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Thread: The Official "Welcome to Toronto, Jonas Valanciunas!" thread

  1. #121
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    Quote Letter N wrote: View Post
    Dirk isn't that type of big man, neither is Okur. I can name tons of European bigs that can shoot, but none can band down low.

    Yao I'll give you, but Sabonis, Divac and Illgauskus came into the league 20 years ago.

    The delusion of some Raptor fans is astounding.
    I don't understand this obsession with comparing European players to other European players. Should we have compared Tristan THompson to Bill Wennington because they were both from Canada? Or Solomon Alabi to Hakeem Olajuwon simply because they are both Nigerian? Or Michael Redd to LeBron James because they're both from Ohio?

    Have a lot of European big men been jumpshooting finesse players? Sure. Does that mean all are? No. The fact that Valanciunas has become successful and a top 5 pick despite having no jumpshot should tell you he's probably different from the stereotype.

    Personally, I'd have taken Marcin Gortat over most American centers, and I doubt anyone would call him soft or a poor defensive player.

    Before Houston drafted Olajuwon, how many MVPs were born in Africa? Before Dallas drafted Dirk, how many MVPs were from Europe? Before the Suns drafted Steve Nash, how many MVPs were from Canada? Hell, before Houston drafted Yao Ming, how many Chinese players were even successful in the NBA?

    I sense another blog post coming...
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    Quote Tim W. wrote: View Post
    I don't understand this obsession with comparing European players to other European players. Should we have compared Tristan THompson to Bill Wennington because they were both from Canada? Or Solomon Alabi to Hakeem Olajuwon simply because they are both Nigerian? Or Michael Redd to LeBron James because they're both from Ohio?

    Have a lot of European big men been jumpshooting finesse players? Sure. Does that mean all are? No. The fact that Valanciunas has become successful and a top 5 pick despite having no jumpshot should tell you he's probably different from the stereotype.

    Personally, I'd have taken Marcin Gortat over most American centers, and I doubt anyone would call him soft or a poor defensive player.

    Before Houston drafted Olajuwon, how many MVPs were born in Africa? Before Dallas drafted Dirk, how many MVPs were from Europe? Before the Suns drafted Steve Nash, how many MVPs were from Canada? Hell, before Houston drafted Yao Ming, how many Chinese players were even successful in the NBA?

    I sense another blog post coming...
    Well said.

    Here's another way to look at it. Go check out every lottery big man picked since 2000. How many international picks were busts and how many Americans were busts? It's seriously about even.
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    Quote Tim W. wrote: View Post
    Hell, before Houston drafted Yao Ming, how many Chinese players were even successful in the NBA?
    Mengke Bateer's championship ring takes offense to that.

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    According to that interview, he likes pecan rolls! I smell a sponsorship with Cinnabon on the way.


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    Quote Tim W. wrote: View Post
    I don't understand this obsession with comparing European players to other European players. Should we have compared Tristan THompson to Bill Wennington because they were both from Canada? Or Solomon Alabi to Hakeem Olajuwon simply because they are both Nigerian? Or Michael Redd to LeBron James because they're both from Ohio?

    Have a lot of European big men been jumpshooting finesse players? Sure. Does that mean all are? No. The fact that Valanciunas has become successful and a top 5 pick despite having no jumpshot should tell you he's probably different from the stereotype.

    Personally, I'd have taken Marcin Gortat over most American centers, and I doubt anyone would call him soft or a poor defensive player.

    Before Houston drafted Olajuwon, how many MVPs were born in Africa? Before Dallas drafted Dirk, how many MVPs were from Europe? Before the Suns drafted Steve Nash, how many MVPs were from Canada? Hell, before Houston drafted Yao Ming, how many Chinese players were even successful in the NBA?

    I sense another blog post coming...
    Gotta get past the skin colour. It's because they are simply coming from a similar pool of talent/experience. North American players are often referred to as AAU players or NCAA players. Maybe instead of Euro they should be more accurately referred to as FIBA Players then we can keep dissing them without being called xenophobic or racist. Another way of looking at it is how players are often compared to their fellow Alums. It is a valid comparison. It doesn't mean some narrow minded isht like "all 7 foot tall Germans are like Dirk" but when you look at a skinny 19 year old lithuanian it is fair to ask if he's gonna be a softie like many past players of similar pedigree.

  6. #126
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    Quote minks77 wrote: View Post
    Gotta get past the skin colour. It's because they are simply coming from a similar pool of talent/experience. North American players are often referred to as AAU players or NCAA players. Maybe instead of Euro they should be more accurately referred to as FIBA Players then we can keep dissing them without being called xenophobic or racist. Another way of looking at it is how players are often compared to their fellow Alums. It is a valid comparison. It doesn't mean some narrow minded isht like "all 7 foot tall Germans are like Dirk" but when you look at a skinny 19 year old lithuanian it is fair to ask if he's gonna be a softie like many past players of similar pedigree.
    There's a difference between asking and assuming. Especially when there's plenty of evidence to the contrary. And it is racist/xenophobic/whatever to assume that just because some people are one way, that all people from similar circumstances are that way to.

    Comparing fellow alums makes more sense (although it's still pretty stupid) because those players were generally CHOSEN by the same coach, who probably picks certain types of players. European players aren't chosen. They're born there. And I'm guessing you've got lots of different types of people with different personalities. You just have to look at NCAA players to see that. In this draft you've got Jimmer Fredette, Derrick Williams and Kawhi Leonard. What do these guys all have in common other than they're all talented basketball players? Not much.

    And people who assume that all European big men are soft are, quite frankly, ignorant and are just as bad as someone who says that all black American basketball player just like to dunk and can't shoot.
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  7. #127
    Raptors Republic Starter minks77's Avatar
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    To assume any one trait can be applied to a whole group of people is ignorant, for sure. But c'mon, we're talking basketball here we aren't scapegoating the Jews, or arresting innocent young black males for no reason. This isn't a race thing for everyone who derides Euro's.

    In Europe, bigs have traditionally had better range and more solid fundamentals (passing, rotating, positional defence ft's etc) whereas in North America the post game was, for a very long time, much more of a battle. Much more physical. That isn't ignorant. It's a fact. It's a fact that American ball is played at a higher level than anything in Europe. The worst teams in the NBA would be dynasties in Europe. Please don't bring up the fact that a couple of Euro teams beat some NBA teams in preseason because we all know preseason is a joke for NBA players.

    The European system is different than the NBA and is especially different in the forward positions. I think it's fair to be gun shy of those guys and it's frankly just as ignorant to assume the Euro haters are being racist. People wanna talk about Dirk and Sabonis and Yao (who never played in Europe) when for every good to great Euro player there is a litany of failures and guys who came with mad hype only to be marginal players. And a lot of the marginally successful Euros fit the stereotype: Soft, perimetre oriented, great skills but mediocre game and poor defenders (think Okur, Hedo, Andrea, Tiki, Peja, Radmanovic, Sasha, Rudy, Beno, Big Z).

    I'd be wary of guys who come from non ball, no name schools. Doesn't mean they are all gonna be bums (Steve Nash, Santa Clara, wtf?) but it's something to consider. You gotta take in all the info presented, where they developed is a part of that.

    I'll give you its lazy to just say "oh a Euro softie" without ever having seen him play, just like it's lazy to say Shaq was great cuz he was so big. But it is fair to be worried about his future when his present is so unknown.

  8. #128
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    Default Love this pick!!

    you gotta love this pick. its the final nail in the BC coffin. finally his rein of terror is over in Toronto. I breath easier knowing its just a matter of time

  9. #129
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    Quote Tim W. wrote: View Post
    There's a difference between asking and assuming. Especially when there's plenty of evidence to the contrary. And it is racist/xenophobic/whatever to assume that just because some people are one way, that all people from similar circumstances are that way to.

    Comparing fellow alums makes more sense (although it's still pretty stupid) because those players were generally CHOSEN by the same coach, who probably picks certain types of players. European players aren't chosen. They're born there. And I'm guessing you've got lots of different types of people with different personalities. You just have to look at NCAA players to see that. In this draft you've got Jimmer Fredette, Derrick Williams and Kawhi Leonard. What do these guys all have in common other than they're all talented basketball players? Not much.

    And people who assume that all European big men are soft are, quite frankly, ignorant and are just as bad as someone who says that all black American basketball player just like to dunk and can't shoot.
    I gotta disagree. u gotta compare apples to apples and if you every played ball in a FIBA game in europe you would know its a completely different game. they train differently and play with a completely different philosophy. They train big men to be Pussies.
    Its only logical to make this assumption

  10. #130
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    Cinnabons are my spirit animal
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    Ive always been 'PC'. He is a lot smarter than we give him credit and I trust him with our team.

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    Not a fan of the euroleague, but I have to admit that in the last 10 years its seems both extreme stereotypes have made a consorted effort to meet in the middle.

    What I mean by this is that, you are seeing a lot more NCAA players coming out with strong fundamentals, and dunking is no longer their calling card.

    ...and conversely, in Europe they are starting to have flashier games and valuing players that we would call pests who often do not rely on traditional offensive arsenal.


    I think this has to do with the internet, and globalism in general. A decade ago NBA fans were less likely to watch the Euro Championships, now, to some its a part of knowing their ball and vice versa in Europe.


    So I like Tim's effort to ridicule the stereotype, even though I understand Zigus's well expressed position.

    EDIT: Zigus, aside from your last post. Sabonis was no pussy. Watch and learn.


    (BTW, that is team USA that he is making look like a bunch of slow stiffs.)
    Last edited by MyMomLovesMe; Sat Jun 25th, 2011 at 01:53 AM.

  13. #133
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    Seriously guys I wanted kemba as bad as anybody,but I also thought that this guy wasn't even gonna be available to pick.This guy has had scouts raving about him for two years and with no big men coming out the draft next year besides Sullinger,this was the pick to make.Next year we will draft Austin Rivers to be our Steph Curry or take One of Barnes,Perry Jones,Macadoo,Beal,Ghilchrist,Nash,Quincy Miller, I could keep going the draft is loaded with skill guys to grab.I'm not happy with the pick because we are gauranteed to be the worst team in 2k12 next year but in the long run I think it will work out.

  14. #134
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    Quote minks77 wrote: View Post
    To assume any one trait can be applied to a whole group of people is ignorant, for sure. But c'mon, we're talking basketball here we aren't scapegoating the Jews, or arresting innocent young black males for no reason. This isn't a race thing for everyone who derides Euro's.

    In Europe, bigs have traditionally had better range and more solid fundamentals (passing, rotating, positional defence ft's etc) whereas in North America the post game was, for a very long time, much more of a battle. Much more physical. That isn't ignorant. It's a fact. It's a fact that American ball is played at a higher level than anything in Europe. The worst teams in the NBA would be dynasties in Europe. Please don't bring up the fact that a couple of Euro teams beat some NBA teams in preseason because we all know preseason is a joke for NBA players.

    The European system is different than the NBA and is especially different in the forward positions. I think it's fair to be gun shy of those guys and it's frankly just as ignorant to assume the Euro haters are being racist. People wanna talk about Dirk and Sabonis and Yao (who never played in Europe) when for every good to great Euro player there is a litany of failures and guys who came with mad hype only to be marginal players. And a lot of the marginally successful Euros fit the stereotype: Soft, perimetre oriented, great skills but mediocre game and poor defenders (think Okur, Hedo, Andrea, Tiki, Peja, Radmanovic, Sasha, Rudy, Beno, Big Z).

    I'd be wary of guys who come from non ball, no name schools. Doesn't mean they are all gonna be bums (Steve Nash, Santa Clara, wtf?) but it's something to consider. You gotta take in all the info presented, where they developed is a part of that.

    I'll give you its lazy to just say "oh a Euro softie" without ever having seen him play, just like it's lazy to say Shaq was great cuz he was so big. But it is fair to be worried about his future when his present is so unknown.
    For every soft European player in the NBA, I can name you 5 American ones. And considering that most European teams have, at least, a couple of former NCAA players, I think things are a little different than they used to be.

    I do agree they play different games, but my whole point is that it is stupid to assume that a player is a certain way, simply because he comes from someplace.

    Nene, Varejao, Batum, Pietrus, Gortat, Ibaka, Kirilenko, Nocioni, Mozgov, Marc Gasol, Sefolosha, Jerebko and Ilyasova were all foreign born players that never played in the NCAA and developed in playing "FIBA" ball. Not one of them would ever be considered soft, and a few of them have made All Defensive teams. And not one of them is known for his offense. Sorry, but the stereotype simply doesn't work.
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    Jonas Valanciunas Is Not Andrea Bargnani

    Kyrie Irving was the clear-cut top pick in this year's draft, but there are those who believe when this thing is all said and done, Jonas Valanciunas will be considered the best player from this class. Almost nobody had him pegged to end up in Toronto, but Bryan Colangelo must've been on the same wavelength as those who think so highly of the Lithuanian big man, even though on the surface they really don't seem to need another center.

    It's not entirely surprising to hear that some Toronto fans are afraid that their team just drafted Bargnani 2.0, but that simply isn't the case. Valanciunas is an entirely different player, setting up most often in the paint instead of floating around offensively like Bargnani tends to do. Valanciunas is also more of a banger, someone who compares himself to Pau Gasol (where Bargnani is more like a very poor man's Dirk Nowitzki), and that's something that should give heart to the Raptors faithful, not instill fear.

    While it may be easy to question the pick, mostly because Toronto will not have a lottery pick this season to help them improve upon last year's dismal season, long-term this could prove to be a genius move. If there's a lockout-shortened season, Valanciunas will continue getting experience in Lithuania while every other rookie will be pumping iron at a Gold's Gym somewhere.

    And if the Raptors are frustrating for another season, it's not the end of the world. We've already established how good the 2012 draft class is, and since the Raptors were pretty far from championship-caliber anyway, one more year of mediocrity towards the rebuilding process isn't necessarily a bad thing.

    Valanciunas's buyout is complete, and it means he'll be a Raptor in 2012-2013, along with one other marquee rookie stud. Those are the foundations of legitimate rebuilding.

    A question worth asking, though, is what will happen with Bargnani? Does Valanciunas and the rest of the team's corps of banger power forwards signal the eventual end of the former #1 pick? That's a tough call for another day, but in the meantime, fret not about the pick, Toronto fans. It was a good one, even if it means delayed gratification.

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    Valanciunas needs to start hanging out with Mosgov and Asik and get on the "How to get big like a young euro nba prospect" diet regiment.

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    those early vids of sabonis are nice but sabonis looks way stronger than this kid is now.

  18. #138
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    Quote jbml wrote: View Post
    Jonas Valanciunas Is Not Andrea Bargnani
    I don't think anyone is concerned that he will be like Andrea on offense. I think the concern is more that he will be like Andrea on the boards and/or on D. (and when I say 'like' its relative because I don't think I've ever seen a starting C that was so disinterested in playing D or rebounding in my life)

    I'm not saying he will be, but no one can tell differently (one way or the other) until he's spent some time in the NBA. I doubt he will be either, but there sure seem to be alot of positive people based on scouting reports and youtube clips that are, time and again, proven wrong. When guys as good as Carlos Boozer, Manu Ginobli, Dennis Rodman and Mark Price can go in the 2nd round (or a guy like Ben Wallace undrafted), and guys as bad as Adam Morrison, Darko Milic and Kwame Brown can go in the top 5 (with rave scouting reviews) its hard to put much faith in them.

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    Quote GarbageTime wrote: View Post
    I don't think anyone is concerned that he will be like Andrea on offense. I think the concern is more that he will be like Andrea on the boards and/or on D. (and when I say 'like' its relative because I don't think I've ever seen a starting C that was so disinterested in playing D or rebounding in my life)

    I'm not saying he will be, but no one can tell differently (one way or the other) until he's spent some time in the NBA. I doubt he will be either, but there sure seem to be alot of positive people based on scouting reports and youtube clips that are, time and again, proven wrong. When guys as good as Carlos Boozer, Manu Ginobli, Dennis Rodman and Mark Price can go in the 2nd round (or a guy like Ben Wallace undrafted), and guys as bad as Adam Morrison, Darko Milic and Kwame Brown can go in the top 5 (with rave scouting reviews) its hard to put much faith in them.
    I don't understand your argument. I can understand wondering whether Valanciunass will be able to rebound and defend at the same level as he does in Europe, but to wonder whether he's like Bargnani on defense and the boards doesn't make sense. You just have to watch him for a minute to realize he's nothing like Bargnani, in this respect. He has an interest in rebounding and defense, which Bargnani never has. Bargnani's lack of defense and rebounding were an issue when he was drafted, so it's not like they came out afterwards.

    And one never knows if a player's skills will be able to translate to the NBA. Will Biyombo's? Or Knight's? Who knows. The things that work in Valanciunas' favour are that he has shown a lot of improvement over the last few years, he's a VERY hard worker, he's mobile, he hustles and he isn't afraid to do the dirty work. There's ALWAYS a place in the league for guys like that. Especially if they're 7 feet.
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    Quote GarbageTime wrote: View Post
    I don't think anyone is concerned that he will be like Andrea on offense. I think the concern is more that he will be like Andrea on the boards and/or on D. (and when I say 'like' its relative because I don't think I've ever seen a starting C that was so disinterested in playing D or rebounding in my life)

    I'm not saying he will be, but no one can tell differently (one way or the other) until he's spent some time in the NBA. I doubt he will be either, but there sure seem to be alot of positive people based on scouting reports and youtube clips that are, time and again, proven wrong. When guys as good as Carlos Boozer, Manu Ginobli, Dennis Rodman and Mark Price can go in the 2nd round (or a guy like Ben Wallace undrafted), and guys as bad as Adam Morrison, Darko Milic and Kwame Brown can go in the top 5 (with rave scouting reviews) its hard to put much faith in them.
    He is the polar opposite of Bargnani. There are full game video of him on YouTube - not just highlights.

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