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Thread: Linas Kleiza, NBA To Greece And Back

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    Raptors Republic Veteran Buddahfan's Avatar
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    Default Linas Kleiza, NBA To Greece And Back

    Linas Kleiza, NBA to Greece and Back

    By: Stephen Brotherston Last Updated: 8/13/10 11:37 AM ET | 3330 times read

    When All-Star Carmelo Anthony's former back-up returned from Greece this summer, he joined the team he wanted to play for when he left the Denver Nuggets at the end of his rookie contract in 2009. But at that time, the Toronto Raptors were in no position to compete with the lucrative financial offer from Olympiakos S.F.P. Pireus.

    There is nothing like a little financial crisis to entice former NBA players into grabbing their first opportunity at signing a new contract back on this side of the pond. Greece just doesn't look as good to players who have a choice this season.

    But just like other NBA players who have sought opportunities outside of North America, this European adventure was good for Linas Kleiza.

    At 6' 8" 245lbs, Kleiza has the size to play both forward positions, but it's his size that gives him a distinct advantage in the NBA at small forward as the specialty statistics at 82games.com indicate. In 2008-09, Kleiza was plus 43 points with a PER of 16.4 at small forward and minus 24 points with a PER of 14.0 at power forward for Denver. On a 48 minute basis, Kleiza dominated at small forward outscoring his opponent by 1.8 points and out rebounding them by 1.8 boards. But at power forward, the numbers are almost the reverse.
    Time spent playing in Europe is helping a number of American trained players make their move in the NBA. But for those who believe that Kleiza is just another Euro-player who found his way into the NBA and therefore his trip back there doesn't really count, the Lithuanian played his high school ball at Montrose Christian in Rockville Maryland and played collegiately at the University of Missouri for two seasons. Kleiza was then drafted in the first round by the Portland Trailblazers and traded to Denver for Jarrett Jack (who is currently on the Raptors). Kleiza's basketball training is definitely American.

    When the 2010-11 season starts, expect players like Kleiza and Childress, who have been off the North American radar because they have been playing in Europe, to return as much better players than the ones we remember.
    comp article. on link


    +10

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=17076

    He may not be a superstar but add another player to the growing list of those that want to play for the Raptors.


    My sense is that list will continue to grow going forward.
    Last edited by Buddahfan; Sun Aug 15th, 2010 at 11:21 AM.
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    Raptors Republic Starter blaze89's Avatar
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    kleiza is deffinately a better player now then when he left to europe......and we got Demar reppin us now so isnt toronto like the hotspot now?

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    Raptors Republic Rookie CB4's Avatar
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    Quote Buddahfan wrote: View Post
    He may not be a superstar but add another player to the growing list of those that want to play for the Raptors.


    My sense is that list will continue to grow going forward.
    I hope the list will grow although I don't think many marquee players want to play here yet. The only way to fix that is to win.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran Buddahfan's Avatar
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    Quote CB4 wrote: View Post
    I hope the list will grow although I don't think many marquee players want to play here yet. The only way to fix that is to win.
    I think that the Raptors now are on the right track and while we don't know what the future holds it seems to me to be promising if not in 10-11, which I am still optimistic on, then starting in 11-12 4sure, assuming the league is not shut down all season because of a lockout.
    Last edited by Buddahfan; Sun Aug 15th, 2010 at 06:14 PM.
    Avatar: Riverboat Coffee House 134 Yorkville Ave. billboard of upcoming entertainers - Circa 1960s

    Memories some so sweet, indeed

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    “As a captain, I played furiously. I drew a lot of fouls, but I brought everything I had to every practice and to every game. I left everything on the court because I simply wanted the team to win”
    Quote from well known personality who led their high school team to a state championship.

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