It was six years and five months ago that Cherokee Parks was last on the roster of a professional basketball team. The Warriors waived him in December 2003, and yet Parks, aged only 31, never played again. He now owns a music club in his hometown of Huntingdon Beach called “The Brigg.”
Unbelievably, the NBA’s Cherokee Parks is not the only man in the world with that name.
Since 2005, Marlon Parmer has played in the NBA, the CBA, Saudi Arabia, Poland, the ABA, Qatar, Venezuela, Estonia, Qatar again, the D-League, and Saudi Arabia again. It’s been a well travelled few years, and were it not for the American and European stints in there, we’d have to change the name of the Dan Langhi tour. This year he has been in Lebanon, playing for Sagesse, but unfortunately no statistics are available.
Parmer quit New Mexico in January 2002 after an argument with then-head coach, Fran Frascilla. He then transferred to Division II Kentucky Wesleyan for his senior season, and averaged 20/6/8, but it wasn’t enough to get drafted. Parmer was a training camp signing of the Timberwolves in 2005 after averaging 22/9 in China the previous season, showing once again that China can do wonders for a guy’s NBA prospects.
Two-time Bulls summer leaguer and Croatian national team member Drago Pasalic is in Spain playing for Obradoiro, an ACB team looking pretty doomed. He is averaging only 14.8 minutes, 5.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.8 fouls per game. The jump shot is still there; the rest of the game is not. Obradoiro are second-last in the ACB with an 8-21 record, and lost by a hefty 26 points to fellow relegation strugglers Meridiano only today. Ex-NBA forward Paul Davis, making his debut, led the team with 19 points, but it wasn’t enough. Pasalic played only four minutes.
In what marks one of the incredibly few instances in which the L.A. Lakers used their D-League affiliate, former UCLA and Tennessee forward Andre Patterson (not to be confused with former Timberwolves forward Andrae Patterson) was signed for 2007 training camp by the Lakers after spending the previous season with the L.A. D-Fenders. After being waived, Patterson spent part of the next season with the D-Fenders as well, and then split last year between the Reno Bighorns and the Springfield Armor. He barely played, however, averaging only 4/3 for Reno, and has not played anywhere this season.
It does beg the question, though; why own your own affiliate if you’re not going to use it?
Patterson’s best NBA season was his penultimate one. As a member of the 2006/07 Bucks, Patterson set career-highs in points per game, rebounds per game, assists per game and field goal percentage, scoring 14.7 points a night on 55% shooting and putting up a PER of 18.5. Since then, though, his NBA career saw only one more contract, an unguaranteed minimum salary contract at that. That was all he could get the following summer from the Clippers, despite the strength of those statistics from the previous year. Worse still, Patterson couldn’t even make it the whole season with the team, being waived before the contract guarantee date. That was the end of his NBA career. Perhaps it had something to do with what Steve Patterson (no relation) describes here.
Missouri alum and former Pistons draft pick Rickey Paulding is in the midst of his third consecutive season with German team EWE Baskets Oldenburg. Oldenburg were a EuroLeague team this season, for the first time in the club’s history, which is no mean feat. They were a bit overmatched when they got there, beating Asseco Prokom in their opening game before losing their other nine, with losses of 28, 33 and 43 along the way. Nevertheless, it’s a good thing for Paulding, who got to average 11.0 points on the world’s second-biggest club basketball stage. Paulding also averages 12.9 points per game in the German league, although he takes three three-pointers for every two two-pointers and hits only 34% of them (dropping to 21% in the EuroLeague).
Payton was replaced on NBA on TNT and NBA TV broadcasts this summer by Kevin McHale, because, well, he was a bit unintelligible. So unintelligible that he spawned a range of YouTube videos in his honour.
Payton now does some work for Betflix, providing opinions and insight and stuff.
Hat collector Peeler last played in December 2005 for Akasvayu Girona in Spain. It was the only non-NBA gig of his career, and it didn’t last for long. He is now an assistant coach for Division II Virginia Union University.
Timberwolves draft pick Pekovic is still with Panathinaikos, and he is still a beast. He averages 14.3 points and 3.8 rebounds in the EuroLeague, alongside 12.7 points and 3.7 rebounds in the Greek league. Those look more like numbers from a 6’7 small forward than a 6’11 270-pound centre, and for sure, Pekovic is a bad defensive rebounder, partly through the size prohibiting him from much rebounding outside of his area but also through some apathy to the glass at times. But the scoring numbers need only some per-minute context to make sense. Per 36 minutes in the EuroLeague, Pekovic is averaging 24 points; per 36 in the Greek league, that goes up to 28.3. Pekovic is shooting a ridiculous 73% from the field in the A1 league, alongside 75% from the line, and while those numbers dip to 59% and 71% in the higher standard EuroLeague, they are still pretty beastly. Pekovic’s rebounding is a valid concern (grabbing a defensive rebound once every 11 minutes in EuroLeague play isn’t good enough), as is his below-average speed for the centre spot at the NBA level, but the offence is beastly. And that’s an interesting quality to have in any centre.
Celtics draft pick Ben Pepper never signed in the NBA, and, apart from a very unexpected trip to the ABA (the American one) in 2002, Pepper played only in Australia’s NBL between 1996 and 2008. My Aussie mate Geordie insists that The Sultan played for the New Zealand Breakers last season, but I can’t find anything that corroborates that, and all the evidence points to the contrary. So I’m going to go ahead and assume that Geordie is insane.
Speaking of the colonies, Syracuse guard Eric Devendorf is playing in New Zealand this summer, but was released by his New Zealand team Waikato Pistons after being arrested for his role in a bar fight. However, Devendorf was averaging 24.3 points per game, good for second in the league, and as such he was immediately picked up by Waikato’s rival, Wellington. Stats often talk like that.
Former Warriors centre Kosta Perovic was bought out of his NBA contract early so that he could return to the continent that suits his slow style the best. He has spent the last two years with Valencia, where he (usually) starts and provides a good early scoring punch. Because, for all of Perovic’s athleticism and strength problems, he can still definitely score the ball. On the season, Perovic is averaging 9.6 points and 3.9 rebounds in 19 minutes per game in the EuroCup, alongside 21.1 mpg, 8.7 ppg and 5.0 rpg in the ACB. He averages 0.9 blocks per game in both competitions through size alone.