The Spurs' apathy towards Beno Udrih
was a bit puzzling. I can only assume Gregg Popovich's
/hate relationship with Beno Udrih began in a comedic sequence of misunderstandings, not unlike a Ben Stiller movie or any episode of Three's Company
. Or maybe it's difficult to endear yourself to a guy named after a popular flatulence aid.
We may never know.
After stringing together a series of respectable campaigns off the bench in 2004 and 2005, Gregg Popovich rewarded Beno with the opportunity to split his 12 minutes per with famous vegetarian
and scrimmagin' dud Jacques Vaughn. The inevitable alcoholic depression led to Beno posting career lows in every conceivable statistic (even his technicals were down).
Beno's NBA career came to an apparent end when he was dealt to Minnesota for a protected second round pick (i.e. the Spurs and the Wolves agreed that trading Beno for a throwaway 2nd rounder was a bit of a gamble
). Spurs fans rejoiced.
Wolves GM Kevin McHale took a long look at the Marko Jaric-Sebastian Telfair tandem, concluded that there is nothing to improve on, and waived Udrih before his plane landed in Minneapolis.
Beno was sitting at home in Slovenia (we assume he was crying softly into his Laško
or playing Bordunske Hero III
on the Playstation, but we're probably wrong) when the Kings called. One month later, Beno is making minimum wage and posting stats nearly as good as that $13 million dollar Mike Bibby guy he replaced. Did I mention he was out of the league a month ago and is making the league minimum?
But our good friends at Sactown Royalty remain unimpressed.
While they agree Benomania
is making Mike Bibby expendable, they don't think he is the long-term solution at the point. I think this is a bit harsh. After all, Beno is giving them 15 ppg and 4 assists per while shooting 38% on threes, all without the benefit of a training camp, pre-season, or even knowing the King's offense. He's still young (25) and, as of Saturday, has only notched his 21st career start. If he doesn't improve one iota over the next five years, he's already light years ahead of the slugs teams are hanging their hats on this year (Earl Watson, Sebastian Telfair, Steve Blake, Rafer Alston, Anthony Johnson, Jason Williams, etc.).
(hat tip: Hemotivo
Labels: Beno Udrih, gratuitous video game references, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs