It was partially that he was one of the first players coming out of the Soviet Union as it splintered, proving he could play in the NBA. More than that, he was one guy who came over at that time and stuck, proving he could play the NBA style.
He also was breaking ground because he would not fit a stereotype — this European guard was as physical and tough as anyone raised stateside. He could shoot the jumper but when he put the rock on the floor and drove the lane he was hunting for contact. Then he would finish through it.
Marciulionis was inshrined in the Hall of Fame Friday night on his international credentials — an Olympic gold medal with the USSR in 1988 then, after the breakup of the Soviet Union, he led the Lithuanian team to two bronze medals.
But he was an NBA trail blazer as well and here were we talk about The Association he should be remembered for that.
Report: Matt Barnes texted friend that he beat up Derek Fisher, spat in wife’s face
When an accused domestic abuser shows up uninvited at a family party to—as a source put it to the New York Post—“beat the shit” out of someone for the offense of dating his ex, that is not a wacky character up to zany shenanigans. It is not reality TV melodrama or a cartoon or celebrities being silly. It is the behavior of a dangerous misogynist lunatic. It is an act of violent aggression. It is a man forcefully asserting personal property rights over a woman’s home, body, and life. It differs from what Ray Rice did in that elevator by degree, not by kind, and not by all that much.