We’ll be running a poll on this question next week, but please feel free to put forth suggestions in the “comments” section below this post. A few suggested guidelines: Since the winning choice will be immortalized (well, as immortalized as things can get online) in illustrated form, BiE asks that you consider only guys easily caricatured or are at least easily recognizable by the uniform.
After making a few kneejerk-reaction choices, BiE also consulted with this site’s contributing writers and a pilgrim father of BallinEurope. Below runs the tentative list of candidates thus far.
• Juan Carlos Navarro – the easy choice put forth by Marko Savanovic and yours truly; the only concern here would be about the remainder of La Bomba’s career. In how many years will BallinEurope have yet another new logo…?
• Bo McCalebb – you know this is BiE’s pick; it seems a bit controversial at first – you know, choosing a Yank to represent the Continent – but it does say “Ball *In* Europe” up there on the masthead and right now Bo is one of the best out here. Plus, BiE’d love to have cartoon Bo donning that FYR Macedonia jersey…
• Ricky Rubio – Hey, yours truly isn’t alone on this one; Enrico Cellini also suggested La Pistola! Though he’s likely to be playing NBA ball for years to come, Rubio is with BiE’s adopted home team. And he’ll always have Team Spain…
• Milos Teodosic – In a recent “Taking the Charge” podcast, both David Hein of heinnews and BallinEurope.com founder Christophe Ney put forth this former Euroleague MVP as the logical candidate. Perhaps the look, career and reputation fit the bill, but BiE’s not sure Milos would appreciate the “honor” after the way we’ve been riffing on his recent fourth-quarter woes…
• Nicolas Batum – Touted by Cellini as a “new sensation” and…
• …Erazem Lorbek – …whom he calls “arguably the best European player in the Euroleague.”
• Mario Hezonja
• Dario “The Next Big Thing Out of Croatia” Saric
• Jonas Valanciunas – Thinking strategically, ProspectsInEurope founder Sam Chadwick put forth the preceding three choices, explaining that “In my opinion, one of these three players will be the future of European basketball whether they play in Europe or the NBA. Mario may be a tad young but is currently annihilating the LEB Gold while Saric’s situation is a little more complicated.”
Amen to that and also to the fact that any of these three younger guys would make excellent logos – cartoon Valanciunas is definitely getting geared up in the Team Lithuania tie-dyes, member of the ’92 team or no.
And here’s one other question for your consideration, per Cellini’s suggestion: Should “Pau,” a.k.a. The Smoking Man, a.k.a. The Bearded Guy, also be retired to make way for a second new player caricature? Please bear in mind that “Pau” is not literally intended to be Gasol-of-the-Lakers, but is instead a general European baller icon.
BallinEurope will run an actual poll of five or six of the top candidates and best suggestions on this subject next Monday, but for now, weigh in on both questions below. Who will be the next Ramunas…?