Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Missed connections: Deron Williams and Nicolas Batum

eurotrip, flight, plane
As the NBA slowly rolls into gear, I can't help but wonder what might have been for 30HomeGames. All things considered I would rather have a shortened season, with the NBA retaining as much goodwill and momentum possible rather than selfishly holding out to see a few NBA stars in Bizzaro-world rosters in Europe.

I've been spoilt as it is. I had an unforgettable month in Lithuania for EuroBasket, got to see reigning Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki, witnessed an ascendent France and the full might of Spain. Not too shabby.

The only real missed opportunity was not seeing Deron Williams play in front of roaring European fans. To be fair, I only had a 1.5 month window (15 games) which was happily spent nerding out in England and enjoying hoops in the Baltics.

For NBA fans, the spotlight shone in Lithuania and Brazil beginning September for EuroBasket and the FIBA Americas Championship and dispersed to places as far as China and Russia where players signed onto faraway teams fearing a protracted lockout. On Christmas day, NBA fans will return their attention stateside as the Assosciation returns to business as usual and fans who were privileged to enjoy the short window of NBA talent competing on their international courts can reflect on how unique a treat it really was.
Turkey’s Besiktas Retires Deron Williams’ Jersey
With the NBA lockout seemingly in the rear-view mirror, it’s time for all those NBA players that left to play ball overseas to return to their respective NBA cities. Well, all except for JR Smith, Wilson Chandler Kenyon Martin and Aaron Brooks, apparently. One guy who will be making his way back home with more than just some extra cash is New Jersey Nets’ Deron Williams. The All-Star guard will also be bringing his now retired Turkish jersey. Yes, that’s right. All it took were 15 games for Williams to have his jersey retired...
Here are a collection of farewell tweets from NBA stars homeward bound from their Hoops-EuroTrips
@Nicolas88Batum (Nov 27)
Was maybe my last game in the french league with Nancy. Want to thx everybody (teamates,staff,coaches) I spend 2 great months with them!

@DeronWilliams (Nov 28)
My last game for Besiktas was last Friday... I will be at the game tomorrow but just to watch and support the guys! It was a fun 3 months

@TyLawson3 (Nov 29)
I would like to thank the zalgiris organization and fans for allowing me the opportunity to play for them. I enjoyed the experience.

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