Ex-Timberwolves guard Wright got off to a late start this year, not signing anywhere until January. He eventually hooked up with Belgian team Oostende, and averaged 12.8 points and 1.6 assists per game. However, Oostende were knocked out of the Belgian playoffs at the semi-finals stages by Courtney Sims’s Charleroi, and so Bracey’s season is over.
Wright is American, which makes his presence in Belgium seem entirely normal; for a lengthier breakdown of the demographs of Belgian basketball, and specifically that of BC Oostende, click here. In the end, Belgians played only 251 out of a possible 7,200 minutes in Oostende games this season. Also, former NBA guard Eddie Gill, another member of the Oostende backcourt, ended the season in a 3-37 shooting slump (also known as an Iverson, or a fortnight of Dioner Navarro) and shot only 28% on the season. He was in the NBA in 2008-09. This was a bit of a wasted year for him.
After a lengthy and well-paid NBA career came to an end in the summer, Wright went for try-outs for multiple teams in China. However, he was unable to secure a contract offer, and stayed on the shelf. In January, Wright was signed by Syrian team Al Jalaa to replace another ex-NBA big, Zendon Hamilton, who had suffered an injury. However, Wright never made it to Syria on time due to a car accident; it is unclear (to me at least) whether he ever played for the team, but he certainly wasn’t with them during the recent Asian Club Championships.
Wright’s other newsworthy contribution recently was when he sold his house in Memphis to Warriors guard Monta Ellis, fuelling speculation that the Grizzlies might be lining up a deal for him. The Grizzlies subsequently denied this, although if I were them, I wouldn’t rule it out completely. Although it would sure be nice to have Marko Jaric’s expiring contract right now.
Former Pacers draft pick Wright spent a second year in Germany, playing for ALBA Berlin. There, he formed a starting three-guard backcourt with Julius Jenkins and Immy McElroy, with Derrick Byars and Steffen Hamaan off the bench, although it’s hard to tell Jenkins and Wright apart because they’ve both got long dreads now. Wright averaged 9.8 points and 3.1 assists per game in the German league, 8.8/2.7 in the EuroCup, and 8.0/3.5 in ALBA’s very short EuroLeague campaign.
Young started this season in the Italian second division, where he averaged 14.0 points and 0.5 assists per game for Scafati Basket. He then moved to Hungary, but not for very long, and in February he moved to Greece to play for A1 team Trikalla. This was probably the best career move Young has made since being drafted, as he went on to average 20.5 points per game, leading the league in scoring. He got to the line nine times a game and hit 85% of them, and while he shot only 41% overall due to his ever-sketchy outside jump shot, Young’s points per game totals were still impressive. It wasn’t enough to save Trikalla from relegation, but it’s good for Young’s CV.
If you view Ray Young’s profile, you will found out who he is, where he came from, why he’s here, and also why there is absolutely nothing to say about him. So, because there’s absolutely nothing new to say about Ray Young, here’s a monkey on a pushbike.
Former Northwestern guard Jitim Young has been in the Israeli second division. Playing for Elitzur Ramla, Young has averaged 17.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.0 apg and 1.9 spg, shooting 69% from two-point range and 29% from three. For some reason, he is known there as Zetin, due to a translation issue.
Zetin’s Wikipedia page has clearly been edited repeatedly by a friend or loved one of his; in its history are things such as the misspelt name of his wife and kid that someone keeps putting in there, and which Wikipedia keeps taking out. Currently in there is the news that Jitim is writing an autobiography entitled “Monologues of a Good Man”. I see no reason to doubt its honesty, so we’ll run with that as your Jitim Young news. Alternatively, if you’d rather see more hot monkey pushbike action…
– Sun Yue
You would probably have expected Sun Yue to have gone back to China once he left the NBA. Chinese players only ever really play in two places – China and America – and if Yue was in the NBA or the D-League, you would surely have known about it.
However, it turns out that neither of those things were true. Not quite. Instead of the NBA, CBA or D-League, Sun took his NBA pay checks and his championship ring back to the place he started from before he was drafted; the ABA. Yue rejoined the Beijing Aoshen Olympians, the former CBA (Chinese) team that had joined the American ABA after being kicked out of the CBA back in 2004. Maybe Sun felt he owed them something, for he was the reason they were kicked out – Beijing (hereafter, Aoshen) were suspended from the CBA for not releasing Sun to go and play for the Under-20 national team. Aoshen were initially going to rejoin the CBA after a year-long suspension, but when the time came, they changed their minds about returning and hooked on with the American minor league instead. (The team that replaced them in the CBA, the Yunnan Bulls, are now defunct. The CBA ran with only 17 teams last year. There is a place available for an Aoshen return. In theory, at least.)
Aoshen no longer play in the ABA full time, which makes them like most other ABA teams, most of whom are lucky to see off the first month. Last year they played in the WCBL, a spring-time league, and while they don’t seem to be in the WCBL any more, they’ve spent the year playing exhibitions around the world. Statistics are unavailable.
Former Nuggets draft pick Xue was picked 57th overall seven years ago, and simply never worked out. He is a seven-foot jump shooter who does little else, and who is the worst rebounding seven-footer you ever did see, as evidenced by his stats; 5.6 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.7 fouls in 13 minutes per game. His season totals include 482 minutes, 51 two-pointers, 120 three-pointers, 19 foul shots, 53 rebounds, 9 assists, 62 fouls and 4 blocks, numbers about as one dimensional as there can be.
But the best part of Xue’s season has been his inconsistency. On nights when he’s shooting well, he plays the majority of the game; on nights when he isn’t, he plays single figure minutes. It’s a clear-cut coaching strategy, if nothing else. Xue’s points output from game to game reads 3, 28, 0, 32, 9, 16, 26, 0, 5, 0, 7, 6, 9, 0, 0, 3, 7, 4, 13, 0, 1, 3, 5, 2, 0, 0, 0, 3, 9, 3, 0, 6, 0, 0, 0 and 2, with three DNP-CD’s in there. He scored eight total points in Xinjiang’s 11 playoff games, going scoreless four times and DNP-CDing four more times. It does not get more inconsistent than that.
The player Xue was supposed to become, Wang has been back with the Chinese army team Bayi since leaving the NBA four years ago. He’s also the best Chinese player in China. Competition for that award is not too hot, but Wang puts up huge numbers nonetheless, to the tune of 25.8 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 1.6 apg and 2.1 bpg, shooting 47% from the field and 39% from three.
According to Wang’s NBA.com profile, he:
[e]njoys listening to pop music and lists Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC among his favorite artists.
I don’t care that it was written in 2002. That’s not acceptable.
Former Mississippi State guard Derrick Zimmerman averaged 11.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists and a league-leading 2.4 steals per game for Budivelnyk Kiev in 2008/09, winning the Ukrainian Superleague Defensive Player of the Year award. It was the only time in his whole career, including four years of college, that he has ever averaged double-digits in points. And this is a former draftee we’re talking about here. That’s how good the defence is – it matters not that he can’t regularly score. Not really.
Zimmerman stayed there for a second season this year, but he saw his numbers drop down to 7.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.4 steals, as he had to share court time with Khalid El-Amin (20.5 ppg, 5.1 apg). Zimmerman also has never managed to master the jump shot; in 37 games this year, he hit only two three-pointers. They came in the same game.
And finally, the final finally…….
Zukauskas was a draft pick of the Sonics back in 1995, and Seattle immediately traded his draft rights to Milwaukee along with a future second-rounder for those of Eric Snow. Milwaukee lost that trade; E-Zooks never joined the NBA, and while he churned out a good career in Europe doing a decent impression of an entry-level Arvydas Sabonis, Zukauskas retired at the end of last season. He is now a stay-at-home dad with coaching aspirations.
According to Google Translate, “Zukauskas” means “Sharkey”, which is pretty awesome. It also warrants a mention that Zukauskas bears more than a passing resemblance to slightly-Japanese ex-NBA big man, Robert Swift.
It might be a coincidence that two former 7’1 ginger Sonics draft picks happen to look about 85% identical. But is it? Is it really? No.
This series of posts concludes here and will not return next season. Not like this, at least.