Colangelo And The Raptors Missed The Best ‘Euro’
Player: Oly Sandor.
Weight: 180 lbs.
Vertical leap: Extremely limited.
Wingspan: Worse than a Tyrannosaurus Rex or Kevin Willis.
College Highlights: Back-to back co-ed Intramural Titles at the University of Victoria.
Professional experience: ‘Free’ lance NBA journalist and master of NBA video games.
Attention: Bryan Colangelo, General Manager of the Toronto Raptors.
Please accept my application for a guard position with your team. I strongly believe I could add value to the 2006-07 Raptors and help the club secure a spot in the playoffs. Here’s why Oly Sandor-notice the third person reference just like an NBA player- would be a good fit in Toronto:
1) By adding Andrea Bargnani, Jorge Garbajosa, Rasho Nesterovic, and Uros Slokar, your organization has shown a true appreciation for the ‘Euro’. No, not the currency used by twenty-five different nations that sit on a mass of land across the Atlantic, but a particular style of basketball that I am familiar with.
Mr. Colangelo, I am a ‘Euro’. My father is Hungarian. My mother is Scottish. And I appreciate that an ‘exec’ is prepared to look beyond the Nikoloz Tskitishvili disaster and give players with unpronounceable last names another chance at the NBA.
You have also expressed concern with Bargnani’s size. Can his slight frame handle an entire season of battling NBA power players? Well, like Winston the Wolf in “Pulp Fiction”, I have a solution to this problem-‘Euro’ style.
In exchange for a spot on Toronto’s opening day roster, my father’s side of the family has agreed to provide Bargnani with Hungarian goulash-free of charge, of course. And my mother will hook the young Italian up with an all you can eat smorgasbord of complimentary shortbread and haggis.
The goulash, shortbread, and haggis diet will help Bargnani quickly gain ten to fifteen pounds. Please note this estimate is based on personal experience as opposed to any tangible scientific evidence.
Trainers and dieticians may have reservations about this unorthodox diet. But if Vlade Divac can spend an entire career chain smoking cigarettes at half-time, then what right do we have to judge fattening European foods?
2) I have dominated The Greek League. Okay, not the professional leagues in Greece, but the pick-up runs at the Greek Church over on 32nd and Arbutus in Vancouver, Canada.
Technically, this isn’t a professional league. Players don’t get paid. There’s no Peja Stojakovic or Hedo Turkoglu waiting to get discovered. And there’s no unheralded American swingman, who NBA scouts slept on at the draft.
It’s a refuge for overweight guys in their late twenties, who are still clinging to that NBA dream. Think bottom of the keg ‘Euro’-Rucker, full of Rony Seikaly clones. Of course, we lack Seikaly’s size, skill, hair, and Oprah appearances.
3) Unlike other professional basketball leagues, The Greek League has no buyout fee for player rights. That means I am currently available to join the Raptors-there’s no red tape to negotiate through with FIBA or multi-million dollar payment holding up my NBA debut.
All my team asks is that you send a box of baklava cake or bottle of Ouzo. This goodwill gesture will cost about twelve dollars and could-depending upon the mood of Commissioner Stern and the suits at the NBA’s head office-count against the salary cap.
Again, these three factors make me an ideal candidate to join the Toronto organization as a player. My agent and I may be willing to provide the Raptors with a private workout.
Oly-‘100% straight Euro’-Sandor.
By Oly Sandor. Oly Sandor is an NBA analyst and free lance journalist. His unique takes have appeared in the most prominent basketball websites, magazines, and radio stations. Oly can be contacted at OlySandorNBAGuru@yahoo.com and more of his work can be found at www.olysandornbaanalyst.blogspot.com