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Thread: The busts of Lithuania

  1. #1

    Default The busts of Lithuania

    I believe we never had that kind of thread. I don't really remember Ričardas Strašauskas who according to Garastas had the potential to be the best Lithuanian of all time and injuries stopped him. Also can't say a word on Kęstutis Godliauskas, Rimas Salys, Algirdas Vaitkus, Vytenis Masiulis, Egidijus Haka. All considered to become great, but stopped by various reasons.

    Here's the thing, we have tons of players who were some what promising, but became average of below: Stumbrys, Gaigalas, Jonusas, Kavoliunas, Marciulionis, Jocys, Viskontas, Pakamanis and so on...just to mention few. But here's the criterion by which I rank the biggest busts of Lithuanian (modern basketball mainly) players that I remember or well informed about - they had both physicality and skills to become great or good. So here's my list:

    1. Jurkunas. Exceptionally gifted player according to many specialists. Had a nick name of "Kukoc". I believe he was simply overrated, but many coaches ranked him really highly, the same Kazlauskas as well. NCAA ruined his career. He could be Lithuanian Bjelica I suppose in the best case scenario.

    2. Tauras Jogela. I'm sorry, but I don't remember any U16 MVP who wouldn't even be close to top clubs of Lithuania, let alone NT. I think he may even deserve No.1 spot. He really had physical tools, looked very explosive, but never could bring that to PRO level.

    3. Kestutis Šeštokas. A guy was legit. He even had some really solid performances for really strong Žalgiris. What ever happened to him later? Bad working ethics?

    4. Martynas Andriuškevičius. Super tall dude who can run, can shoot threes, even spend time in NBA and NT. However, ended up as absolutely mediocre player. Sucks too much even for LKL clubs.

    5. Saulius Kuzminskas. If not a soft mentality, he could be a very good all around big. Mindaugas Kuzminskas I guess is a good example of what happens when you really put up real work.

    I think those surely are true busts and there are more, but maybe you guys will contribute. And there's similar, but a bit different field - busts may be considered highly achieved player who was projected even higher. For example I think Pocius is some what a bust. Yeah, he had few good seasons, but he could achieve so much more. D-Mo might end up as one of the biggest busts if he won't reach high level again. 5 great moths in NBA is not what he and fans expected (again, both guys were stopped by injuries). I believe Praskevicius ciuld be mentioned here. He played at the high level, but never really became a contributor in NT.

    The biggest losers and douchebags: The king Redikas, his deputy Dilys. The members of the crew...Kelys and...Babrauskas...sorry, but I had to mention brainless "well if he's normal dude than OK, duh" Babrauskas

    The flick from the future...

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    Senior Member auris1's Avatar
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    I won't mention any players i never heard about , but i found that particular article really interesting . Not sure it was Garastas who was quoted though .
    I think Alijevas must be somewhere on that list too .
    As far as i remember ,he was MVP of Euroleague youth tournament years ago , right ? Sort of what Velicka is nowadays , i assume .
    And then ,later on , when he had a chance in Zalgiris he wasn't even capable to dribble past half line .

    I would not be that harsh as you on Redikas - I feel that many of his personal issues , not basketball related , ruined his image and chances on the court . Gambling addiction , i assume , drinking and drugs , compulsive lying etc it all shows some mental issues . I honestly think that he needs some professional help instead of being ridiculed .
    Bebras - why is he on your list ? He is not a bust , if anything ,he is completely opposite of that - limited talent with unlimited bullshiting capabilities worked for him just fine . He might be an arsehole on/off the court , but he had his role on the court .
    And let that be a lesson to you all. Nobody beats Zalgiris 17 times in a row.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by auris1 View Post
    Bebras - why is he on your list ? He is not a bust , if anything ,he is completely opposite of that - limited talent with unlimited bullshiting capabilities worked for him just fine . He might be an arsehole on/off the court , but he had his role on the court .
    You right. I mainly dislike him because of his personality. But has his flaws as baller as well. Sėkla was saying Babrauskas is some huge prospect (Jonas Vainauskas considered him as NT material...), there always was a bubble around him, Rytas fan played a role here as well ("Where's Stepas?"). He also had season when he badly underperformed. He supposed to be Roy Keane (Or Kevin Garnett) of Rytas, and many people see him as such, but I simply see him as douchebag...

    The flick from the future...

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    Zavackas was considered a better talent than Macijauskas. At least at younger age. They both were from the same generation.

    At U18 Zavackas averaged 18 pts. http://www.fibaeurope.com/compID_8aY...rID_27071.html
    Macas - 13 pts with way worse schooting http://www.fibaeurope.com/compID_8aY...rID_27077.html
    Gustas averaged 12 pts http://www.fibaeurope.com/compID_8aY...rID_25955.html
    Javtokas http://www.fibaeurope.com/compID_8aY...rID_30044.html

    When Macas was about 19 y.o. he begun to rock at LKL playing for Neptunas. He had many 20+ and 30+ pts games.
    http://www.lkl.lt/zaidejas/95113/?seasonId=88359
    In play off games he averaged 22 pts! You can't imagine it now from the 19 y.o. guard.

    Nothing wonder that in U20 Macas rocked as well and averaged 20 pts http://www.fibaeurope.com/compID_UIf...rID_27077.html

    Zavackas averaged only about 10 pts playing small minutes in some games. NCAA wasn't a good choice for him in terms of basketball.

    Then Macas rocked in L.Rytas, Spain, didn't have a success in NBA, was one of the best schooters in Europe and the most paid when he signed with OLY, but that horribly unlucky injury and its issues ended his career when he was too young...

    Zavackas didn't become an elite player, but i liked him. He was a good fighter with a really good shot. By the way, he's still playing at his 37.

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    Senior Member madmax's Avatar
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    Zavackas was considered a better talent than Macas?
    I wonder what kind of kool aid those experts were drinking when they considered a slow, unathletic and defensively challenged 3 to be a better prospect than the best lithuanian shooter of all time...I guess those are the same "experts" working in the basketball schools, who can't develop a Euroleague level lithuanian point guard for over a decade now too

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    It was 20 years ago. How old you were? Without a doubt you knew that time he should be the best lithuanian shooter of all time.

    "a slow, unathletic and defensively challenged 3" - plus/minus it's about Kuzminskas at his 16-18. But now he's the best Lithuanian player or almost like that. Guys from his generation like Janavicius, Vasiliauskas, Juskevicius, Cepukaitis were considered highier than him and it was fair enough. You never know exactly what future brings, sometimes it's a thing like this.

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    Senior Member madmax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher View Post
    It was 20 years ago. How old you were? Without a doubt you knew that time he should be the best lithuanian shooter of all time.

    "a slow, unathletic and defensively challenged 3" - plus/minus it's about Kuzminskas at his 16-18. But now he's the best Lithuanian player or almost like that. Guys from his generation like Janavicius, Vasiliauskas, Juskevicius, Cepukaitis were considered highier than him and it was fair enough. You never know exactly what future brings, sometimes it's a thing like this.
    how old do you think I am actually, 16?
    I was an avid lithuanian basketball follower during that period of time when Macas was already balling like crazy for Neptunas before joining Rytas lol...Zavackas was never better than him at any point of their careers. And comparing Kuzminskas, who is fairly athletic even for NBA standards, with Zavackas is even more nonsensical imo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by madmax View Post
    how old do you think I am actually, 16?
    I was an avid lithuanian basketball follower during that period of time when Macas was already balling like crazy for Neptunas before joining Rytas lol...Zavackas was never better than him at any point of their careers. And comparing Kuzminskas, who is fairly athletic even for NBA standards, with Zavackas is even more nonsensical imo.
    He was better when they were teenagers until 18 y.o.

    "Kuzminskas, who is fairly athletic even for NBA standards" - Gosh, it's know. When he was a youngster he wasn't good at all so that it would reasonable to predict he would end in NBA.

    You are talking about matured players, but i did so about them being youngsters when it was about their talent.
    Last edited by Dreamcatcher; 10-08-2017 at 05:16 PM.

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    Senior Member LuDux's Avatar
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    1995-96 Zavackas makes LKL debut 15 years 10 months old
    1996-95 Macijauskas makes lkl debut 17 years 3 weeks old, averages 1.8 points, Zavackas averages 5.7 points

    As I understand Zavackas in US couldn't train with team entire season because he played professionally in Europe

    And I'm not sure Zavackas was slower and less athletic than Macijauskas

    PS.: Zavackas became Neptunas sports director
    Last edited by LuDux; 10-09-2017 at 01:13 PM.

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    Would add Jomantas, aka Lithuanian LeBron.

  11. #11
    Senior Member auris1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by madmax View Post
    how old do you think I am actually, 16?
    I was an avid lithuanian basketball follower during that period of time when Macas was already balling like crazy for Neptunas before joining Rytas lol...Zavackas was never better than him at any point of their careers. And comparing Kuzminskas, who is fairly athletic even for NBA standards, with Zavackas is even more nonsensical imo.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher View Post
    He was better when they were teenagers until 18 y.o.

    "Kuzminskas, who is fairly athletic even for NBA standards" - Gosh, it's know. When he was a youngster he wasn't good at all so that it would reasonable to predict he would end in NBA.

    You are talking about matured players, but i did so about them being youngsters when it was about their talent.
    I am on Dreamcatcher's side on this .
    Just because Zavackas has never been better than Macijauskas as a player , that doesn't mean he wasnt considered to be a more talented at some point . Hindsight in this case is a privileged not the very fact of how things were seen at the time.
    And let that be a lesson to you all. Nobody beats Zalgiris 17 times in a row.

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    Senior Member madmax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by auris1 View Post
    I am on Dreamcatcher's side on this .
    Just because Zavackas has never been better than Macijauskas as a player , that doesn't mean he wasnt considered to be a more talented at some point . Hindsight in this case is a privileged not the very fact of how things were seen at the time.
    that's exactly my point which I'm trying to emphasize - lithuanian coaches from the past (and most likely from the present as well) are very suspect evaluators of talent, especially when it comes to evaluating guards and their ceiling in the pro game. That's the reason why every single stiff over 2 meters tall is being promoted and touted as a "future Sabonis", while we're still not very eager to look for future Marciulionis for one reason or another...right now we are reaping the seeds of this flawed basketball school mentality with not a single elite PG from the country with such deep basketball traditions.

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    "Coaches looking for big kids and ignoring small" is a huge stereotype among some Lithuanians. I had some years in Marciulionis school and can't say so. We had many pg prospects after Kalnietis that were praised by coaches, but they didn't become elite prospects because of various reasons: Janavicius (he had an offer from Real), Vasiliauskas, Kelys (joined Zalgiris at 17 if i'm not mistaken), Cizauskas (had debut in Zalgiris even at 16 if i'm not mistaken again), Mockevicius who was from Jogela's generation, was good at his 16, but as i remember had drinking habits and probably some other stuff. Kelys was smth like that as well. There were quite a lot promising guards, but hard personalities (Redikas is the biggest one).

    Lekavicius wasn't great at NKL, but had his chance in Zalgiris inspite of the fact he's very short for basketball standarts. We don't have an elite pg, centers and especially forawards (both players and prospects) are better than guards in Lithuanian basketball recently and in the nearest future, but not because coaches are working only with tall guys and hype them ignoring short kids - it's not happening. People are used to explain everything they see even if they can't understund what's the hell is happening.

    Anyway, how it refers to Zavackas who had a great hand being tall and in fact was better than Macijauskas when they were teenagers? It was fair to think he was more talented. Macijauskas exploaded after 18 y.o. NCAA was bad decision by Zavackas. It was the same one in Jurkunas's case - he was another one promising forward.
    Last edited by Dreamcatcher; 10-22-2017 at 12:31 PM.

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