December 16, 2008
If you're asking such a question, then I think it would be obvious where I am not. I am not in France. I'm not even in Europe. To be technical, I'm somewhere 35,000 feet above Canada and, in a couple of hours, I'll be in San Francisco. I'll be eating In-N-Out, wearing sunglasses and playing Xbox in no time.
The next question, one that I asked Carmen that nobody else seemed to care about, is "Why?"
Well, the reason is simple; I have to find a new team to play for. Simply put, playing in Nancy was a lot like my first few months in the D-League with the Austin Toros. I didn't play, couldn't stand not playing, asked to be released, then went on to Dakota. The rest is history. The same is happening now. It's different, but it's quite the same.
When I arrived in Nancy, we had 15 preseason games. I started in most of them, we won nearly all of them, and I had pretty good numbers. Then on December 3rd, our first real game, I played three minutes and that set the tone for the remainder of my time there.
I was basically like Vinny Chase on the set of "Smoke Jumpers." High hopes for a good situation, but I basically never had a chance. I bring up Vinny because both of us (I'm not only talking like he's a real person, but also like I know him for some reason), despite the money and the reputation of the job, couldn't deal with our role. I think that being in France has made me realize where my balance point is between love and money. If it was all about the money, I would still be there. I'd practice hard, like I always did, and I'd spend the rest of my time as a paid tourist. Part of me still feels that it was stupid to want to leave that behind.
I was talking with my teammate John Cox, Kobe's cousin, about how great Nancy is to play for — if you're playing. The city is solid. The fans are great. Practice wasn't too tough, and the competition was cool. In fact, I may have enjoyed it there too much. It wasn't an easy decision to leave. My coach wasn't even a bad guy. He told me straight up that he made a mistake with the roster and that if I wanted to go that we could work it out. The club treated me with respect in the end. I've heard of much worse stories than mine: Darius Rice and Gabe Meoneke (his blog about getting cut from his French team before the first game was some good stuff) both can play and both were cut by their teams before even a game was played.
The next question should be: "Where to next?"
I'm going to spend the next day or two deciding that. I can go back to the D-League, regain my stride, try to get called up by doing something I didn't do last year. That's a tall order, but I'm up to the task. I can try to sign with another team immediately overseas, continue to stack cash, and return to the U.S. at a time when everything is dirt-cheap. I'll figure it out over the next few days then I'll be back at it, salvaging a season that didn't begin the way I wanted it to, but that will end with a high degree of boom-tho-ness.
So, when you ask yourself "Where in the world is Rod Benson?" the answer will be clear: He's somewhere contemplating his next move, and soon to be making it.
Oh, and writing a poem about France called "My Horn Can Pierce the Sky!"
is a Cal grad and former D-Leaguer who
plays played for SLUC Nancy, the reigning French league champion. When he's
not busy writing poetry, he blogs one or two times a
week on Ball Don't Lie. Read his archive, pay a visit to TooMuchRodBenson.com and always support the Boom Tho movement.