Well, the NBA officially locked out its players today. If you think the NFL’s labor strife has been contentious, buckle up, this will likely be worse. It couldn’t happen at a worse time for the league, either. The NBA is coming off one of its best seasons. If the owners and players can avoid missing actual games, then no harm, no foul. Otherwise, it will be a huge step back.
It seems appropriate to talk about European basketball at this point. Many of you have seen that Jamie Skeen signed a contract with ASVEL of the French Pro A League. It’s the same league Jamal Shuler has played in the last two years for Vichy. I’m not sure if Jamal will stay with Vichy. I don’t know his contract situation, but we can all hope to see some former Rams square off next year.
ASVEL finished sixth in the Pro A League last year at 17-13 and reached the championship semifinals. That’s a bit more favorable of a situation than Shuler has been faced with. Vichy was 11-19 and ranked 15th in the 16-team league. That being said, Jamal had a very productive year, averaging 16.0 points while giving us one unforgettable buzzer-beater.
Think about this now. With Joey Rodriguez playing in Puerto Rico and now Skeen in France, VCU has a ton of former Rams playing professionally right now:
Eric Maynor (NBA)
Larry Sanders (NBA)
Michael Anderson (D-League)
Joey Rodriguez (Puerto Rico)
Jamie Skeen (France)
Jamal Shuler (France)
Jesse Pellot-Rosa (Puerto Rico & Mexico)
Calvin Roland (Mexico)
B.A. Walker (Finland)
Dom Jones (Germany and Belgium)
Kirill Pishchalnikov (Russia)
Quanitra Hollingsworth (WNBA)
Krystal Vaughn (Finland)
D’Andra Moss (Finland)
Kita Waller (Germany)
With the exception of Dom Jones, those are all players that have graduated since the 2006-07 season, mind you. That’s not bad at all. That’s 14 pros in the last four years alone, including three at the highest possible level.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
Comes courtesy of Charles Jenkins, who recently joined what is becoming my second favorite NBA team, the Golden State Warriors (look, if you can’t enjoy watching Steph Curry play, I can’t help you).
No, it’s not the NBA Summer League, it’s Ben Wallace’s summer league, which, in some respects, is better (especially since there probably won’t be an NBA Summer League this year). Not only can you catch a glimpse of Wallace, but Eric Maynor, Larry Sanders and a bunch of other former Rams will be there. The league starts Wednesday. Check this link out for more details.