November 25, 2011
The hope, as representatives from the NBA and the NBA's players meet on Friday, is that both sides of this interminable lockout can find a way to save the season and start up with cheeks flushed on Christmas Day. A bit of a long shot, considering the ground that has to be covered, but we've also spent the last five months covering nothing but hope and long shots, so it's our job to relay the news.
And, for recent Rookie of the Year-types that made about 65 percent of what Drew Gooden(notes) made last year, types that haven't gotten a paycheck since last June, it's time to seek out other employment. More specifically, Sacramento Kings youngster Tyreke Evans(notes) is heading to Italy until this lockout is over. Where else can he party with off-putting t-shirts and crooked hats?
He'll be working for Virtus Roma, in Italy, and the 2009-10 Rookie of the Year apparently has a clause in his contract that allows him to return stateside once the labor negotiations have passed. Assuming they ever will.
Scott Schroeder of SB Nation has the bloody business, as is often the case with Scott:
"Virtus Roma, sponsored by Lottomatica, plays in Italy's top division. The club has a solid history -- aside from a lackluster season last year that got them removed from the prestigious Euroleague -- but it's perhaps most famous for hosting Brandon Jennings(notes) when he decided to play in Europe for a season prior to the NBA Draft.
"Evans will join a team that is 3-4 through its first seven games of the season."
Tyreke clearly suffered through an ankle injury for the duration of his second season in 2010-11. He never seemed to find the lift and quickness that marked his rookie campaign, but to his discredit he also never seemed to approximate the growth and change that we hoped for even after accounting for his dodgy wheels. He was a tough bugger in playing through that injury, and it's incredibly difficult attempting to perform at a professional level when you can't push off well, but Evans still seemed like an over-dribbling case of arrested development in his second season.
Overseas? Well, any bit of seasoning helps, at any age. And though we have no doubt that Tyreke has spent quite a bit of time in the gym since last season concluded, live action and quick decisions (especially with Evans potentially playing off the ball, for once) will clearly be a boon to this third-year guard. If anyone needs on-court reps, it's this potential star.
And if any professional sporting league needs to get going, especially after a holiday of hearing about how ridiculous the millionaires were for not being able to figure it out over the offseason, it's the NBA. Let's compare notes later on Friday night, NBA freakies. Fingers crossed for positive notes.