How’s your Ukrainian? Mine’s terrible. In fact, if it wasn’t for knowing that “Oleh Luzhny” translated into English as “we need an upgrade at full back”, then I wouldn’t be able to speak a word of the language.
Thankfully, Google Translate can. And unless Google Translate has hit the bottle or something, it brings us news of a former NBA centre leaving a Ukrainian team with time still left on his contract, in order to go to Africa and do a Madonna. So to speak.
Ukrainian news website Niknews has the story:
Центровой МБК «Николаев» Дэниел МакКлинток на днях обратился к президенту клуба Андрею Черепанову с просьбой разрешить ему покинуть команду по семейным обстоятельствам до истечения срока контракта.
Учитывая вклад Д. МакКлинтока в выступление николаевской команды в чемпионате, а также серьезность причин, по которым Дэниелу надо выехать в другую страну, Андрей Владимирович согласился предоставить ему такую возможность.
Стоит отметить, что это никак не связано с экономией средств. Николаевский клуб и американский баскетболист готовы были выполнять все условия контракта до конца сезона. Но дело в том, что супруги МакКлинтоки усыновляют двух детей-сирот из Эфиопии, а оформление документов потребовало их присутствия в этой африканской стране.
Crudely translated, this come out as:
Center-MBC “Nikolaev” Daniel McClintock recently turned to the club’s president Andrei Cherepanov to allow him to leave the team for family reasons before the expiry of the contract.
Given the contribution of D. McClintock in the statement of Nicholas’s Team Championships, as well as the seriousness of the reasons why Daniel should go to another country, Andrey agreed to give him that opportunity.
It is worth noting that this has nothing to do with savings. Nicholas Club and the American basketball player were ready to comply with all conditions of the contract before the end of the season. But the fact that the spouses McClintock adopting two orphans from Ethiopia, and the paperwork required their presence in this African country.
McClintock’s team – MBC Mykolaiv, known in the translation as “Nicholas” – finished the Ukrainian Superleague regular season with a 13-13 record, losing out on the eighth and final playoff spot to Hoverla. The Ukrainian Superleague has a relatively unique twist in that it has a “relegation tournament”, whereby the eight non-playoff teams play a little Round Robin format, with two teams relegated to the second division. Mykolaiv won their first two games of this tournament, and even though they lost their next two, they should be fine. Bear in mind that the Superleague boasts a team (Gryfony) that went 0-26 this season.
McClintock was drafted by the Nuggets out of Northern Arizona back in 2000, and played six games with the team in the following season. (He was also drafted by the ABA, CBA, IBL and USBL that same summer. Big year for Dan.) Since then, his career has taken him to many of the usual haunts; France, Germany, China, Italy, etc, with a few summer league stops thrown in. This past season might have been the best of his career, as he averaged 18.6 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.9 for Nicholas, shooting 60% from the field, 81% from the foul line, and a bonus 40% from three-point range.
The article sees fit to point out that Nicky doesn’t owe Daniel any money. McClintock was Mykolaiv’s best player by quite a way, so of all the players to pay, he was the one, but it was notable anyway as Ukrainian basketball is pretty notorious for bad payments. BC Kyiv just lost a tribunal hearing and thus owe six figures to Clay Tucker. Defending Superleague champion and EuroCup team BC Donetsk were wound up during the middle of the season for unpaid debts, leaving players such as ex-NBA forwards Chris Owens, P.J. Tucker and Bruno Sundov looking for work. And in December, Azovmash were threatened with expulsion from the EuroCup if they didn’t pay debts to Marc Salyers and Ramon Van Der Hare outstanding from the 2008-09 season. (They didn’t pay up, and FIBA promptly banned them from signing any more players. Azovmash then signed Demetrius Alexander and Ramel Curry anyway. Not sure how that happened, but Ramel Curry teamed with Fred House to form the elusive Curry-House backcourt, so we were all winners here.)
If anyone can explain why the Ukrainian word for “centre” translates as “Washington Bullets”, let me know.