Last week, we shared with you the story of twin brothers whose boundless love for Lithuanian basketball led them to get the signature of Jonas Valanciunas — the fifth overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft, Lithuania's next major international export and the prospective savior of the moribund Toronto Raptors — tattooed on their bodies. This week, I kind of find myself wanting to join them, thanks to the amazing news that the 19-year-old big man basically decided to be a one-man Harlem Globetrotters show during this past Saturday's Lithuanian Basketball League All-Star Game.
In terms of actual basketball, Valanciunas continued to strut his stuff, turning in 25 points, 13 rebounds and six assists to lead his team of Lithuanian-born players to a 115-98 victory over a contingent of foreign-born players that featured the likes of former Raptor Sonny Weems and ex-Boston College star Tyrese Rice. Valanciunas earned recognition as the game's Most Impressive Player in the win.
But where he really shone, according to the excellent Simonas Baranauskas of Lithuania Basketball, was in his showmanship:
Valanciunas spiced up his performance by dressing up as an old man with a cane, interrupting the game by carrying a banner onto the court encouraging his teammate Renaldas Seibutis.
It wasn't the end of the show, as the player started the second half of the game dressed up as a referee, wearing sizably too short pants and slippers, while the referee stepped on the court wearing Valanciunas' jersey.
The center was enjoying the power of the whistle, calling a non-existent travel on Tyrese Rice and then a technical foul on the referee that replaced Valanciunas on the court.
I choose to believe that Raptors.com's Jay Satur is right and that Valanciunas' "old man with a cane" get-up was actually a Gandalf costume, if for no other reason than I like to imagine him hedging to hem up a point guard on a pick-and-roll and screaming, "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!" (Lithuanian basketball + "Lord of the Rings" = slam dunk. Thanks again for reading Ball Don't Lie, your home for the nerdiest possible joke combinations.)
After the jump, check out video of Jonas displaying his full range of skills, from running the floor and handling the rock to being a master of disguise.
So great. The more I learn about young Mr. Valanciunas, the more excited I am for him to come over to the NBA next season. I think we can all agree that if there's one thing the Rising Stars Challenge needs, it's more wizard costumes.