It was a unforgettable, magical whirlwind of basketball these past couple months in Istanbul. I guess.
Besiktas, the Turkish team that had Deron Williams while lawyers argued BRI on the other side of the globe, decided to send D-Will off with a jersey retirement ceremony, reports Deadspin (and the video is below).
D-Will looked pretty sloppy (and a little heavy) at the start of the season but by the end was dropping 50 on teams that could not begin to match his athleticism. He finished averaging 21.8 points and 6.5 assists per game.
This makes sense in that D-Will is the best player ever to play in the Turkish league (with all due respect to Mehmet Okur and Zaza Pachulia).
Now Williams will return to the United States and holding the Nets hostage in the last year of his deal.
As a consolation prize, the Turkish league gets to keep Sasha Vujacic, who did not sign with an NBA out.
Report: Lamar Odom agrees to play in Turkey during lockout
Lakers forward Lamar Odom has reached a deal to play with Besiktas in Turkey, joining the team that already has Deron Williams, according to Marc Stein of ESPN. Take it with a grain of salt, Besiktas officials can overstate things, but this may well be accurate.
Final details will not be sorted out before Friday, sources said, but Odom has indicated that he plans to join the Istanbul-based team as early as next week if the NBA lockout continues.
Sources told ESPN.com that the deal would pay Odom in excess of $2 million if he spends the rest of the season with Besiktas. The deal — first reported in Turkey by NTV Spor and local journalist Mete Aktas — will include an opt-out clause to return to the NBA as soon as the lockout ends, same as in Williams’ contract.
Kevin Love, Luol Deng, LaMarcus Aldridge, Carlos Boozer, Marcin Gortat and even Dwight Howard had been reached out to by the bold Turkish side (this is the team that brought in Allen Iverson last year.
Besiktas had gone hard after a new big man after Cleveland Cavaliers big man Semih Erden broke his thumb.
One interesting dynamic here — Odom’s wife is Khloe Kardashian, who is of Armenian descent, a people with a bitter history related to Turkey. There will be howls and protests within the Armenian community aimed at him and his wife if he goes to play there.
If it happens, Odom’s versatile game should fit in well with the European system of play. It’s just the television shows that disturb us.
Report: Brook Lopez to join Deron Williams in Turkey
It looks like Turkish side Besiktas has found its NBA big man — and it turns out to be Deron Williams’ teammate.
Brook Lopez is near a deal with the Istanbul-based team to join them for the remainder of the lockout, reports Kartal Basketball )via Sportando). The deal is in place and just needs to be finalized, according to the report.
Brook’s brother Robin — the Suns center — would join him there, but just as a practice player, according to Sportando.
Brook is D-Will’s teammate with the Nets and them developing some on-court chemistry can only be good for the team and help the odds of the Nets re-signing Williams so he can lead the team into Brooklyn.
Besiktas had reached out to a variety of NBA big men — Dwight Howard, Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng, Lamar Odom — before landing Lopez. This is the same side that had Allen Iverson last season and made a run at Kobe Bryant.
Lopez does have an NBA out in his deal, so he will be back with New Jersey when the lockout ends. So with any luck, this will be one of the shortest trips to Istanbul ever.
I realize now that the headline on this post brings up memories of a legendary WKRP in Cincinnati episode, but that was not the intent. This is really the video of Deron Williams scoring 50 for Besiktas in Turkey.
As expected, no guard in that league can really stay in front of D-Will. Which is true of the NBA as well, but the guards here tend to have better help defense behind them.