Durant’s Thirty Five Ventures has the documentary, called “In the Water”, listed as still in development on its website. With players like Durant, University of Maryland legend Len Bias, and Pacers all-star guard Victor Oladipo all coming from the same place, this will surely be a must-watch. Markelle Fultz, Jeff Green, Quinn Cook, and Ty Lawson are also some of the better known local products to make it in the NBA. The documentary will air on Showtime.
During the most recent Indiana Pacers road trip, Goga Bitadze found himself being told to set a screen for the ballhandler, but it didn’t feel right. The rookie, who has showed shaky confidence at times, resisted. “The guard who had the ball had a matchup,” coach Nate McMillan said. “He was spacing and Goga actually looked at me and pointed like, ‘Look at the situation over there.’ It was the right read.”
Recent history indicates taking a foreign-trained player in the top 10 picks is a bigger risk than a U.S. player. Using Win Shares, a statistic that provides a single number to evaluate a player, only 7.7% of foreign-trained top 10 picks develop into All-Star-caliber NBA players vs. 20.7% of U.S. trained players. Foreign-trained players, however, slightly out-perform their U.S. competition in the rest of the first round, 12.9% vs. 9.5%. Though not talked about much leading into the draft, Bitadze was going to be a first-round pick for someone. Several teams, including the San Antonio Spurs, had him high on their draft boards. After failing to trade up into the lottery, the Pacers took him one spot before the Spurs picked.
“For the guys sometimes coming from a strong nation like Spain, it’s tougher,” said Tomas Satoransky, a Czech who spent seven years playing in Spain before joining the Washington Wizards and now starts for the Chicago Bulls. “I think that was a big issue, a big barrier for Juan Carlos to be successful.” Of course, he also had a choice of cities in which to play — Memphis or Barcelona. “He was in Memphis. He could stay in Barcelona,” Satoransky said. “That was an easier choice. It’s tougher for them to adapt.”
StatMuse: Players with multiple Finals MVPs and an All-Star MVP in NBA history: Willis Reed Larry Bird Magic Johnson Michael Jordan Tim Duncan Shaquille O’Neal Kobe Bryant LeBron James Kawhi Leonard pic.twitter.com/xQZFNi6Tvu
And yet as Indiana Pacers leaders converged on the windy city to wrap up their final leg of homework this weekend before Indy hosts the All-Star Game next year, they couldn’t help but remember all those 35 years ago. “We had some great parties, got through six inches of snow,” said Rick Fuson, who was the Indiana Pacers’ operational lead for the 1985 NBA All-Star Game in the Hoosier Dome. “But we want this time around to be an All-Star game like none the NBA has ever seen.”
Storyline: All-Star Locations