Saturday, February 21, 2009

"EURO" is the new "BLACK" All-Star Edition

I'm super late to the party, but these two posts on Rudy Fernandez's dunk contest performance seem thematically relevant to my "'Euro' is the new 'Black'" hypothesis

For what it's worth, I didn't think Fernandez had a chance, but was surprised at how fantastic his dunks were. Really, really, fantastic.

A semi-related topic: perhaps the term "Euro" has more or less aged out of usefulness at this point? Peripheral observers and xenophobes might still lean on it as a crutch, but there's enough non-American players in the league at this point that most NBA observers can probably connect each country represented in the league to a particular style of play. This isn't a brand new thought, freedarko was all over this long ago, but it seems worth pointing out in view of the facts that (a) Spanish style has emerged over the last several years (the Summer Olympics were like the official coming out party for those who don't follow the league as closely) as the most stylish of the Euro hoops styles, and (b) Rudy Fernandez turned his dunk contest invite into a celebration of all things Spain.

Regarding (b) -- Kenny Smith and Reggie Miller seemed confused at Rudy's involving Pau Gasol in his dunk, instead of taking the more traditional approach of using a temmate, but when coupled with the invocation of Fernando Martin in the first dunk, Rudy's moves seemed almost a pre-emptive counter to the (expected) xenophobia that his presence in the competition would provoke. He was throwing up signs -- they just happened to be for Spain.

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