February 15, 2011
Last season, few players were as watchable as Dallas Mavericks rookie combo guard Rodrigue Beaubois(notes), a supremely athletic Frenchman who came on so strong at the end of the season that certain educated observers suggested he should started on a veteran team in the playoffs. Watch this highlight video and you'll realize that these people were not just doubling down on their own hyperbole.
Sadly, Beaubois broke his foot in August and has played exactly zero minutes so far this season. Thankfully, his return is imminent, as reported by Dwain Price for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (via TrueHoop):
A second-year guard with the Dallas Mavericks, Beaubois pushed himself Monday in his first extensive practice session since he fractured his left foot Aug. 13. The lightning-quick Frenchman will have another extended practice today and then go through Wednesday morning's shootaround.
He said he doesn't know if he'll be able to play in Wednesday's home game against Sacramento. "It went well, but it was the first one, so now I just need to keep going and we'll see," Beaubois said. "But the first one was pretty good.
It's unclear if Beaubois will actually return tomorrow, but it seems nearly certain that he'll play within the week. When he does, it will be a glorious moment, both for the Mavs (who, it should be noted, already have a pretty crowded backcourt as is) and for NBA fans who just want to see the return of one of the league's most promising and purely joyous talents. To put it mildly, he has been sorely missed.
He may have some rust and not immediately show the same promise as he did last season. But in a world of tweets and music videos, where our attention spans are as short as ever, please remember that Beaubois is worth keeping an eye on whenever possible. A few months on the shelf hasn't robbed him of his spark.