When I came up with the idea to track the Foreign Five last week, I didn’t really think through exactly how I would translate this quest into quality content. I can see now that it will be difficult. So I’m going to feel my way and let dumb luck and persistence sort the dross from the dross with animal feces on it. Pretty much standard operating procedure around here.
This week, I thought I’d look at my four teams in the zone, and asess the actual likelihood of any of them putting a Foreign Five on the floor in the near future. Last week, when I wrote the first post in the feature, I simply focused on teams having the mathematical possibility of fielding a starting lineup with five foreign players. Today I looked at the probability and found it sorely lacking.
But it’s early in the first week, so I can’t let that get me down.
From what I observed in the weekend’s box scores, Chicago is the least likely to put five borscht-eaters, bamboo cowboys, or techno-dancing Euros on the floor. Ben Wallace, Ben Gordon, and Kirk Hinrich are not going anywhere soon, which leaves Luol Deng as the only foreign starter, Nocioni getting significant minutes off the bench, and the other three guys exactly nowhere. I’ll keep an eye on them, but if the Bulls go to an FF lineup, it will be a miracle.
Golden State hasn’t been starting any of their six immigrants recently, but they are in the midst of another ennui float of a season, so maybe they’ll do something drastic. It’s going to have to be everyone but Adonal Foyle, though. He’s just not good.
The Great White North brings us Rasho Nesterovic and Jorge Garbajosa (think he gets a lot of cheap putbacks?) in the starting lineup for the Raptors. Bench minutes go to Bargnani and Calderon, but Uros Slokar is wearing out the sound system with his DNP CD. Fortunately, point guard T.J. Ford played his college ball at Texas, and I hear it’s like a whole other country down there.
Finally, my one true hope, the San Antonio Spurs. I am counting Tim Duncan as an overseas guy simply because I don’t think you get a lot of playground hoops legends from the Virgin Islands, so I think his status as one of the best damn players in the NBA is a bit of a shocker. He’s starting alongside Francisco Elson and Tonee Parkerre. Now if Greg Popovich would only come to his senses and replace Brent Barry with Manu Ginobili, I’d be 4/5 of the way to my goal. Then the Spurs could either go small with Beno Udrih, or beefy with 6′ 10″ Argentinian Fabricio Oberto.
Of course, achieving the FF would actually be a letdown. The best possible outcome for this would be to flirt with the goal all season, with interesting trades and draft rumors to kite us along. Much like the hit TV show Lost, our intent is to dance around the ultimate goal in an entertaining fashion. Once we actually arrive there, the show is over. I will say, however, that I hope we do reach our goal much sooner than J.J. Abrams does. Because nobody wants to sit here three years from now saying “You know what? I don’t even give a crap who the Others are any more”.
Next week: I manufacture trade rumors that have Nene going to Dallas or Phoenix.