stevenson….chime in.
Things are not going so well for Cincinnati graduate Steve Logan. Logan has played only once since November 2006, and that was in Venezuela in summer 2008. He didn’t play a regular season game there and left due to injury. Indeed, in that three-and-a-bit years, Logan has only done one thing of note; be arrested for rape. While out of an evening, Logan picked up two women and took them back to his apartment, where he is accused of raping one and indecently fondling the other. Both charges were dismissed and the cases closed back in October, but Logan’s basketball career has not restarted.
Former Iowa centre Kurt Looby exploded onto the scene in the D-League last year. He played little in college, averaging only 3.6 ppg and 4.6 rpg as a fifth-year senior, but he was thrust into a starting role with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, and responded with fine big man numbers: 8.6 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game in only 24.9 mpg. (I deliberately didn’t mention his points.) Looby then averaged 9.4 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game in Puerto Rico, worked out for the Grizzlies, and then went to training camp with the Nuggets. He did not make the team, and nor did he feature in the running during their recent lengthy big man search that included everybody from Aaron Gray to Brian Cook, before finally arriving at Brian Butch. So Looby instead returned to the D-League. He played for three different D-League teams this year – Albuquerque, Rio Grande Valley and Maine – and averaged a combined 5.6 points, 7.9 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per game.
St John’s legend Lopez is still playing basketball, even at the age of 35. He is now doing so back in his native Dominican Republic, playing for a team called Gregorio Urbano Gilbert, which sounds more like the forenames of a Three Musketeers tribute act. Statistics are not available due to the absence of significant on the world stage of the Dominican Republic league. But we do know that Lopez averaged 10.4 points and 4.7 rebounds in Argentina last year.
Former Jazz guard Raul Lopez left Spain this summer to go to Russia, where it is considerably less sunny. He and fellow Spanish national team member Carlos Cabezas both moved to Russia to be the two point guard tandem for Khimki, trying to replace (and improve upon) last year’s tandem of Milt Palacio and Anton Ponkrashov. They have done just that; Cabezas has averaged 7.1 points and 3.6 assists per game in the Russian league and 7.3/2.4 in the EuroLeague; Lopez has averaged 4.2/2.5 and 6.3/3.1 respectively.
Erazem’s brother couldn’t get a gig this summer after leaving Benetton Treviso. He eventually made his way to Cajasol Sevilla in the ACB, but it was only on a one-month contract as an injury replacement, and he was not retained upon its expiration. To stay in shape while waiting for a better offer, Lorbek went a long way down the ladder and returned to his former Slovenian team, Helios Domzale, and eventually the better offer came from another ACB team, Lagun Aro. In five games for the team, Lorbek has averaged only 4.0 points and 1.4 rebounds, but it’s a gig.