As you probably know by now, Jonas Valanciunas continues to dominate the FIBA Under 19 World Championships, and today, against his stiffest competition of the tournament, he dropped 30 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks against Team U.S.A. in a heart-breaking overtime loss.
I’m not here to review another one of Valanciunas’ performances - Scott’s doing a good job of that for all of us. But I am here to discuss the comments made about Valanciunas after the game today. American coach, Paul Hewitt, had this to say after his team narrowly escaped with a victory:
“He’s the real deal. I love his competitiveness. After the game, he was so upset he was crying and punching walls. He went Rambo on us in the second half.”
Now I don’t know about all of you, but all I heard/read was “Rambo.”
The fact that Valanciunas is being compared to arguably the toughest man to ever walk the face of the earth, John Rambo, has to be music to Raptors’ fans ears after years of supporting a butter-soft team.
Heck, we’d take a brain-damaged Rocky Balboa right now. At least he has heart, an iron jaw and can always go the distance. But give us a machete-wielding jungle warrior to play centre and suddenly, the Raptors are not a soft, laughing stock of a team anymore.
The fact that the 19-year-old Lithuanian big man was apparently “crying and punching walls” after the loss shows his competitive spirit and intense desire to win, but may also come across as wildly mentally unstable. Instead, I’ll go with Paulie’s theory, which should spell disaster for whoever takes on the role of “Clubber Lang,” as Valanciunas’ next opponent.
Whether Jonas Valanciunas really does go all Rambo on us and eventually starts leaving bodies by the wayside of NBA courts remains to be seen, but one thing we can say for certain is that despite never living in North America, his English is already better than Sylvester Stallone’s.
The lockout leaves us with so many interesting things to blog about, doesn’t it?