Last week, Yahoo!’s Marc J. Spears reported that Pistons free agent DaJuan Summers didn’t have a positive experience playing professionally in Italy. Writing for Sheridan Hoops, Nick Gibson speculates why that could be:
On the one hand you’ve got Siena, fresh off a Euroleague Final Four appearance as well an Italian Championship, their sixth in as many years. On the other, DaJuan Summers, a 23-year-old whose physical gifts far outweigh any sprinkling of success he’s seen in an uneventful two years with the Detroit Pistons.
However, with the departure of Malik Hairston, Montepaschi needed a scorer; and with the departure of the NBA, DaJuan needed a job. So they ignored the blaring sirens of incompatibility, covered their ears and partnered up.
But when you’re an elite team whose only real need is a shot maker on the perimeter, your big acquisition is supposed to make shots on the perimeter. Instead of encouragement (“You’ll hit the next one, DaJuan!”), it’s an ultimatum (“You better hit the next one, DaJuan.”).
There’s no room for slumps or mental lapses on a club that views losing as a sickness. Once the staff identifies the cause of the infection, they’ll cut it out. Out of the starting lineup, out of the rotation, or out of the team’s plans altogether.
Gibson hints that culture shock and adjusting to situations where players could be forced into limited minutes or roles are things that agents should prepare clients for before choosing a team overseas.
Kyle Singler, the man Detroit selected to be DaJuan Summers’ replacement, has cooled down after an alarmingly white hot start in the Spanish League. He’s still among the ACB’s scoring leaders (16.4, 7th), however, and Lucentum Alicante is 4-1 and off to one of their best starts in years.
And on Daye, who is playing in Russia:
Daye’s putting up 5.5 points in nine minutes per game behind names like Sergey Monya (Trailblazers and Kings in 2005-06), Zoran Planinic (Nets from 2003-06) and the Denver Nuggets’ Timofey Mozgov, who is thriving in his return to Mother Russia.