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Thread: Koponen Will Not Join Blazers

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    Administrator mvblair's Avatar
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    Default Koponen Will Not Join Blazers

    Finland's very own Petteri Koponen will not be joining the Portland Trailblazers...at least not in the next half a year.

    There was talk of the Blazers signing the 30th pick in this years draft to a rookie contract, but they requested that he play in Europe for another year because there was a lot of competition at the PG spot (Jarret Jack, Steve Blake, Sergio Rodriguez, Tuareen Green).

    The 19-year-old, who wowed NBA scouts at camps this summer, enlisted in the army instead. He's going to serve his mandatory army stint while playing for his hometown team, the Honka Playboys.

    Koponen would look much better wearing the Blazer's black and red

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    Administrator rikhardur's Avatar
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    The best thing to do really, actually he should stay in Europe 3 or 4 years more.
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    Senior Member Neozyrus's Avatar
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    Absolutely right, he's got a great potential, but first he would have to develop his fundamentals and skills a lot more here (he's still has not even played euroleague). If he goes now, there would be more probabilities of failure in the NBA adventure.
    I KISS BASKET

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    Senior Member Phantim3dx's Avatar
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    when i looked @ this photot he first thing I thought was uniform worn by the commanders/officers of the empire in star wars...but in camo form. anyone else think so?
    "A nationality that easily feels wronged is an insecure one, and one that will be difficult to progress."-Anonymous

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    Koponen clearly wants to return to NBA summer league as fast as he can and earn there a spot in the Portland roster. To spend 3-4 years in Europe, playing at higher level, does not seem to fit his or Portland's plans at the moment.

    After watching European point guards and shooting guards having lots of trouble in NBA, why would he spend years in learning skills that eventually will not be appreciated in teams where he really wants to play, that is, NBA? There is also a huge risk, that he would not find enough game time in a top Euroteam and his development would stop. I guess that's why he stays at home, working with a coach that he knows well.

    Then again, I wonder why on earth he can't be happy to aim for top Euro teams... NBA is still _the_ dream for many players.

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    Administrator mvblair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantim3dx
    when i looked @ this photot he first thing I thought was uniform worn by the commanders/officers of the empire in star wars...but in camo form. anyone else think so?
    How old are you? ...actually, now that you mention it...
    Quote Originally Posted by Hakkapeliitta
    Koponen clearly wants to return to NBA summer league as fast as he can and earn there a spot in the Portland roster.
    I think that's probably Portland's expectation for him, don't you?
    I guess that's why he stays at home, working with a coach that he knows well.
    I thought he decided to stay at home so that he could simply finish his time in the army. If army service is a requirement in Finland, I think he's making a good move as a young man. The army is obviously giving him some flexibility and he'll be able to improve his weight training by remaining in Finland.

    Stve Blake is Portland's starting PG, but he's bounced around the NBA so much he might be traded before next summer (I think he's a good player, but just hasn't stuck with any team). Jarret Jack is the back-up PG. He's got energy and an up-tempo game, but I've read that he turns cold easily. Of course, Sergio Rodriguez is a project for the Blazers. I think Koponen could probably battle Rodriguez for "garbage" minutes this season, but if he continues to develop in Finland, builds up his speed and gets more strength (he looks pretty skinny), than I think he could enter a good situation with the Blazers in the next year or two.

    I've never seen Koponen play. Anybody have some video links that they could give me?

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    just some clips on the youtube





    His manager of course won't make it any easy on him probably trying everything just to get him in NBA. I wish him all the luck there, however problems european guards (especially PG's) tend to have there aren't just a coincidance.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon_Koncak View Post
    That's funny shit.I cant believe there are sports fans thinking like it.It's like Federer losing to random Japanese player in round 1 of French Open but tournament director stepping in and saying "hey it was a fluke win who wants to watch a random Japanese guy in next round,Federer qualifies"

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    How the hell will he develop his skills in his home town team and the local coach? Why not go to a decent European club and instead of army? Strange kid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mvblair
    I think that's probably Portland's expectation for him, don't you?
    I thought he decided to stay at home so that he could simply finish his time in the army. If army service is a requirement in Finland, I think he's making a good move as a young man. The army is obviously giving him some flexibility and he'll be able to improve his weight training by remaining in Finland.
    Portland certainly wants to check him again asap and not to lose him for 3 or 4 years - a possible euro contract and buyout would make a fast process much tougher. If I remember right, Portland has a recent bad example of a prospect who is not getting any game time somewhere in Spain? Anyway, also Koponen has constantly stated that his target is NBA.

    The army service is a bit tricky question. Famously Hanno Möttölä never went there. He did not pass the medical examination as he got "flat feet"?! But he has served well for Finland in other ways. Promising sportsmen have a special system where they pass the service in six months and comparing to regular guys, have lots of freedom to practise, play games etc. During his first week, Koponen slept three nights at the barracks ... and the beginning should be hard... But yes, it's a nice move, shows some respect to the home country.

    I believe that Koponen - and his supporting team - is wise and enough patient to foresee, that it's better to come to NBA as a young prospect, ready to learn local style, than an established europlayer who wants playing time right away. Therefore beginning might be slow and full of setbacks, but that will not be a disappointment for him - Finnish fans and media on the other hand may wonder...

    There are some clips of Koponen in Youtube. Apart from the "usual" alleyoop pass to Batum (Hoop Summit 2007) and some summerleague clips, here's a four part video of finishing minutes of one Finnish 1st league game during last season. Koponen won the game with two excellent passes and last 3 point shot. Check out also Kimmo Muurinen (a national team player) and his bonehead attitude to dive after every ball - and the way he comes back in the next attack.

    http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...&search=Search

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    Senior Member elaj's Avatar
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    He should sign with a mid-level team in Europe and play some decent minutes (15-20mpg) instead of playing 40mpg in some mediocre Finnish league. Stupid decision. Sitting on the bench in NBA and having good practise with some decent individual coaches would do better for him than playing for Honka Playboys.

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    Arkadios, judging from your location, you should support Finnish league having one more respectful player in rotation as well as know how close and good teacher-pupil relation Koponen and his coach Mihailo Pavicevic have.

    The army is obligatory: if you don't want to do it, you face usually 13 month civil service period in a hospital or something similar. You get out only because of some religious reasons or because of medical reasons. Möttölä's case was an exception, Koponen is currently joined in the army by our tennis star Jarkko Nieminen, who's in top 30 of the world. Koponen's decision to stay in Finland is probably 50-50 between how to get this army "problem" solved and tactics with Portland to be back there asap.

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    Senior Member Neozyrus's Avatar
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    You know the name of another really good prospect of european basketball that went too early to the NBA cause apparently blazers wanted him "at all cost"?? Sergio Rodriguez. You can take him as an example.
    By the way, they are both pg's, as is Saras, as is Spanoullis (more or less)...

    I think he really would need to develop himself in an Euroleague team, but anyway if he decide to go to the NBA now, i hope i'm wrong and he will be successful.
    I KISS BASKET

  13. #13

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    I understand that is obligatory, but surely none is dragging you there by force. I suppose you can postpone it for some years. If he is in the army at 19 and playing for mediocre team he won't develop much. How many Europeans made it in the NBA without playing in the Euroleague first? The only one who plays in the NBA now and comes to my mind is Nowitzki. Even Saras who was in NCAA played in Euroleague first and then made it to NBA.

    Quote Originally Posted by parso View Post
    Gomelsky doesn't know @@@@ about basketball
    Quote Originally Posted by sseppel View Post
    it's not asking too much for someone to know where the fuck he is.
    Quote Originally Posted by UMUT_FB_LAL View Post
    Scola makes me wanna touch myself, no homo

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    Guys, I'm with you here, personally I'd rather see him playing in better Eurolevel in next years. I was just trying to figure what he and his support team are thinking. For some weird reason they seem to be only ones - with Portland staff - who think that "mediocre Finnish league" will be enough good for his development. We shall see. His agent has certainly used very well all the hype Koponen generated earlier this year. But we have to admit, both the player and the agent have also been so far extremely successful in their job. Nevertheless, their view and tactics for the future are risky, in worst case Koponen gets lost somewhere on the NBA bench or their farm league, trying endlessly to get the spot on the court.

    As Koponen wants to pass the military service properly - as about 90% of all young men still do - there's a strong point to do the military service now and not wait for later. If and when he will continue his career somewhere abroad, at that point it will be much tougher to return to Finland and stay here for six months. Can you imagine any team letting him do that?

    Of course he should have born and lived enough long in Åland islands, because in that case, you don't have to do the military service. But there the level of basketball games are even worse... if there are basketball teams?

    By the way, the season has started up here. In the first game Honka had a rerun of last year's finals against Lahti and won this time, too. Koponen 42 minutes (1 overtime) 10 points (streaky shooting), 3 reb, 2 as, 2 st, 4 to (Lahti is well known to have best and hardest working defenders for guards in Finland).

    http://213.197.180.56/fba/index.php/...ImZ19pZD03Nzg=

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    Senior Member Juan Carlos Nadal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hakkapeliitta

    Of course he should have born and lived enough long in Åland islands, because in that case, you don't have to do the military service. But there the level of basketball games are even worse... if there are basketball teams?
    I have been to Åland (very nice place btw) and as far as I know there are no basketball teams there. Over the summer there are some training camps (some of which are organized by Swedes) but that's pretty much it.

    I agree however that it is better if Petteri does his national service now rather than later. Just get it out of the way.
    The Euroleague Organization and Mr Bertomeu are like the Bulgarian Government: corrupt, partially stupid, and a huge underestimator of people's intelligence.

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    Administrator mvblair's Avatar
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    Finland's Athletes in Military -- November 6, 2007, Helsingin Sanomat

    ....Since 2005 the Häme Regiment Sports School has experimented with a 180-day training model. The model is aimed for sportsmen competing abroad, as well as for those who still live in Finland but who have already signed a professional precontract.

    The 2nd Reconnaissance Company’s barrack room No.13 accommodates Nieminen and 12 other athletes – among them the NBA-drafted basketball player Petteri Koponen.

    While Koponen and his service mates took to target practice at the shooting range, Nieminen had his physical examination, picked up his service gear, and learned how to make his bed army style.....
    He'll need to improve his shooting if he joins the NBA.

  17. #17

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    "What's more important, one Finnish championship or a player's whole career". That's the rhetorical question Playboys coach Pavisevic gives as Petteri Koponen follows Finnish Finals from the bench after a bone in his right arm's thumb was broken against Lappeenranta in the semifinals.

    While speculations go on if this is just a scam and Koponen would appear in the decisive moments, all is still targeted to NBA summer camp and no risks are taken. The thumb should be ok long before June, when Koponen is planning to return to Portland's summer practices.

    During the season Koponen has mostly led very nicely Playboys' team, although their gameplan seems to leave a lot of freedom for him to run the game. Is this a good gameplan or way to get some serious practice for Koponen, who knows. Nevertheless, 18,8 points/game and 4,1 assists/game are the most important statistics. In points, he's the only Finn in the league's top15. All this, while the army service is still going on.



    In the finals Playboys play against Kouvolan Kouvot, a decent and stable team that has been somewhat underestimated during the season. Then again, from the top Finnish teams they are the only ones who manage to keep their team together for the whole season and actually are still getting better.

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    Administrator mvblair's Avatar
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    Great! Thanks for the update, Hakka.

    Has Koponen mentioned the coaching situation in Portland? A lot of fans of Sergio Rodriguez say that their caoch, Nate McMillan is not being fair to Rodriguez (and other players). Rudy Fernandez also has that concern. Has Koponen mentioned it?
    "I really like the attitudes of eagles. They never give up. When they grab a fish or something else, they never let it go. It doesn't matter. In a book, they write they find a skeleton of [an] eagle and there is no fish. It means that the fish beat him and killed him, but he didn't let go." -- Donatas Motiejunas

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    Quote Originally Posted by mvblair
    Has Koponen mentioned the coaching situation in Portland? A lot of fans of Sergio Rodriguez say that their coach, Nate McMillan is not being fair to Rodriguez (and other players). Rudy Fernandez also has that concern. Has Koponen mentioned it?
    I haven't noticed any official statements or views on that matter, and fans are mostly counting American guards and already by then getting a worrysome picture on Koponen's chances to get minutes - that is, if you feel enough positive to state that Koponen will get to the team in the first place. Anyway, I can't believe that the team woul keep all current guards and get both Rudy and Petteri into the team, too - there's just not enough room in the team?

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    Administrator mvblair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hakkapeliitta
    I haven't noticed any official statements or views on that matter, and fans are mostly counting American guards and already by then getting a worrysome picture on Koponen's chances to get minutes - that is, if you feel enough positive to state that Koponen will get to the team in the first place. Anyway, I can't believe that the team woul keep all current guards and get both Rudy and Petteri into the team, too - there's just not enough room in the team?
    No, there's not enough room, you're right. However, there is always the possibility of a trade, whether for Koponen, Rudy, Sergio, Blake, or Jack. I know Portland fans are clambering for something to be done about the PG situation because that is their weakest position right now.
    "I really like the attitudes of eagles. They never give up. When they grab a fish or something else, they never let it go. It doesn't matter. In a book, they write they find a skeleton of [an] eagle and there is no fish. It means that the fish beat him and killed him, but he didn't let go." -- Donatas Motiejunas

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