Wednesday, August 18, 2010

10 Reasons Playing in Italy is Good for Scottie Reynolds

Scottie Reynolds has decided to take his talents to Italy, and surprisingly, he didn’t need a one-hour special on ESPN to announce it. After going undrafted, Reynolds had a good showing with the Suns in the NBA Summer League, despite not being fully healthy at the time. Scottie averaged 10 points and 5 assists over three games, scoring 16 in his first game and dishing out 9 dimes in his second game. Reynolds was invited to training camp to try to earn a spot on the team, but he and his agents jumped at an offer to play for Prima Veroli of the Italian League Second Division. (The team name is being incorrectly reported as “Prima Verdi” by the US media. Someone with poor eyesight must have mistaken the “ol” for a “d”.) It’s not the dream destination for an AP First Team All-American, but this might not be a bad thing for Reynolds and the Villanova basketball program for the following reasons:

1. C.R.E.A.M.
In the words of the Wu-Tang Clan, "Cash rules everything around me." Lee Melchioni, one of Reynolds’ agents, said, "The offer is something that blew us out of the water." I don’t know the exact figures, but Scottie is presumably making a lot more than the minimum non-guaranteed contracts that are usually offered to undrafted free agents in the NBA.

2. Fine Food and Wine

Scottie will be on a steady diet of some of the world’s best pizza, pasta, and fine wine… On second thought, maybe that’s not the healthiest choice for a professional athlete.

3. Follow the Brandon Jennings Model

Sure, it’s a completely different situation, but Jennings did make the successful transition from Italy to the NBA. Jennings went from averaging 5.5 points per game in Italy, to averaging 15.5 in the NBA, scoring 55 points in one game, and making the All-Rookie First Team. Despite Jennings’ hype and talent, he still couldn’t average more than 15 minutes a game for Lottomatica Roma, which attests to the high-caliber of play in Italy as well as their disdain for entitled Americans. So Scottie will need to play hard and earn the respect of his Italian coaches and teammates.

4. Beautiful Women and Beautiful Beaches
Hmm… maybe I’ll follow Scottie to Italy and start blogging about Prima Veroli.

5. The World's Game

If basketball doesn’t work out, Scottie can take up Italy’s most popular sport, soccer. I could see him heading in some goals as a striker. Or he could just become of a fan of AC Milan, as long as he brings a gas mask to the games.

6. EuroTrip!

With Reggie Redding playing in Cyprus, he and Scottie can now recreate the plot of EuroTrip and backpack across Europe together, blasting the song “Scotty Doesn’t Know” along the way. Just be careful that the trip doesn’t suddenly turn into the movie Hostel.

7. The History

There’s the leaning tower of Pisa in Tuscany, the Colosseum in Rome, the gondolas in Venice, and the Vatican. Plus there's plenty of churches and cathedrals, so Scottie won't have to worry about being late for Sunday afternoon games.

8. Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Donatello
I’m talking about the famous artists, although it would be pretty cool if the Ninja Turtles were hiding out somewhere in the hills of Tuscany. Scottie can see firsthand the Sistine Chapel, the statue of David, and many other masterpieces located in the art museums of Italy.

9. Family Reunion

Two other prominent members of the Villanova basketball family currently play in Italy, Allan Ray and Mike Nardi. Scottie will be competing against his former backcourt mate from 2006-07, as Nardi plays for Nuova Pallacanestro Pavia in the same league. A-Ray plays in the top division, however, and after sitting out the 2009–10 season to recover from knee surgery, he has signed with Sutor Montegranaro for the 2010-11 season.

10. Clooney Knows Best

If superstar actor and Jay Wright doppelganger George Clooney owns a villa on Lake Como in Lombardy, you know Italy is the place to be.

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