After his NBA career set new records in failure, Podkolzin returned to his native Russia to play for Lokomotiv Novosybirsk, the team he began his career with. Podkolzin is into his fourth season with the team, and has stuck with them even after they were relegated out of the Russian Superleague down to the second division. Statistics are hard to come across, because they’re all in Russian, and Russians use the wrong alphabet. However, as far as I can tell, Pavel averages 12.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.9 fouls per game.
On the Novosybirsk website, three players are listed as playing the position of “центровой.” Pavel is one of them, and a quick internet search reveals the obvious; that word translates as “center”. But curiously, if you run that word through Google Translate, it comes out with the result “Washington Bullets.” I’m not making that up, either.
Pollard last played in the NBA with the championship-winning 2007-08 Celtics. He didn’t play in the postseason and barely played during the regular season, but he got a ring and a million for sitting around and putting up with a year of ankle pain, so it’s not all bad. He now works for NBA TV, where he’s already created one of the more awkward moments in television history.
Polynice was last in the NBA in February 2004, when the Clippers waived the then-39-year-old before the playoff deadline so that he could catch on with another NBA team. He didn’t. But Polynice did squeeze out bit parts of two more years in the world of professional basketball, playing 18 games in 2004/05 with the Michigan Mayhem of the CBA, and briefly being the player/coach for the Los Angeles Aftershock of the ABA in 2005/06. That was finally the end….or at least, it probably should be, because Polynice is now 45 years old.
Polynice was the head coach of the Long Beach Breakers in the ABA for the 2007-08 season. Like all ABA teams, though, they were short-lived. Polynice then volunteered as a coach at Jeremy Tyler’s high school team for the 2008-09 season, where he compared Tyler to a more athletic Hakeem Olajuwon. He now lives in Los Angeles and runs his Olden Polynice Hoops foundation. Polynice’s most newsworthy moment in retirement was his appearance on Dr. Phil, where he was emotionally re-united with his father, whom had been stuck in the Haitian earthquake.
Russian guard Ponkrashov was on loan to Khimky from CSKA Moscow for the last two seasons, but CSKA recalled him this summer. Backing up both J.R. Holden and Zoran Planinic, Ponkrashov is not playing much, averaging only 8.2 minutes in the EuroLeague and 10.6 in the Russian league. He has averaged 3.0 points and 0.7 assists in the former, and 4.3/1.4 in the latter.
Mark Pope always said he would enroll in medical school once his playing career. And in 2006, he did, when he enrolled at the University of Columbia. But then this summer, after three years of Ivy League-standard medical school training, Pope bailed on his studies and was hired as an athletics co-ordinator at the University of Georgia, seemingly the beginning of a college coaching career. Perhaps medical school just wasn’t as fun for him as basketball is.
Serbian international guard Popovic started the year with Lietuvos Rytas, and averaged 11.2 points and 5.4 assists per game in the EuroLeague. However, after Rytas were eliminated from the EuroLeague, Popovic left the team and joined another EuroLeague team, Efes Pilsen of Turkey. In three months, Popovic has played no Turkish league games for the club, appearing in only EuroLeague games. He has barely played there, too, totalling 81 minutes, 20 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists in six games for the team.
Potapenko’s NBA career ended in the 2006/07 season, when he started the season with the Sonics and was traded to the Kings partway through the year. His lone basketball stint after that came the following December, when he played a few games for Estudiantes Madrid in the ACB, averaging 5.3 points and 2.7 rebounds. He is now an assistant coach for the D-League’s Fort Wayne Mad Ants.
South Carolina graduate Powell was the first pick of the 2010 D-League draft by the Albuquerque Thunderbirds, and spent most of the year with the team. He averaged 22.2 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.9 assists, and was bought out of his contract in March by Liaoning of the CBA. Liaoning signed Powell for their playoff push, but they were eliminated in the first round 3-1 by John Lucas’s Shanghai Sharks. Powell averaged 20.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists in his seven games with the team.
Powell played well for the Orlando Magic’s summer league team this year, and went to Greece to play for Trikalla this season. He averaged 11.9 points and 3.8 rebounds in ten games for the team, but left in late January. It was said that Powell was to sign in Russia, but it didn’t happen, and he remains unsigned.
Roger Powell started the season with CB Murcia in Spain, but got out of there just in time. He averaged 8.3 points and 3.4 rebounds in 15 games with the team currently adrift at the bottom of the ACB, was released by mutual consent in early February (Murcia replaced him with Josh Asselin), and moved to France to play for Dijon. Unfortunately, Dijon also suck, tied for last in France’s ProA with a 7-19 record. Powell was helping, putting up 22 points and 6 rebounds on debut, but he broke his cheekbone in his second game and has not played since. Through no real fault of his own, this has been a bit of a wasted year.
Cavaliers draft pick Preldzic is into his third season with Fenerbahce. He is averaging 11.7 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists in the Turkish, and averaged 6.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists in the EuroLeague. The 3.7 assists per game, in a league where only two players average more than 5.0 apg, are particularly impressive when you consider that Preldzic is a 6’9 forward. Preldzic’s jump shot is a bit more sporadic; the three-pointer amounts to about half of his offence, but while he’s shooting 45% from there in the Turkish league, he shot only 18% from there in the EuroLeague.
Hollis Price spent last year with A.J. Milano, but was not retained for this season. It took him a while to latch on to a new team, but in February he signed with the Artland Dragons of Quakenbrueck. In six German league games with the team, Price has averaged 8.8 points and 3.8 assists per game.
Quakenbrueck play a ten-man rotation. Nine of them are American. You have probably noticed that trend by now. It can’t be healthy for the future of German basketball.
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.