You knew the injuries would start to add up as NBA players started to find places to play in Europe. So far there hasn’t been a major one, but some minor ones are coming up.
The latest is Cavaliers center Semih Erden, reports Turkish journalist Mete Aktaş (via Marc Stein of ESPN). Here are the tweets.
7-foot Turkish center Semih Erden of Cavs has broken left thumb and will be sidelined “at least” 2 months
The injury happened tonight during Besiktas’ European Cup game against German side Goettingen…. The same game which Deron Williams scored 50 points
What that means is that if the NBA labor situation is resolved in time for a season — even a 50-game season starting in February, Erden may not be ready to go. Not great news for the Cavs.
And yes, D-Will dropped 50. He has figured out how to make his game fit in overseas.
The 7.2 earthquake that has devastated Turkey has cost more than 260 lives (and that count is still climbing), wounded thousands and many more left homeless and in need of assistance.
It’s natural in this kind of situation to wonder about people we know in the area, and that led many to ask on twitter and in other media about Nets star Deron Williams, who is playing in Turkey during the lockout.
He and his family are fine. Williams is playing in Istanbul, more than 800 miles away from the epicenter of the earthquake. The quake rocked the Kurdish area near Iraq and Armenia, while Istanbul is located on the other end of the country, closer to Bulgaria and Greece.
Williams (who was born in Texas and is apparently a Rangers fan) tweeted that he was fine.
Nets general manager Billy King had flown to Turkey to watch D-Will play — but not to talk to him because the lockout has to screw everything up — and he is also fine. He was only in Istanbul as well plus was on a plane home when the earthquake hit.
New Jersey Nets guard Deron Williams is over in Turkey, playing pro basketball for Beskitas, and he’s blogging about the whole experience on his website. Here’s a quick excerpt:
This is my first year playing international ball, so I’m still just trying to figure everything out with regard to my role. Obviously I’ve played in the Olympics with the same style of play, but that was still different because all of my teammates were American. They’ve actually been playing me at the two guard a lot here. Whatever I can do to help the team, I’m willing. I don’t have any personal goals or stats I’m looking for over here; I just want to stay in shape, play basketball and have fun.
Williams is a big point guard, and he is a very good shooter, so him spending some time playing the two-guard position could be an interesting development — we’ll see if Williams comes back from his European sojurn with any new wrinkles to his game at the NBA level. For more on Williams’ thoughts on how his coach only occasionally yells in Turkish during practices, how Deron didn’t realize the importance of team colors when he came to Turkey, and Turkish life in general, click through and read the full blog post.
Deron Williams has not looked good. At all.
There is no sugar coating it. A few games in playing for Turkish side Besiktas, the biggest name in the NBA to sign overseas has not impressed anyone.
Williams led Besiktas into the EuroCup last week, which is a second tier tournament that took place in Belgium, and he had 7 points on 3 of 13 shooting with 6 turnovers. The man who should dominate at this level watched his team get eliminated fast.
Days before that in D-Will’s debut for Besiktas he was 3 for 15 shooting.
The man the Nets are talking about building around is getting bumped around, reports the New York Times. The physical play allowed in Europe seems to throw Williams off his game.
Asked if he was still adjusting to the European game, Williams said: “I mean, I’ve played in a lot of European basketball. I’ve played in the Olympics. But this is definitely different. The way the reffing has been going has been different for me, but I’ve got to adjust.”
Williams also looks out of shape, tweeted Jonathan Givony of Draft Express, something echoed by others watching the feed of the game.
It is all something that should concern Nets fans. It in no way is time to panic — he’s playing his way into shape and getting his skills sharp just being out on the court — but it’s something to watch. After playing through injuries last season and missing the end of the year, Williams is still trying to find his groove.
If you had to choose between living in Milwaukee or Turkey, what would you choose?
Ersan Ilyasova wants to choose Turkey, but may not get that option.
Ilyasova is playing for Anadolu Efes in Istanbul during the lockout, although the Bucks have an option on him for the upcoming season and his deal has an NBA opt-out. Which means if the lockout ends he is obligated to go stateside. But Ilyasova doesn’t want to opt out, according to Sportando.
“I want to stay with Anadolu Efes for the whole year. I hope there is a FIBA rule which would allow me to play the season in Turkey and Efes to keep me. We will fight for TBL and Euroleague. Our goal for the season is to reach the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four in Istanbul. We know we are in a very tough group in Euroleague but we have to go step-by-step” said Ilyasova, as reported by Salsabasket.
Ilyasova was a spot starter for the Bucks last season, averaging 25 minutes and 9.5 points per game. He is a solid backup forward that the Bucks could use. And at a very affordable $2.5 million next season the Bucks likely want him back.
FIBA, ball is in your court.