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Argentine teammates wonder, 'What if?'

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by jsmee2000, Oct 6, 2007.

  1. jsmee2000

    jsmee2000 Contributing Member

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    article link

    NBA: Argentine teammates wonder, 'What if?'

    Web Posted: 10/05/2007 11:22 PM CDT

    Mike Monroe
    San Antonio Express-News

    AUSTIN — Composure under pressure: One of the traits that makes Manu Ginobili one of the Spurs' go-to players in end-game situations.

    He never gets nervous.

    But Ginobili admits to being plenty tense during a game on Sept. 1, only because he was not playing in it.

    The Spurs guard from Bahia Blanca, Argentina, opted not to play for his national team in the FIBA Americas Championship in Las Vegas. So he watched Brazil take a 43-31 halftime lead over his national team in a game that would determine whether Argentina would qualify to defend its 2004 Olympic gold medal. Sitting at home was torture.

    A loss would have meant another qualifying tournament next July, with a single remaining berth in the Olympic tournament. Committed to rejoin his team next summer, Ginobili watched with bated breath.

    Ginobili's friend, Luis Scola, ended his worry by leading an Argentine rally that resulted in a 93-81 victory and a guaranteed trip to Beijing. Scola, a 6-foot-9, 230-pound power forward, finished with 27 points and was named tournament MVP.

    "I was so relieved," Ginobili said, "not only because I'm not going to have to play (in a qualifier) in July, but I was also so pleased for the way they played. They were just amazing. They made me feel really proud."

    "Well, he should be relieved," Scola said with a laugh after a three-hour training camp session with the Houston Rockets at the University of Texas' Cooley Center. "He should be enjoying his vacation."

    Ginobili, Scola and Spurs center Fabricio Oberto have been the core of Argentina's national team for most of the past decade. Since Oberto signed on with the Spurs in the summer of 2005, the three had been awaiting a reunion in San Antonio. The Spurs held Scola's NBA rights since selecting him in the second round of the 2002 draft.

    Signing Scola, though, was not as easy as negotiating a suitable contract. There was a hefty buyout clause to free him from his deal with Spanish team Tau Ceramica. Ultimately, the Spurs traded his rights to the Rockets, essentially for salary cap relief. Center Jackie Butler also went to Houston in the deal, and the Spurs bought out the contract of Greek guard Vasily Spanoulis, whom they received from the Rockets.

    Both Scola and Ginobili were disappointed, but not bitter.

    "Yes, of course I was disappointed," Ginobili said. "He's a great friend. I respect him a lot inside the court, too. So it kind of hurts that we had his rights and couldn't find a spot for him.

    "But if you're not selfish and look at it from the outside, I think he got a better environment to develop in Houston than here, because playing the power forward, here you have got the best in the league. There, they had not so many. So I think he found a great city and a great team for him to develop. And we are not so far, so we will see each other a lot."

    Scola was adamant that he bears no ill will toward the Spurs.

    "No, no, no, no," he said. "And you can put that in capital letters. Eventually, I am thankful, because they gave me the chance. At the end of the day, they made the trade and gave me this opportunity to play here. I couldn't be here if they didn't trade me. So I'm thankful to them, definitely not angry."

    Scola will, however, wonder what could have been in San Antonio.

    "Obviously, I would have loved to play with Manu," he said. "He's my friend. But we will have a chance to play again on the national team. But playing with Duncan, Fabricio, Tony Parker, and be part of all those rings they won would have been just unbelievable for me."

    Playing behind Duncan, Scola said, would have been no problem.

    "If I could have played the 10 minutes he would have left me it would have been just lovely," Scola said. "I just can't imagine how much I could have learned playing day by day beside him and defending him in practice every day."

    Now Scola is competing for the Rockets' starting power forward spot with Chuck Hayes and looks forward to playing on the front line with Yao Ming. His new coach, Rick Adelman, loves his competitiveness and passing skill. And Tracy McGrady, the Rockets' offensive leader, made him a promise.

    "If he gives the ball to me, don't go away from me," McGrady said. "Come set a screen and roll. I told him, 'I'll get you the easiest basket you've ever had in your life.'"

    Whether McGrady can set up Scola as well as Ginobili would have will be a matter of conjecture debated for years, both in San Antonio and Argentina.
     
  2. i found a star

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    Solca' is a champion in every sense of the word.

    i'm so satisfied that he's gonna play along wit yao and tmac. :)
     
  3. liangqj

    liangqj Member

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    It seems that T-mac is going to make him as a all-star!!! :cool:
     
  4. DaDakota

    DaDakota Fire Silas

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    The biggest acquisition this off season.....without a doubt.

    DD
     
  5. Barkley

    Barkley Member

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    Agree. Great player in Europe, probably the best forward in the Europe. And will he be as effective in the NBA? Nobody knows the answer.
     
  6. hooroo

    hooroo Member

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    Like promising to make Swift an All Star? T-Mac needs to avoid the jinx by keeping his words humble but heart hungry.
     
  7. Murph23

    Murph23 Rookie

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    If McGrady can get points for Hayes, then no telling how many points he can help Scola get.
     
  8. Barkley

    Barkley Member

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    Ok roght, but remember that Scola can create position for himself and Hayes cannot do it. So he will fit Scola a lot better than Hayes
     
  9. Angkor Wat

    Angkor Wat Member

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    Hey, STRO never started enough games for T-Mac to turn him into an all-star. I balme Juwan Howard. :D
     
  10. Rocketfan111

    Rocketfan111 Member

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    Last week ran into Ginobili and Oberto at a nice bar in San Antonio. Of course they had security all around them, but my friend is friends with Oberto and got through. No insight, but we are trying to get something together for next week with Oberto so I'll try to ask him a few. Hopefully.

    Btw, As much as I hate the Spurs, Oberto is one of the "good guys" and actually well-read. Big history buff!
     
  11. Tfor3

    Tfor3 Member

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    mmmhmmm :rolleyes:











    :p
     
  12. Trip

    Trip Member

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    Anyone else surprised to read that he wouldn't have minded playing behind Duncan?

    I'd always thought and heard the reason that Scola hadn't signed with San Antonio for so long was because he wanted to start. I guess it's the Spurs' fault for not wanting to put up the money to free him from his European contracts. Either way, it's good for the Rockets. :)
     
  13. ElPigto

    ElPigto Member
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    Lets get one thing straight, Stro was an idiot. Half the time he was lost on the court.

    It's help that he didn't help T-mac turn him into a star.
     
  14. Nice Rollin

    Nice Rollin Contributing Member

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    nevermind. Elpigto said it
     
  15. wreck

    wreck Contributing Member

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    man, the way tmac sets up chuck hayes...it should be no problem getting the ball to luis.
     
  16. wreck

    wreck Contributing Member

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    i believe the buyout was at close to 12-15 million dollars. youd have to pay luis at least 30 million to get him to come over and play 10 minutes behind duncan. age was definitely a factor. if luis was in his early 20s now, they would definitely help him pay that buyout

    either way im glad, id rather have him here.
     
  17. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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    and Steve Francis is the Biggest Re-Acquisition :D

    Rocket River
     
  18. EGYPT

    EGYPT Member

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    Swift, just like Spanoulis, Novac, Snyder and many others have a lot of potential, but it was the dumb a-s JVG who always prefered to play retird Knicks players rather than playing the youngsters.
     
  19. Spacemoth

    Spacemoth Contributing Member

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    Yeah Jordan would have taken one look at Swift on the court and then said to Phil, "Get this m*f* out of my sight!"
     
  20. ReD_1

    ReD_1 Rookie

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    Ohh I looooove that Scola trade!!
    Probably the best trade ever!
     

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