Thursday , Jan , 23 , 2003 C.Y. Ellis

Difficult NBA debut for Antoine Rigaudeau


{{Antoine Rigaudeau}}, signed by the Dallas Mavericks had a very discrete beginning in the NBA, and just played five minutes against the Seattle Supersonics on Sunday January 19th, 2003. “These five minutes were difficult for me”, said the French, 31 years, coming from Bologna (Italian league) of which he carried the colors since 1997, who signed Friday morning a three year contract until the end of the season 2004-2005 with the Dallas Mavericks. “But I just arrived, and I need to play with my new partners”, said Rigaudeau (6-7) who was launched in the game by Don Nelson after 16 minutes of play. In five minutes, he took one rebound, had one steel, missed his only shot, lost two balls and committed one fault, not being able to help his new team (1st of the Western Conference), to avoid its eighth defeat of the season, the third consecutive one.

“I was not nervous”, ensured the Olympic vice-champion, author of the triplet (Euroleague, Championship and Cup of Italy) in 2001 with Bologna. “Now, I must just find my place in the team, to learn how to know my partners, the game etc…” .

Disturbed by the jet lag -“I woke up at 4 o’clock in the morning, but all is well “-, Rigaudeau seriously watched Mavericks’ games in order to understand the Texan tactics. “They gave me an enormous document and I had many things to read”. Rigaudeau, with number #17 in the back, passed the main part of the first quarter-time to listen from the bench the advice from Avery Johnson.. “I was not surprised to play that early in the game Rigaudeau said. I was ready to play. It is not a problem for me to play. I rely on what I can do in the future “. The next match for the Mavericks, the best offensive team of the league, takes place Tuesday in the room of Houston Rockets.