Thursday, September 27, 2007

Saurnas Signs in Greece

Continuing with our recent All-Saruans-All-the-Time trend, today we (hopefully) wrap up the Sarunas saga for the summer: Sarunas Jasikevicius (1994-98) signed with Panathinaikos in Greece. Panathinaikos is the defending Euroleague champion.

Also, ESPN.com ran a piece this week in their True Hoop blog about why Sarunas is great in Europe, mediocre in the NBA. In summary, rules differences in Europe such as different zone defense rules and a different interpretation of illegal screens makes it possible for a slower player like Sarunas to (a) get open for shots, and (b) rely more on teammates to cover up defensive liabilities.

The ESPN True Hoop blog also tipped me off about a new blog about European basketball, Ball in Europe, which has an article compares Sarunas's signing with the same-day signing of former Milwaukee player Lynn Greer with Panathinaikos's cross-town rival Olympiakos (who also tried to sign Sarunas), both for huge sums of money by Euroleague standards.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Golden State Frees Sarunas

Sarunas Jasikevicius (1994-98) has finally been freed by the Golden State Warriors. Here's the local paper, the San Jose Mercury News, with their take on it (from the story linked above):
Jasikevicius, due to make $4 million this season, settled for less money in exchange for his freedom. The Warriors placed him on waivers, so he'll have to wait a week before becoming a free agent. It is unlikely a team will claim him off waivers in the next week because doing so would put the team on the hook for the entire $4 million.

Jasikevicius never hid his disdain over being a Warrior, which began with his lack of playing time and increased with the Warriors not trading him. [...]

He may draw interest from other teams looking for a backup point guard, specifically teams that play a half-court offense. But Jasikevicius may return to Europe to play. There have been reports from abroad about him signing with FC Barcelona in Spain or Olympiakos in Greece.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Where Will Sarunas Jasekevicius Play this Winter?

Several teams would like to have Sarunas Jasekevicius (1994-98) on their roster, but his contract is actually owned by the Golden State Warriors, who don't seem to want him and don't seem inclined to trade him. The first half of Chris Sheridan's ESPN blog entry is about the FIBA European Championships, but the second half is all about Sarunas (who is there playing for Lithuania) and his up-in-the-air status for the upcoming season:
Depending on which continent you live on and what news agencies you read, you could get the impression that Sarunas Jasikevicius is a lock to play for either the Golden State Warriors, Olympiakos of Greece or FC Barcelona of Spain. [...]

"I'm really waiting for [Golden State] to trade me. It's been going on since February, and nothing's happening. I really don't understand this franchise, to be honest with you. I know what kind of offers they got for me, and they're not taking them. I know they're not planning on using me, so I really don't understand what they're trying to do with me." [...]

Through the first four games of Eurobasket, Jasikevicius is the tournament leader in assists with 6.3, though he also has committed an average of four turnovers per game. He is averaging a team-high 14.0 points for Lithuania, which has been one of the best-looking teams thus far in compiling a 4-0 record.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Jamar Smith To Play in Japan

Jamar Smith (2002-04), after playing the past two seasons in the NBDL, has signed to play professionally for the Toshiba Brave Thunder of the Japanese Superleague. You can see him in this news page under the news for 8-21-2007 (he's #5). The text of the news article says (thanks to Babelfish):
The Jermaine Walker player did the retreating/quitting section.
It was the fatigue. Anew, the Jamar Smith player did Iribe. Furthermore, Oshima asking/depending [un-translatable Japanese Name] interpretation returned. We request the encouragement of everyone.

I would also like to second the request for the encouragement of everyone in supporting Jamar's new team.