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В этом сезоне Portland “Trailblazers” удивляет всех. На данный момент, (сыграно всего 26 игр) Blazers имеет лучшую разницу выигранных и проигранных игр. 26 — 4.

Лучшая разница в NBA. В прошлом году Blazers выиграла на выезде всего 11 игр за весь сезон. В этом сезоне выигранных выездных игр уже 12. Проиграно только 2.

Ну, в общем… Go, Blazers!

Кстати, когда я лежал в ЦИТО, в Москве, в том же ЦИТО лечился Arvydas Sabonis, один из первых, если не первый баскетболист из пост-СССР, который начал играть в NBA. И первая команда в NBA, в которой начал играть Сабонис, была, как раз, Portland “Trailblazers”. Болельщики команды Портланда до сих пор помнят его.

Sabonis

In 1992, after playing with CB Valladolid for three seasons, Sabonis joined Real Madrid and won two Spanish League titles and a Euroleague title in 1995. During the 1994–95 regular season with Real Madrid, he averaged 22.8 points, 13.2 rebounds, 2.6 blocked shots, and 2.4 assists per game.[4]
After the 1994–95 European season, Sabonis and Portland contacted one another about a move to the NBA. Before signing Sabonis, Portland’s then-general manager Bob Whitsitt asked the Blazers team physician to look at Sabonis’ X-rays. Illustrating the impact of Sabonis’ numerous injuries, Whitsitt recalled in a 2011 interview that when the doctor reported the results, “He said that Arvydas could qualify for a handicapped parking spot based on the X-ray alone.”[7] Nevertheless, the Blazers signed Sabonis. He had a successful rookie campaign, averaging 14.5 points on 55% shooting and 8.1 rebounds while playing less than 24 minutes per game.[4] Sabonis was selected to the All-Rookie First Team and was runner-up in both Rookie of the Year and Sixth Man of the Year votings.[4] His postseason averages were up to 23.6 points and 10.2 rebounds.[4] In the first playoff series of his NBA career, Portland lost to Utah in five games.
Sabonis averaged 16.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 1997–98, all career-highs.
During Sabonis’ first leg in Portland the Blazers always made the playoffs (part of a 21-year streak); between 1998 and 1999 the Oregon franchise changed large parts of its roster in order to compete for the title (after six consecutive first round losses), with center Sabonis the only player remaining in the starting five. Kenny Anderson and Isiah Rider were traded for Damon Stoudemire and Steve Smith. In both those years the Blazers reached the Western Conference Finals; in 1999 they were swept by the eventual champions, the San Antonio Spurs, while the next year the team (starting Sabonis, Smith, Stoudemire, Wallace and recently added Scottie Pippen) lost to the Los Angeles Lakers (at the beginning of the Shaq-Kobe three-peat) in 7 games.
He won the Euroscar Award twice while playing with the Blazers. He also became a fan favorite.[8]

The question that surrounds Sabonis’ NBA career revolves around how good he could have been had he played in the NBA during his prime.[9][10] Sabonis was nearly 31 when he joined the Blazers, by which time he had already won multiple gold medals, suffered through numerous injuries and had lost much of his mobility and athleticism. In Bill Simmons’ “Book of Basketball”, Arvydas Sabonis the international player is idealized while Arvydas Sabonis the Blazer is described as “lumbering up and down the court in what looked to be concrete Nikes” and ranking “just behind Artis Gilmore on the Moving Like a Mummy Scale.”[11] In ESPN’s David Thorpe’s view, Sabonis would be the best passing big in NBA history and possibly top 4 center overall, had he played his entire career there.[12] In Clyde Drexler’s view, if Sabonis had been able to spend his prime in Portland next to the plethora of other Trail Blazers’ All Stars (Drexler, Terry Porter, Buck Williams and “Cliff” Robinson), Trail Blazers would “have had four, five or six titles. Guaranteed. He was that good. He could pass, shoot three pointers, had a great post game, and dominated the paint.”[13]

Полностью.

“Холодная война” и отношение к спорту и спортсменам во время ее, сыграли в судьбе этого блестящего баскетболиста очень большую и почти трагическую роль. Кстати, рост у него был 7.3 foot или в переводе на метрическую системму 2м.22 см.

Когда я находился в ЦИТО, я видел Арвидаса “живьем”. Походка у него была, действительно, как у ходячей мумии. Кто же знал, что когда-нибудь, я окажусь в том городе, в котором играл Арвидас. И даже буду болельщиком команды, за которую он играл.

Пути Господни…

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