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Sonny Weems’ plan to make it back to NBA
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On October 6, 2013 @ 6:18 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
One-time NBA guard Sonny Weems never had the travel bug, never had the itch to take pictures of the places he visited.
Then his pro basketball career took him to Europe. He now loves traveling — Athens is his favorite city — and often sends photos to his family.
Weems, 27, returns to the USA as a key member of Russia’s CSKA Moscow and will play against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday and San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday in exhibition games with his mind set on returning to the NBA, potentially as soon as next season.
“These two games won’t dictate whether I make my comeback to the NBA or whether I stay in Europe,” Weems said. “This season, that’s what will determine my future. But my resume so far has let coaches and GMs know that I’m ready to play in the NBA again.”
Weems, who was drafted by the Denver Nuggets and played for the Toronto Raptors in 2009-10 and 2010-11, was one of the first players to sign in Europe during the 2011 NBA lockout. A restricted free agent that summer, Weems wanted a guarantee and Europe offered it.
He signed with BC Zalgiris in Kaunas, Lithuania, but having never spent considerable time outside of North America, Weems struggled at first, both on and off the court.
He didn’t know the language, and the European game is different. “In the NBA, it’s up and down, up and down,” Weems said. “In Europe, you have to slow your game down. I had to learn how to use my brain instead of my natural ability.”
Weems said he had to re-invent himself as a player and prove he could do more than just rely on athleticism.
But even after a decent year in Lithuania, which ended late in the season with a badly sprained ankle, there was minimal interest in Weems from NBA teams. So he signed with CSKA Moscow in the 2012 offseason and helped CSKA to a Russian title and third-place finish in the Euroleague last season.
Playing for respected Italian coach Ettore Messina, who spent the 2011-12 season with the Los Angeles Lakers, … [For more on Sonny Weems' plan to make it back to NBA from Russia, click here.]
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