I am sure by now everybody got Russia on the basketball map again. The real “insiders” always knew that the big money was and is in Russia (I guess you don’t have to be a big insider to realize that, when one of the best guards in Europe plays for CSKA Moscow).
I talked to a friend from Russia today who isn’t the biggest basketball fan, but he loved it that his nation just won the European Championship. He was like: “You know, I really care about basketball, we got a coach from another country and the game winner doesn’t really look like he is Russian so I will go now and follow soccer Champions-league. CSKA Moscow plays Eindhoven!” I just threw the name Theo Papaloukas in there since he plays for my friend’s beloved club CSKA. He goes like:”Who?!”
But let’s look at the guy who doesn’t really look like he is from Russia: J.R. Holden aka. Jon Robert Holden.
First of all he got two passports: Russian and American. I have no idea if the Russians or the Americans really like a combination like that but hey, if you can win games with this combination – why not? J.R. plays for CSKA since 2003. They are the ones who made him kind of a “big deal” now in Europe. Would you believe that J.R., who graduated from Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, came to a basketball club in Riga and made $3000 a month his first year?
I would stay in Europe too.
I praised CSKA Moscow, but J.R. also played for AEK Athens in 2002 where the team won the national title in Greece.
So how did J.R. end up being on the Russian national team, hitting the game winning shot against Spain in the European Championship’s final game? Politics made it possible. Mr. Vladimir Putin himself along with the Russian State Sports Committee and Moscow’s major made it possible because like every other European country made it harder to fill your team with just Americans. So Germany took all the players from over seas and … Just a little joke.
So does this mean you still can be successful even without being in the NBA? Yes, two players show it in one club: Theo Papaloukas and Jon Robert Holden from CSKA Moscow.