Puerto Rican BSN team Gallitos de Isabella yesterday released big men Shaun Pruitt and Lee Benson for “problemas de conducta.” The pair were released after Isabela’s 86-76 to the Arecibo Captains on Wednesday night, a game in which Benson had 9 points and 18 rebounds, and Pruitt posted 16/16. The team moved swiftly in replacing them, signing ex-NBA centre Jared Reiner and former La Salle player Reggie Okosa (mentioned at length here).
Pruitt and Benson were first and second in the league in rebounding, at 13.5 and 13.4 rebounds per game respectively. Only two other players grab double-figure rebounds per game; Michael Sweetney of Santurce (12.3 rpg) and Manuel Narvaez of Ponce (10.4 rpg), so to release the duo is no small move. Teams around the world tend to be trigger-happy with their imports; Benson himself was a replacement for Alando Tucker, who was previously a replacement for Devin Green. Puerto Rican teams are no different in their treatment of their American players. Nevertheless, to release arguably your two best players due to their indiscretions, regardless of the calibre of their replacements, is a strong statement.
This is one part of the worldwide basketball scene that the NBA will sadly never adopt.
(“Gallitos de Isabela” translates as “the Cocks of Isabella”. Poor girl.)