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Feigen likes our draft

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by HotRocket, Jun 27, 2002.

  1. HotRocket

    HotRocket Contributing Member

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    Feigen actually praises the Rockets draft, saying that it could be the beginning of a new "dynasty."


    It's the start of something big

    First things first.

    We have to get Yao Ming a 10-gallon hat.

    Did you see the way that Rockets logo cap sat on top of his head like an undersized freshman beanie?

    This is one long, tall Texan, pardner. Big in so many ways.

    "Hi, Houston. I'm come," Yao said in English with a sheepish smile.

    So begins the newest era of the Rockets. The Ming dynasty, if you will.

    It was a night that years from now could be looked back on as vitally important to the franchise. Not just for the Rockets' ability to get past the legal maneuvering that allowed them to make Yao the No. 1 overall choice in the draft, but also for the selection of Slovenia's Bostjan Nachbar with the No. 15 pick.

    By taking a 7-5 Chinese center and a 6-8 forward from Europe, the Rockets were wholeheartedly embracing the globalization of basketball at the highest level and showing a broad vision that is putting a new spark in the old game and could pay huge dividends.

    Take a look around the NBA and notice all of the international success stories running and jumping up and down courts. From Germany's Dirk Nowitzki, Canada's Steve Nash and China's Wang Zhizhi in Dallas to Serbia's Vlade Divac, Yugoslavia's Peja Stojakovic and Turkey's Hedo Turkoglu in Sacramento, the borders of our American game have expanded so far that there are no borders.

    You no longer need simply an inner-city playground, a chain net and a beat-up pair of Nikes to identify the brightest young talent.

    You need a passport and a willingness to endure jet lag while traveling the globe.

    "As recently as maybe six years ago, we'd send a scout to Europe for six to 10 days and have him see as much as he could in one trip," said Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich. "We'd pick up stuff we could read in books about the players, try to get a few tapes.

    "Now we're at the point where we sent (scout) Joe Ash to Europe twice and (scout) Dennis Lindsey once. I went to Europe. Joe made trips to China. We've been to South America. It's where the game is going."

    Never mind the hubbub over soccer and the World Cup. The sport growing faster than any other among the younger portion of the population in every corner of the world is basketball.

    A decade ago, when Michael Jordan's Bulls were in their first heyday, a sportswriter friend of mine visited China and was stopped by an ordinary citizen on the streets of Beijing and asked, "Can you tell me anything about the great team of the Red Oxen?"

    Today Yao and his teammates on the Shanghai Sharks can watch nightly NBA highlights on Chinese television and follow the progress of the NBA playoffs on live TV. Yao can watch a TV commercial featuring Steve Francis in China and try to learn all of the words. America's reach gets longer and longer.

    It was quite charming to see Yao react to the official announcement he'd been drafted by turning to his parents and giving them enthusiastic, if imperfect, high-fives.

    During the just-completed playoffs, Sacramento's Scot Pollard told how it was so hilarious to hear the likes of Stojakovic and Turkoglu strut into the locker room with their European accents and shout: "Whazzup, daaawwg?"

    The Rockets, of course, have a history of players from exotic locales, beginning with Hakeem Olajuwon. They have dabbled with Carl Herrera (Trinidad), Zan Tabak (Croatia), Oscar Torres (Venezuela) and Kelvin Cato (Jupiter).

    But 18 years ago, when the Rockets made Olajuwon the No. 1 pick in the draft, it was seen as an anomaly. Now the selection of foreign-born-and-bred players can in some ways even be seen as getting an edge.

    Last June the Spurs raised eyebrows with the selection of 19-year-old point guard Tony Parker out of France. But the kid had spent several seasons playing against pros in Europe and showed an amazing ability to run the offense for a veteran club with Tim Duncan and David Robinson.

    In Yao and Nachbar, the Rockets first became intrigued and then enamored by the raw talents. Yao has an excellent high-post game and is a good passer and an excellent shooter. Nachbar lit up the hoop with his outside shooting in his workout with the Rockets, but he is most notable for his explosiveness going to the basket, his ability to finish on the fast break.

    And while both are just 21-year-old rookies, what they could each bring to this loosey-goosey Rockets bunch is a veteran's sense of savvy from their experience in international competition and as professionals playing against older men. After all, Yao and Nachbar have been banging heads against 30-year-olds longer than Francis and Cuttino Mobley, and they have been in more playoff games as professionals.

    We give them our game. They teach it back to us with a new spark and an international flair.

    It's a small, small world that could lead to big, big things for the Rockets.


    During the just-completed playoffs, Sacramento's Scot Pollard told how it was so hilarious to hear the likes of Stojakovic and Turkoglu strut into the locker room with their European accents and shout: "Whazzup, daaawwg?"

    The day that happeneds, Yao Ming will have finally made his mark in the NBA.
     
  2. r-fan-since-81

    r-fan-since-81 Contributing Member

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    LMFAO with that Cato comment!
     
  3. giddyup

    giddyup Contributing Member

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    I thought Cato was from Uranus? What a terd!
     
  4. tariq

    tariq Member

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    Wasn't Carl Herrera from Venezuela?
     
  5. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

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    this is Fran Blinebury's article...not Feigen. Fran intends to use Ming and Nachbar as examples to shove in Francis, Mobley, and Moochie's face. Boy, I'm excited.

    That's an overstatement directed at his dislike for the NBA.

    Fran needs to be divisive.
    Feigen does not need those journalistic tricks.

    Don't mix up the two. Feigen is a superior sports journalist. Fran just goes for sarcastic laughs. And when you compare that to the wit of Bill Simmons on ESPN Page 2, you'll see how bush league Fran really is.
     
  6. tozai

    tozai Member

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    Haha, exactly...Does anyone even like Fran Blinebury's articles? It's like one out of 100 that is any good
     
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