There are a lot of Euros in this draft. Real honest-to-goodness pale face Euros—not international players, from Brazil or some place in Africa, or French dudes with dark skin. We haven't seen them in droves like this since ... I don't know, around the time Chad Ford made his first million and Darko stopped dodging bullets and started ducking Larry Brown. It also happens to be the year that Dirk Nowitzi won a title. He was the first of this Euro-movement, and always the best. His most embarrassing defeats came when Avery Johnson tried to make him hard; as Luke O'Brien wrote on Deadspin, Dirk sort of proved to all of us that being soft, or finesse-y, could be its own ind of tough and indefatigable. My question: Does Dirk's title do anything to change the way Euros are discussed tonight? Half the folks weighing in on tv tonight are brain-dead, and the rest will get exhausted and fall into cliches at some point. Will Dirk come up as a game-changer? Has he indeed change the meaning of soft? Or are all Euros soft until they prove that they are soft-tough (tough-soft?) like Dirk? In other words, did Dirk simply succeed in raising the bar the way Larry Bird did for the other whites?
I have no idea if Donatas will soar as a player, but he has an awesome, sardonic sense of humor.