Late last week the Pistons made a pretty surprising signing to bolster their front court depth. It was surprising at least in the sense that I don't think too many folks had 7-foot-3 San Antonio Spur Boban Marjanovic to Detroit as a possibility.
After the initial shock (and I'm not talking about the realization of how unbelievably
smooth monster Boban's hands are) of the signing wore off, it's looking like another savvy, forward thinking move by the front office. It's just a seeing eye single the way most will, and should, think about it now, but it very well could be a big time bases clearing double in just a few short seasons' time. Boban has a ton of skills, a ton of size, not to mention Aron Baynes could opt for free agency next off-season.
In fact, I've had a bit of a basketball crush and fascination on Boban since the preseason of last NBA season in which the Spurs played the Pistons. I got a little giddy about Boban in a post game links post:
Boban "Bobi" Marjanovic is the new 'backup' center in San Antonio (he's essentially the only center on the entire Spurs roster).
Don't the Spurs just have it all? When you got LaMarcus Aldridge, Tim Duncan, Boris Diaw and David West in your front court, may as well flaunt that 7-foot-3 big man like it's nothing. Learn more about Bobi here and here.
Then in January, when the Spurs and Pistons played a real game, I matter-of-factly asked in a links post:
Who would win an arm wrestling match between Aron Baynes and Spurs backup center Boban Marjanovic?
Well, at least for the 2016-17 season, the match could very easily come to fruition! Bets, anyone?
And in a March links post, ahead of the second Spurs-Pistons match-up, I linked to an article written by Mike Monroe, former President of the Professional Basketball Writers Association, which I think portrays Boban as maybe the tallest, hugest sweetheart on mother earth:
"I watch him (Duncan) and how he works as a basketball player and I think I want to try to be the same as him. Nobody can be him, but I want to be a bad copy. Or I hope good copy. Let's say I try to be good copy. This is really hard but I try to work, step by step."
I guess you can say that I'm a Boban fan. There's no hesitation that I will jump on the Boban train. I know I'm not the only one who will, either.
Now let's get to other Boban stuff around the webz.
Pistons grab Boban while Spurs are focused on bigger things -- Today's Fastbreak
In the short term, Boban isn't going to be asked to be a major contributor. Aron Baynes will continue to be Drummond's primary backup, and Jon Leuer will spend some time at center late in games, or when the Pistons go small.
That allows Boban to spend another year learning — this time at the hands of the coach who helped develop Dwight Howard and Drummond.
Boban is upgrade over Baynes in many ways -- Hoops Habit
He proved that he can get up and down the court with the best of them, unlike most seven-footers. Marjanovic's best use on defense is as a rim protector.
Marjanovic blocked 1.6 shots per 36 minutes during his rookie campaign. He only played 9.4 minutes per game for the San Antonio Spurs, but they were big rotational minutes. Not only does Boban block shots, but he alters shots when players are driving through the lane.
Marjanovic is a great signing for the Pistons and is an upgrade over Baynes. He has a versatile offensive game and creates mismatches on both ends of the court, which will aid the Pistons in another postseason run.
The Very Human Reason Gregg Popovich Isn't A Fan Of Boban Marjanovic ‘MVP' Chants -- Dime Mag
Coach Pop reminds us all that as much as it's easy to get high on this Boban stuff, Boban is "not some sort of an odd thing".
It came in the fourth quarter of San Antonio's 112 - 79 blowout of the still-reeling Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night. Boban Marjanovic went to the free-throw line and heard "MVP" chants from the quiet arena (you have to turn your volume way up on the above video, since the "chants" weren't very loud). You know Boban, we mentioned those insanely huge hands he has earlier in the week. We weren't the only ones. Well, the backup Spurs center has developed a cult following in San Antonio, and while it's mostly in fun, Boban's Hall-of-Fame-bound coach isn't a big fan.
Without prompting, here's what coach Gregg Popovich said about the Boban MVP chants:
"Sometimes it actually worries me," Popovich said of the phenomenon that has come to be known as "Boban Mania." "I think the crowd, they really get a kick out of him and all that, but he's a basketball player. He's not some sort of an odd thing."
"He's a hard worker and he's a really intelligent kid and he wants it badly," Popovich said. "I think you can get off your game when people cheer in a certain way, over the line, for no reason."
BOBEY T-shirt -- Pounding the Rock
This T-shirt is the latest collaboration between PtR and BreakingT, and one that I am more than happy to promote on the site. All of BreakingT's shirts are shirts super soft, and last almost forever. If you're interested, you can have your own Bobey shirt as they are now on sale.
Boban's Top 10 plays of his rookie season
(Video courtesy of Pac Gaming)
Boban Vine Action -- J.R. Wilco
Boban and his wife, Milica
(Video courtesy of mysanantonio.com)
Stay safe and cool as a cucumber out there, folks.