By: Nick Gibson / @euro_adventures
With Bo McCalebb underperforming in Turkey, I’m ready to admit it: CSKA Moscow’s Sonny Weems is the best American player in Europe right now.
Weems jumped to Kaunas, Lithuania to play for Zalgiris when the lockout hit last season, and spent the regular season proving that if you cheated back on him too much he could burn you from distance.
Then a winless Top 16 for Zalgiris saw Weems’ numbers fall off a cliff-–17.5 points to 11.6; 5.9 rebounds to 3.2; 1.3 steals to zero; from 15-of-30 on threes to 3-of-20—while his effort and attitude on the court started to decline as well.
So which was it: stubborn American scorer who sat back as defenses adjusted to, then put a lid on, his aggressive style of play? Or a developing talent who understands that his ability to put the ball in the basket is worth very little to upper-tier European clubs unless he learns how to minimize his negative impact and produce within a winning system?