October 22, 2011
The NBA's owners appear prepared to follow Gary Bettman's lead and kill off an entire season for "cost certainty" via a lockout of its players. So that could mean a great number of very talented athletes will be looking for supplemental, short-term employment. To that end, we respectfully present the National Hockey League as a viable option for the jobless NBA player.
Jerebko, 24, recently gave hockey a try in a morning skate with the Red Wings. A native of Kinna, Sweden, he became friends with the Red Wings' Swedish mafia of players, including defenseman Niklas Kronwall(notes). Jerebko also hung around the Wings' Traverse City training camp last season.
Jerebko told USA Today last year that he was excited to come to Detroit because players like Nicklas Lidstrom(notes) and Henrik Zetterberg(notes) are "a big thing in Sweden." He played hockey for about seven years in Sweden before choosing hoops. (His bank account thanks him.)
Here's a bit from a Jonas Jerebko blog, written by his buddy Chris:
Just came back from a trip downtown at Joe Louis Arena. Me and Jonas was skating with the Redwings and it was really fun! I haven't been on skates since I don't know when, but Jonas used to play hockey back home in Sweden and I can tell you guys that he's no Bambi on the ice. Kronwall got Jonas a pair of size 15 skates and he and Jonathan Ericsson(notes) was with us on the ice.
A 6-10, 230-pound player who is no Bambi on the ice? Sounds like the Wings just found their own Zdeno Chara(notes). Unless, of course, he's the next Manute Bol when it comes to basketball-to-hockey transitions.