Tag:Ricky Rubio
Posted on: September 2, 2008 3:18 pm
Edited on: September 2, 2008 3:23 pm

Sonny still busy with Jennings, Under Armour, etc

I caught up with Sonny Vaccaro late Monday night.

Naturally, Brandon Jennings was a topic of conversation.

"He's been over there for two weeks now," Vaccaro said. "If he comes out of this alive it's going to be revolutionary."

Jennings, of course, is the Arizona signee who decided to be the first American to flip the bird to the NBA and NCAA and spend his first year after high school playing professionally in Europe while waiting to become eligible for the 2009 NBA Draft. It's a bold move. And anybody wondering whether this will be an isolated event should know that Vaccaro said he has been contacted by at least 12 families of elite high school players -- freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors -- who are also interested in exploring the option of skipping college in favor of the Euroleague.

"I spoke to another three just this weekend,” Vaccaro said. "I'm not saying they all want to go. But they are all interested in knowing what's possible."

So why are the families reaching out to Vaccaro, you ask?

It's because the historically prominent figure was instrumental in Jennings' move and has become a liaison of sorts between the Euroleague and America's youth since resigning his position with Reebok and beginning a crusade against the NBA and NCAA that will take him to yet another college campus for a speaking engagement next week. Vaccaro has developed dozens of European contacts, both owners and coaches, and he now has a direct line that can be used to find out what's possible and what isn't for any curious mind.

"I've been well received over there," Vaccaro said. "It's almost like I'm more involved now that I'm no longer involved."

On another note, I've got two words for you to remember: Under Armour.

Yes, I know Under Armour isn't really in the basketball business and that it doesn’t have a single basketball player endorsing its products. But remember, Jennings already has the label of trendsetter, and if Under Armour wanted to expand its brand on a global level this might be a good place to start.

To be clear, other shoe companies are also interested in Jennings.

A deal should get done soon.

But don't be surprised if Jennings shuns the traditional route and signs with Under Armour. And don't be surprised if Vaccaro is right in the middle of it. And don't be surprised if it leads to Nike, Adidas and Reebok eventually finding themselves once again in competition in some capacity with the man who once worked for each of those companies.

Got that?

Under Armour is about to become a player in basketball.

It should be fun to watch develop.

Anyway, one last note on Jennings. Lots of you have asked whether he will play against Spanish phenon Ricky Rubio this season. The answer to that question is 'Yes', and the dates have been confirmed. Jennings plays for Lottomatica Roma and Rubio plays for Joventut Badalona. Those two teams will meet Oct. 29 in Rome and Dec. 11 in Spain. So mark your calendars because the games should get plenty of hype and garner unprecedented attention, both over there and over here.

Posted on: August 15, 2008 12:17 pm
Edited on: August 15, 2008 12:18 pm

Dear Gary (on the return of The Chad)

Here's Friday's Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary:  Does The Chad look like Smoky The Bear? Hibernating and hugging trees! It may seem like The Chad was in hibernation. But recently, The Chad was in Europe being offered free fries with mayonnaise on them by a Belgium man who looked like a combination of Jeff Daniels and a Russian Butcher working for the KGB. Madness, pure madness!!! Anyways, The Chad would like to know if a particular scenario were to occur overseas? Would it be at all possible for Brandon Jennings to go up against 17-year-old Ricky Rubio, the projected No. 1 pick in the 2009 NBA Draft of DKV Joventut this year? Is Virtus Roma even in the ACB league, though? This would just be an epic matchup; recalling memories of the O.J. Mayo vs. Derrick Rose/Eric Gordon matchup two years ago in Las Vegas. Only this time there would be some European flair, without a bunch of Brian Cliftons or Rodney Guillorys running around. What are your thoughts on Rubio, Gary? How would he fare against the cream of the crop in 2009, a la Lance Stephenson, John Wall or Kenny Boynton? Or would this Spaniard, Rubio, punish Jennings like he was Anton Chigurh in No Country For Old Men. He could be rockin' the bull cut, dribbling the ball in one hand, cattle gun in the other, and he could intimidate refs by saying "Call it, friendo." Meanwhile, Jennings would be throwing oops and doing the shake-and-bake while sporting a classic Gumby (reference: McDonald's game). Classic matchup right there. Also, great article on Milton Jennings, Gary. Amazing to see how far he's come considering he didn't start playing basketball until eighth grade. And, Gary, if you're still in Beaverton, remember this passage if you encounter any belligerent Serbians. Ja sam Zeus od zurnalazam, stajati pozadi!!!!!!! You just got to love The Chad!

-- Chad 'The Chad' Williams

For those who have no idea what just happened, that's a note from The Chad, who became something of a legend in the mailbags over the past two years (back when I did them Doyel-style) before disappearing for months. Other readers had noticed his absence recently. I was worried I lost him forever. But then I got this email Thursday afternoon, and now everything seems right in the world. He's a first-ballot Hall of Fame emailer, The Chad. I'm inclined to let him have this Dear Gary space every day, if he wants it.

Anyway, on to the questions (or at least the ones I caught).

Will Brandon Jennings and Ricky Rubio play against each other this season?

Yes, I'm told they will.

I'll try to get you a date.

(And I might try to go!)

As for my thoughts on Rubio, I don't have a whole bunch, to tell the truth. I haven't seen him enough to write intelligently about the kid, so I won't even try. But my understanding is that he'd do just fine in our college game and certainly be considered among the elite point guards in this country if he was, you know, in this country. With a cattle gun, I think he'd be unstoppable.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com