I was the second Finn in NBA
. I played for Atlanta Hawks
and so did Hanno Möttölä
, the first Finnish ever to make it in NBA (and for real). Our team was very pathetic on a paper
but we had very good team spirit
and the coach believed we could make a good team in a year or two. At the moment we lacked a tall center
but it didn't cause any problem with defense. Too true, in the offense it reduced our options but it also enabled us to keep good pace in a game.
This time we played against another lousy team who had one superstar but I virtually outdefensed him. In the first half he did only 12 points which is not a good scoreline for him. But we were still behind because our offense sucked big time. At the end of the first half it was me who had to take shots - me, who wasn't a pointscorer at all. But I didn't do bad: Just before the whistle I faked the defense, dribbled into the box and made a difficult shot but it scored my first two points in NBA. How brilliant that felt!
For the first half my stats were as follows:
points - rebounds - passes
2 6 4
I was particularly proud of the amount of rebounds because I'm only 181cm tall. It was pure will to take that much rebounds.
When the second half started there was some hassle with some not-so-good friends and they kept us from going into the hall. They were really enthuastic about the game and happy how everything were turned out. They wanted to share our success right now but me and my friend who played for Atlanta too explained ourselves out of it and told them to see us later. But we entered the hall just bit late so that I heard only the coach saying: "Well, if Pekka is not coming then Gianala will take his place." Of course I was disappointed, especially because there would have been time for me to join the squad but the decision was already made. I didn't protest and I gave Gianala, who is also a Finn and an old friend of mine from the same basketball team of our youth, thumbs up. I thought he would do good.
But he didn't. Or to be more precise, it was the whole team that sucked. After the first half we were only some 5 points behind but now it was more than 12. I got a call from the coach: Back to business!
Very disappointing, I woke up at this point when I was supposed to rule the game and I dreamed there would have been post-game gangbang