In my second year as a pro in the season 1996-97, playing for Okapi Aalst, we started out the season with two American imports players.
One was our star player Daren Queenan (Lehigh 1984-88 and one of NCAA all time leading scorers), the other was Brian Reese (UNC 1990-94 and now an assistant coach at Monmouth).
Scouting and recruiting 15 years ago wasn't at the level it is today and quite early in the season Reese didn't turn out to be the guy our team was looking for. Management instead decided to add another legendary scoring ace to the roster: Borislav 'Boro' Vucevic had been leading the Belgian league in scoring for quite some years averaging 30-plus points per game.
He was a legend also in his native Montenegro, part of former Yugoslavia, for having won several European and Yugoslavian trophies. Although Boro (#15 in above photo) was already in his late thirties at the time he still had the love for the game. He was still athletic, dunking the ball in many ways and running the floor like a youngster. He always took great care of his body, claiming he had never missed a game, and if it was not for his hair that was starting to turn grey no one would have guessed his age right after seeing him play.no comments
As I stood out on the balcony overlooking my small village here in Germany, I began to think back over the past year of my life.
All of the things that happened to me that were both good and bad, successes and failures, people I met, even my growth as a young man, all ran across my mind.
The world was about to celebrate the beginning of a new year and my time zone was next in line for the clock striking midnight. As I watched all the fireworks fill the sky, my heart became somewhat heavy. Usually New Years Eve is a time you spend with family and friends. But this New Years Eve, I was all alone. Everyone always asks me what’s the toughest part about playing overseas. Well, this is it: being so far away from those I love the most, especially for holidays. My family can’t always be here with me, but there was one person who stuck closer to me than anyone else in this year.no comments
Every person during his life gets inspired and influenced by certain people. People that have an impact on your views and mentality. It's no different for athletes along their careers.
Coaches, trainers, teammates, fans or just friends that have nothing to do with ball -- our kind of life gives us the opportunity to meet lots of different people from different cultures. All those friendships and meetings have turned me into the person that I am today.
I was thinking of this when watching the Los Angeles Lakers play the Chicago Bulls a couple of days ago. One of the people that has had a big impact on myself as a player and person must be Ettore Messina. Ettore is currently working as a consultant for Mike Brown at the Lakers and previously coached me both at CSKA Moscow and Real Madrid from 2006 until 2010.
I respect him a lot and there will probably be other former players he coached along the way that think differently, but here are my reasons to do so.no comments
Update: After Gilbert Brown went through a workout with the Phoenix Suns last week along with Michael Redd and Ime Udoka, the Suns opted to sign Redd in the end.
But Brown isn't left without a team. The undrafted rookie out of Pitt signed to play in the D-League with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants he confirmed on Sunday with Beyond the Beat.
He attended shootaround with the team -- who is an affiliate of the Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks and Indiana Pacers -- and could be available when the Mad Ants face the Canton Charge today in D-League action.
Original post after the jump...no comments
As someone who covered Rudy Fernandez during his four years spent playing in Portland, the love, respect and honor he has toward Fernando Martin is all too familiar.
You just have to remember back to the 2009 Slam Dunk Contest when Fernandez donned Martin's Blazers jersey to understand the impact -- the first Spaniard to make it to the NBA in 1986, with the Blazers, only to die in a tragic car accident in early December 1989.
He was just 27-years-old.
Now 22 years later, Fernandez continues his NBA story with the Denver Nuggets playing for George Karl. Both take the time to pay tribute to Martin.no comments