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  #1  
Old 11-07-05, 07:23 AM
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MYSA: Bulls' Nocioni and Spurs' Ginobili, Oberto could be first Argentine trio to...

http://www.mysanantonio.com/sports/b....120ca629.html

Bulls' Nocioni and Spurs' Ginobili, Oberto could be first Argentine trio to play in same NBA game

Web Posted: 11/07/2005 12:00 AM CST

Johnny Ludden
Express-News Staff Writer
CHICAGO — Andres Nocioni, like many international players transitioning to the NBA, struggled during his first two months with the Chicago Bulls last season.


More coverage
Monday night: Spurs (2-1) at Bulls (1-1)


His English, though improving, wasn't great. His wife and newborn baby were living thousands of miles away and his new team was still enduring some growing pains of its own.

So Nocioni sought advice from one of the few people who could relate: friend and countryman Manu Ginobili. The two spoke by phone a handful of times before dining together at an Argentine steakhouse when the Spurs visited Chicago last December.

The only question was who would pick up the tab.

"It's supposed to be the home guy who pays, but last time he invited me and didn't pay," Ginobili said. "We'll make him this time."

Ginobili and Nocioni couldn't get together Sunday, but when they do, the Spurs guard will have muscle with him: rookie forward Fabricio Oberto, the sixth and most recent member of Argentina's gold-medal winning team to play in the NBA.

Tonight's meeting between the Spurs and Bulls — barring a sudden change in either team's rotation — will be the first time three Argentine players have shared the floor in an NBA game.

"I never think this could happen," said Alejandro Montecchia, the veteran point guard of Argentina's history-making team in Athens last summer. "Argentina basketball is growing fast, like, 'boom!'"

Nocioni's stunning dunk over Kevin Garnett in the 1999 Olympic qualifying tournament served notice Argentine basketball was on the rise.

The explosion culminated last summer when Argentina beat the United States for the second time in three years before defeating Italy for the gold medal.

"I think we still don't take the reality of this medal," Montecchia said. "I always dream to play in the Olympics. To play. But to take the gold medal ...."

Argentina's selfless, energetic style of play was considered a victory for basketball purists everywhere. Though Nocioni is not as daring a passer as Ginobili or Oberto, he — like most of his Argentine teammates — is just as relentless.

"The thing I can't figure out is how there can be so many of them on the same team with that kind of passion," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "You can look at every other team — I don't care what country you look at — and it's not the same. Serbia imploded this year in the qualifying tournament, and they have talent.

"I just think it's a phenomenon you're probably not going to see again."

In addition to Ginobili, Nocioni, Oberto and Carlos Delfino, who is beginning his second season with Detroit, Argentine point guard Pepe Sanchez and center Ruben Wolkowyski played briefly in the NBA. Forward Luis Scola, a second-round draft pick of the Spurs, figures to be the next provided he can free himself from his contract with Spanish power Tau Ceramica.

If Popovich had his way, half the Spurs' roster would be filled with Argentines. The Spurs wanted to draft Nocioni but thought he was ineligible after a former international scout provided an incorrect birth date for him. They also looked hard at signing Montecchia, 33, a few seasons ago.

Montecchia is tough, "and he shoots it from everywhere," Popovich said. "They'd all be here right now if I could get them out of their contracts, but I couldn't do it."

That includes Scola, who once again is dominating in Spain. The Spurs intended to sign him this summer until it became apparent he wouldn't be able to resolve his contract's $14.5 million buyout clause.

Scola's contract lasts three seasons, and the Spurs haven't given up hope Tau's owners will reduce the buyout before it expires. At the end of the deal, he can leave for $1 million. The Spurs also have considered trading Scola's rights, though any team interested in him probably is going to want assurances he'll be able to get out of his contract.

Only recently have NBA teams become more willing to spend the money needed to bring over top international players, including those from Latin America. Oberto had to wait until he was 30 — he's the fifth-oldest NBA rookie ever — to get an offer large enough to warrant giving up the money he was making in Spain.

"Manu has changed everything," Nocioni said this summer in Buenos Aires.

The success of Argentina's national team is rooted in the players' familiarity with each other. The core has played together for at least nine years. Montecchia, though older, also grew up in Ginobili's hometown of Bahia Blanca.

"Off of the court, we are all friends," said Montecchia, who came off the bench to score 17 points in 17 minutes in the gold-medal game. "That's very important because on the court you can play more easy. No one is selfish."

Ginobili considered retiring from the national team after the Olympics. The annual summer-long commitment along with the rigors of an NBA season began to wear on him.

But the break he was afforded after the Spurs' most recent championship — winning the Olympics guaranteed Argentina a berth in the 2006 World Championships — has rejuvenated him enough that he hopes to represent his country in Japan in August.

"Now, I feel like after one year off I want to do it again," Ginobili said. "But it's hard to play every year, especially when you play with a team like (the Spurs). If I was playing on a team that doesn't make the playoffs and you have four months off, it's all right. But here we have more than 100 games a year."

Oberto said he is unsure whether he will play in the World Championships. Montecchia has retired from the national team.

"Maybe in three or four months I change my mind," Montecchia said, "but I don't think so."

For now, Montecchia's career is on hold. After missing much of his Spanish team's schedule with a knee injury last season, he is unsigned. He spent the past two weeks visiting Ginobili and Oberto in San Antonio.

Tuesday's season-opening victory over Denver was the first time he had seen any of his countrymen play in the NBA.

"I almost cried," he said. "Ten years ago I thought the NBA was not possible for any Argentina player.

"Watching Manu, for me, was incredible. I was proud."



I hope Manu will have a good game tonight
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  #2  
Old 11-07-05, 07:39 AM
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Yeap, tonight's game is historic for us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmgospurs
Nocioni's stunning dunk over Kevin Garnett in the 1999 Olympic qualifying tournament served notice Argentine basketball was on the rise.
That was sick!

But it was over KG and also over TD if I'm not mistaken...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmgospurs
Ginobili considered retiring from the national team after the Olympics. The annual summer-long commitment along with the rigors of an NBA season began to wear on him.

Manu never considered retiring from the NT. He only said (and he finally did) that he would take this past summer off.
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Old 11-07-05, 08:49 AM
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Nocioni has been terrible till now, wonder whether he'll get more than 10 minutes against the Spurs.
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Old 11-07-05, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manuac
Nocioni has been terrible till now, wonder whether he'll get more than 10 minutes against the Spurs.
I bet he will.
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Old 11-07-05, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manuac
Nocioni has been terrible till now, wonder whether he'll get more than 10 minutes against the Spurs.
so has been manu.
so what.
nocioni didn't play well for 2 games. which coach breaks the rotation after two games in the young season?
he is a very good player and was great in the PO.
he's spurs material, no wonder that pop has had an eye on him (not only b/c he's argentinian, but it helps)
first thing i thought when trade roumors said that the bulls are looking for another big (after the davis-back-to-chicago deal didn't work) was: "let's send them nazr (who is from chicago) and try to get nocioni, who would be exactly the kind of high-energy, crazy defender SF the spurs will need during the next years when bruce gets older.
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  #6  
Old 11-07-05, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpineballer
so has been manu.
so what.
nocioni didn't play well for 2 games. which coach breaks the rotation after two games in the young season?
he is a very good player and was great in the PO.
he's spurs material, no wonder that pop has had an eye on him (not only b/c he's argentinian, but it helps)
first thing i thought when trade roumors said that the bulls are looking for another big (after the davis-back-to-chicago deal didn't work) was: "let's send them nazr (who is from chicago) and try to get nocioni, who would be exactly the kind of high-energy, crazy defender SF the spurs will need during the next years when bruce gets older.
Just stating facts, I also said Manu played bad earlier. You can't compare him to Manu though, Nocioni has yet to prove that he can be an NBA starter. His offense was very inconsistent and inefficient last year and he had terrible +/-. Him starting has more to do with tactics, because Deng is a far superior player.
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Old 11-07-05, 11:26 AM
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Who's starting at SF for the Bulls, Debg, Noccioni or T.Thomas?
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"We would have two less championships here if it wasn't for Manu Ginobili," Popovich said. "In my book, Manu Ginobili is the stud of the world.
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  #8  
Old 11-07-05, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spurs Brazil
Who's starting at SF for the Bulls, Debg, Noccioni or T.Thomas?
Nocioni started the first two games of the season.
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Old 11-07-05, 11:41 AM
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Congrats to Argentinians but frankly i dont see the point in everything having to be first this, first that... Excepr for the really big stuff of course
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Old 11-07-05, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Binji
Congrats to Argentinians but frankly i dont see the point in everything having to be first this, first that... Excepr for the really big stuff of course
This is really big stuff for us, thanks.
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  #11  
Old 11-07-05, 11:58 AM
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Dont get me wrong..rise of a sport into such proportions is a great thing for every country. People spend lives trying to accomplish that. For that i sincerely congratulate you and every sportsman in your country.
I was referring solely and exclusively to the "all three on the same floor" thing.
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Old 11-07-05, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Binji
Dont get me wrong..rise of a sport into such proportions is a great thing for every country. People spend lives trying to accomplish that. For that i sincerely congratulate you and every sportsman in your country.
I was referring solely and exclusively to the "all three on the same floor" thing.
It's not like this was an end of the season award or anything...the fact that the Bulls and Spurs are playing tonight creates game-time analysis like this.
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  #13  
Old 11-07-05, 12:20 PM
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Nice article... thanks kmgo...
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Old 11-07-05, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Binji
I was referring solely and exclusively to the "all three on the same floor" thing.
Well, that's exactly the big thing for us...
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Old 11-07-05, 12:37 PM
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Honestly, its only a matter of time before Deng gets comfortable w/ his wrist again and he will be starting by the second half.
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Old 11-07-05, 12:54 PM
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FOUR PLAYERS IN NBA: VERY GOOD FOR ARGENTINE. GO ARGENTINE'S BASKET BALL
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Old 11-07-05, 01:06 PM
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aww I like Montecchia, he's a good player...that's nice what he said bout manu

Spurs better win tonight
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  #18  
Old 11-07-05, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Binji
Congrats to Argentinians but frankly i dont see the point in everything having to be first this, first that... Excepr for the really big stuff of course
Quote:
Originally Posted by Binji
I was referring solely and exclusively to the "all three on the same floor" thing.
You know, I'd have to agree... if it were something more than a mere anectotal starting point for an article written by a US journalist.
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Old 11-07-05, 03:01 PM
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I don't know you but I am happy about this. Nocioni, Oberto and Manu playing in the same floor in the mighty NBA is like my wildest dream.
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  #20  
Old 11-07-05, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonnington
I don't know you but I am happy about this. Nocioni, Oberto and Manu playing in the same floor in the mighty NBA is like my wildest dream.
I just don't put too much into the whole '3 in one game' thing. I'd much rather have more players in the NBA than less but all on the court at the same time.
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  #21  
Old 11-07-05, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mg06
I just don't put too much into the whole '3 in one game' thing. I'd much rather have more players in the NBA than less but all on the court at the same time.
Yes, but one thing doesn't invalide the other. Today is a landmark in Argentine Basketball history IMO.
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Old 11-07-05, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonnington
I don't know you but I am happy about this. Nocioni, Oberto and Manu playing in the same floor in the mighty NBA is like my wildest dream.
Count me in. I'm happy about tonight's game too.
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  #23  
Old 11-07-05, 04:55 PM
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Nice article.
I didn't see this thread after I looked down through two pages.
Please delete my post on the other now closed thread.
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  #24  
Old 11-07-05, 04:58 PM
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done...
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  #25  
Old 11-07-05, 09:53 PM
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5 minutes remaining and Fabricio hasn't left the bench yet... it seems today won't be the day...
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  #26  
Old 11-07-05, 10:40 PM
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Tnx Poop :mad
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With 26 points on 4 of 4 shots from distance in only 20 minutes of PT. Efficient eviceration.
Wolves' fan: ginobili vs. the wolves is like he's just kind of laughing to himself all game...kind of like he thinks it's cute that they're trying to play basketball.
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Old 11-07-05, 10:41 PM
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You didn' t know? Pop always likes to piss off all of Argentina. That's why he's stuck Manu on the bench from time to time. Now when, all 3 could have been the first trio to play in an NBA game, he's like, now I have a way to piss them off again........ Fire Pop for his hidden agendas?
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Last edited by Grego; 11-07-05 at 10:43 PM.
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Old 11-07-05, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grego
You didn' t know? Pop always likes to piss off all of Argentina. That's why he's stuck Manu on the bench from time to time. Now when, all 3 could have been the first trio to play in an NBA game, he's like, now I have a way to piss them off again........ Fire Pop for his hidden agendas?
He pooped on our parade!!
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NO D, NO RING!!!!
With 26 points on 4 of 4 shots from distance in only 20 minutes of PT. Efficient eviceration.
Wolves' fan: ginobili vs. the wolves is like he's just kind of laughing to himself all game...kind of like he thinks it's cute that they're trying to play basketball.
[email protected]
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Old 11-07-05, 10:45 PM
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Old 11-07-05, 11:06 PM
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Well I guess it could've been worse. Manu could've been not playing tonight too. I heard that Pop really wanted Manu to sit out of this game but I guess Manu talked him into playing . They were going to observe how he did tonight and depending on how he did maybe rest him in the next few games.
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Old 11-07-05, 11:51 PM
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2 words: Pahty Poopah!
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NO D, NO RING!!!!
With 26 points on 4 of 4 shots from distance in only 20 minutes of PT. Efficient eviceration.
Wolves' fan: ginobili vs. the wolves is like he's just kind of laughing to himself all game...kind of like he thinks it's cute that they're trying to play basketball.
[email protected]
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  #32  
Old 11-08-05, 02:39 AM
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If Popovich had his way, half the Spurs' roster would be filled with Argentines. The Spurs wanted to draft Nocioni but thought he was ineligible after a former international scout provided an incorrect birth date for him. They also looked hard at signing Montecchia, 33, a few seasons ago.

Damn that scout! WE could've had Nocioni!

Last edited by Silver Samurai; 11-08-05 at 02:44 AM.
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  #33  
Old 11-08-05, 04:37 AM
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Well, It didn't worked. Why Pop left Fabri in the bench? anybody knows?.
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Old 11-09-05, 03:53 AM
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  #35  
Old 11-09-05, 03:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonnington
Well, It didn't worked. Why Pop left Fabri in the bench? anybody knows?.
Maybe he hasn't been too thrilled with what he's seen?
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  #36  
Old 11-09-05, 04:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason R
Maybe he hasn't been too thrilled with what he's seen?
Really?
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  #37  
Old 11-09-05, 04:27 AM
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I don't know.

He has hustle and knows how to play. But he has lousy defense and only a little confidence so far. And sometimes it looks like guys six inches shorter are jumping over him for rebounds.
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Old 11-09-05, 06:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATHENEA

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  #39  
Old 11-09-05, 06:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason R
I don't know.

He has hustle and knows how to play. But he has lousy defense and only a little confidence so far. And sometimes it looks like guys six inches shorter are jumping over him for rebounds.
I don't know either

But as I said a lot of times ( check my posts) Fabricio will struggle until he learns NBA rules and the Team way, so is not a surprise for me but i don't think that Pop is going to put him at the bottom of the bench after just 4 games.
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  #40  
Old 11-09-05, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonnington
I don't know either

But as I said a lot of times ( check my posts) Fabricio will struggle until he learns NBA rules and the Team way, so is not a surprise for me but i don't think that Pop is going to put him at the bottom of the bench after just 4 games.
its part of the transition, no surprise really.. JasonR has high expectations for Argentinian Spurs.
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  #41  
Old 11-09-05, 10:00 AM
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I've always said it'd be about at least two months before I thought he'd get any regular time due to his familiarity issues with the NBA game.
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  #42  
Old 11-09-05, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DULESfreestyler
its part of the transition, no surprise really.. JasonR has high expectations for Argentinian Spurs.
I know
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason R
I've always said it'd be about at least two months before I thought he'd get any regular time due to his familiarity issues with the NBA game.
Yes, I agree, I just wanted to see three of my countryman playing in the same court in the mighty NBA! Just that. Maybe againts Pistons I could see Manu+Fabri Vs Delfino, i hope.
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