New Guy in Toronto: Jonas Valanciunas

I don’t even know where to start off with this guy. How about the 2011 NBA Draft? Let’s be honest when David Stern called up the 5th pick, no one knew who Jonas Valanciunas was. [Unless of course you keep up with the Euro league] So, anyone guilty of Google-ing Jonas V on Draft day? I admit, I’m guilty. But once I did my research on the Lithuanian center, I instantly fell in love. Not only because of his good looks but because of his skill and “fighter” approach. After a few more hours of researching and youtube-ing, I finally approved that this 20 year old is a perfect fit for the developing Toronto Raptors. He just has that perfect style of game to help the Raptors improve. He kind of reminds me of Andrea Bargnani, actually a lot. Bargnani has done a lot for the team, so no doubt that JV will do the same.

Although Mister Valanciunas made us wait a year before he decided to join the big league, he has really proved to all Toronto fans, and basically everyone else that he is ready for the NBA. During that time, and the off-season, Valanciunas was a named FIBA European Young Player of the Year and MVP in the VTB United League in February 2012. He won MVP again in the LKL All-Star game and also won the Eurocup Rising Star award in the All-Eurocup squad. And, he participated in the 2012 Olympics. [I know you’re all getting hyped to get him in Toronto already]

This young guy has the ability to help the Raptors and make the team stronger. I know I for one am more than thrilled to have October come faster so I can finally see Jonas in a Raptors jersey. If you’re late hopping the JV bandwagon, please do you’re research before he comes!

Basketball is like a “second religion” in Lithuania.

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Big Names, Big Day

Big Names, Big Day

By Aish Abid

“With the first pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the New Orleans Hornets select Anthony Davis.” The exact words basketball fans around the world have been waiting to hear. Crazy news went down in New Jersey last night as dreams became reality for several guys. Well known for his brow, Anthony went first overall as he enters the world of basketball and business; not to mention, all the spotlight attention. Another big name in this years draft was Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who makes his way to Charlotte this coming season at number 2. Kentucky Wildcats became the first school to have the top two picks and tied a record with six players taken overall in the 2012 NBA draft. One more name that I can not forget to mention, Austin Rivers from Duke University. You may know him as Doc Rivers son or just a great Duke baller, but last night he was New Orleans second pick, and he went tenth overall. Lucky Hornets getting two big names on their team, things just fell in place. Lastly, for the love of my own team, I would like to make a shout out to the newest Raptors, Terrance Ross [8th overall] and Quincy Acy [37th overall]. Congratulations to all the boys who worked hard to get here and welcome to the big league.

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Free Agency Heating Up

Free Agency Heating Up

By Aish Abid

I am sure everyone feels the same way when I say I can’t imagine Ray Allen in a black and red Heat uniform, or even Mama Ray in a bedazzled one. Media, fans and the world can finally take a sigh of relief, because our big man Ray is not yet retiring. But, he is taking up Miami as an option during his free agency this off-season. The Heat and Allen are said to share a mutual interest between this deal, I mean come on; what team doesn’t want a shooting guard that fires 3’s like it’s no big deal and has been in the league for 15 years? A guy with this much experience could be getting paid a ton elsewhere, but the Heat are offering $3 million a year. Realistically, Allen would make a wise decision if he were to “take his talent to South Beach Miami” [LeBron James] and join the Big 3; due to his ankle injury, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to cut down his playing minutes and rest that injured ankle. The 36 year old would make an astonishing Big 3 of his own along with Mike Miller and James Jones. “There’s still a lot of basketball left in my legs, I know that for sure,” Allen said after the Celtics’ loss to the Heat in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. So, we know one thing for sure, this guy isn’t leaving the league so soon.