April 29, 2010
- Brad Stricker
Stricker played his first two college years with Texas A&M back in 1995-97. He averaged 4.4 points and 2.5 rebounds before transferring to Arizona State, but had sat only one semester of his required three at ASU before transferring again, this time to Georgia State. There, in the 1998-99 season, Stricker averaged 3.9 points and 3.9 rebounds, before leaving with a year of eligibility left to go and join the real world.
Stricker started a construction company, Stricker Construction, and made a couple of returns to basketball. Although one of them is hard to verify. His CV says that he played briefly in the SWBL in 2001, winning the championship that year with the San Antonio Bombers; however, a Google search for "SWBL basketball" reveals the only such league in existence to be the Strathcona Women's Basketball League, and a search for "San Antonio Bombers" reveals only this. After that, Stricker played the 2001-02 season in Mexico, where he averaged 18 points, 12 rebounds, 4 blocks and 3 assists per game for Correcaminos Matamoros in the LNBP. But Stricker did not play for the next three years in order to run the construction company.
In 2005, having sold the business, Stricker attended offseason workouts with the Denver Nuggets and the San Antonio Spurs. Teams frequently let players work out with them during the summer, and Stricker worked out with Denver again in 2006. He signed with the Great Falls Explorers of the CBA in November 2006, but did not seem to appear in any games. (I tried to find out, but the Explorer's website is now pornography.) And then in 2007, after a third summer of working out with the Nuggets, Stricker signed a training camp deal with the team.
The chances of Stricker making the team were 0%, and both he and the Nuggets knew it. But players can only play in training camp if they are under contract (as opposed to offseason workouts, where anything goes), and Denver wanted an extra practice body. Since Stricker had been essentially stalking the team for three years, they chose him to be that body, and even let him appear in a couple of preseason games. So after all that non-existent professional career and basically-non-existent college career, the 30 year old Brad Stricker had made his way into legitimate NBA games. It's not what you are in this business, it's who you know.
Stricker was waived by the Nuggets before he got hurt and they had to pay him. He didn't play anywhere in the 2007-08 season, even though he now had the words "NBA" legitimately on his basketball resumÃ©; rumours of a signing in Lebanon came to nothing. But in 2008-09, the 31 year old Stricker joined the D-League to develop his game (or something). He was taken in the fifth round of the draft by the Dakota Wizards, and played 24 games with the team, averaging 2.6 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.1 fouls with a PER of 7.5. Dakota released Stricker in late December for "personal reasons," but picked up him again a week later.
Six weeks after that, in the middle of February, Stricker asked for his release from the Wizards so that he could play for a team closer to home. True to his word, Stricker then went for a tryout in Kosovo - which is about as close to Texas as the moon is to Pontefract - before returning to the D-League to play for the Albuquerque Thunderbirds. In 20 further games for them, Stricker averaged 2.8 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.3 fouls with a PER of 7.0. He was not retained for this year, and has not played anywhere this season. Then again, he's quite used to gap years.
That's the lengthiest breakdown of Brad Stricker you will find on the internet. It is also perhaps the only one you'll find.
January 3, 2010
- Stacey Augmon
Augmon last played in the NBA in the 2005-06 season, when he played 36 games rather badly for the Orlando Magic. It was his second year with the team, and, given that his middle name is Orlando, it seemed quite apt. He then spent a year out of the game before randomly signing with the Nuggets in training camp 2007. About that signing, Nuggets coach George Karl said:
"I wouldn't waste Stacey's time if I didn't think there was a chance of him making our team."
"He's got as much of a chance as Bret Bearup."