(I hail from Donetsk. It's in the USSR.)
My buddy Don over at With Malice... started the NBA "Unsung Player Day" April 5th two years ago, and it has been an ongoing celebration of the NBA's most unhearalded players. In case you are not familiar, here are the parameters in which Don has outlined for potential candidates:
"Yup, I'm declaring April 5th ‘Unsung Player Day'... we should recognize the guys who toil and work hard every day, for no recognition. Well, today's your day. In reality, these guys are just as responsible for making the NBA what it is today - every team needs role-players, guys to come on and give that valuable 2-5 minutes. Without them, there is no NBA. I would encourage NBA bloggers to put up an ‘unsung player' on their blog on April 5th. (Original linking piece)"
Except... this year "Unsung Player Day" is actually going to be April 14th, which coincides with the last day of the NBA season. You know, that stupid crap called "Life" sometimes gets in the way of this blogging stuff. Annoying when that happens, I understand. It's ok though, it's the thought that counts Don. No love lost here. Go check out his awesome site for a huuuuge list of all the submissions from around the NBA, it will be well worth your time.
Last year TWB nominated Sheldon Williams, because he is clearly amazing. Amazing in the way that his wife is a better basketball player than he is. And probably his small baby girl too. Let's just move on.
So this year we are nominating the immortal Oleksiy Pecherov. Also known as "O-Pech", "Big Oily", "I Get Buckets, Son", "Stewie", and "The White Hole". I don't know about you guys, but I don't think his passing abilities are very appreciated by anyone outside the state of Minnesota. For example, his career rate is 1 assist per every 52 minutes and 12 seconds of game action. However, this year he's averaging 1 assist per every 40 minutes or so of game action! Whoa Nelly! That shows me he's really putting in the effort to be a team player, and stepping up his game exponentially. By the year 2023, he could very well be averaging 5 or 6 assists PER GAME.
(Trust us, his skills are improving)
I mean, look at it this way. Big Oily was a throw in for the amazing "Mike Miller + Randy Foye for the Wizards 5th overall pick" trade (HAHAHAAHA BWAHAHAHAHAHA pause... breathe... HAHAHAHA LOLOLOLOL OH MY GOD AHAHAHAHAH!!!!) This past off-season, the Wolves signed Ryan Hollins (ummm yeah, pause) for something like $7 million over three years. I can't be bothered to look up the specifics of his contract right now, because he's worthless. Seriously, he's like not-having-opposable-thumbs worthless. This year Ryan Hollins has snagged a mind-blowing 206 rebounds in 1,221 minutes played. He also has 199 personal fouls over those same amount of minutes. If you didn't know, he's also 7 feet tall. What I just told you must set some sort of record. Ryan Hollins couldn't grab 8 boards in a lumberyard. I mean, seriously. He is 7 feet tall and he's averaging 1 rebound per every 6 minutes played. And on top of that, this season he almost has MORE FOULS THAN REBOUNDS!
Back to my man Oleksiy Pecherov. Like Ryan Hollins, he is also 7 feet tall, but he rips down a rebound once every 3.6 minutes. And we got him FOR FREE! He's only played 447 minutes this year, which is 8 billion minutes less than he should have played compared to Ryan Hollins. Please note that he has only committed 55 personal fouls this year, which is less than half the number of rebounds he has.
Let's see... what else. Oleksiy can also shoot three pointers, if pressed, as he's a 29% 3-PT shooter for his career. Not great, but it's not like he's the absolutely worst of all time. He's close to the all-time worst, but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. (For everyone at home, Ryan Hollins has never made a three point shot in his NBA career.)
Oleksiy is a career 79% free throw shooter, but this year he's shooting a blistering 90.6%. Don't mind the sample size, and for what its worth, I say we resign him PRONTO.
He has one third the amount of turnovers compared to Hollins this season (32 vs 95), and in about 40% the amount of minutes played (447 vs 1221.) Wait, we signed Ryan Hollins by choice?
Ok, this is getting depressing. I didn't make this post to rip Ryan Hollins, but good god he sucks balls. Just go look at all these awesome pictures of The White Hole:
(Oleksiy need more lift weights)
(Oleksiy happy face)
(Oleksiy sad face)
(Oleksiy towers over opposition)
(Oleksiy constipated face)
(Oleksiy drafted face.)
All of the above just goes to show that Oleksiy Pecherov is clearly underrated, and the 2009-10 Minnesota Timberwolves most viable candidate for this year's "Unsung Player" Award.