Michael Grange of the Toronto Globe and Mail (who, incidentally, is becoming one of my favorite out-of-town beat writers to read) has a funny article about former Piston and new Raptors center Primoz Brezec:
Can Brezec play? We don’t know. Can he talk? Absolutely, and the Slovenian big man does it in almost perfect gangsta slang. Why does a Slovenian talk like a rapper? Fellow Slovenian Rasho Nesterovic speculates it might be because he broke into the NBA in Indiana.
"[Your English] depends on where you start in the NBA," said Nesterovic. "I started in Minnesota, he started in Indiana. That’s a pretty tough organization to pick up English."
So true; it's funny to hear Brezec talk, he ends almost every sentence with a heavily accented "man." Back to the article ...
Q. How do you feel about the trade?
"To tell you the truth, at first I wasn’t that excited. I wanted to stay in Detroit and win a championship, I want to play there, I don’t want to sit on the bench. I was not so happy, Toronto’s got a lot of bigs. But now, talking to Bryan and Maurizio, I know I’m going to get a shot here. I just want an opportunity to play. In Detroit there was no playing time. I’m excited now. I know this is a great organization, Bryan is doing a great job, a lot of European guys. I know Sam, he was in Charlotte before I was there, I love it so far. I love the city, love the organization, they sell out every night. I want to be here. Hopefully I’m not going to be here for one year, hopefully I’m going to be here long term."
Q. What went wrong in Detroit?
"What went wrong? I’d rather not say. Everyone knows the problem in Detroit, you know. Great players, great organization. I don’t have one bad word, one bad thing to say. Joe Dumars is the man. The first to the 15th guys make you feel like family. But no playing time, man. No playing time. I was just looking for a chance, and I didn’t get it. In a month-and-a-half, two months, all I got was garbage time. That’s not me man. I’ve been a starter in this league, I know I can play, so I’m not going to sit on the bench. I guarantee you that. I am not going to sit on the bench."
I'm mildly amused at his desire to stay in Toronto "long term" -- he said the exact same thing when he arrived in Detroit from Charlotte. Maybe he's sincere, or maybe he's just really worried about being a free agent this summer.