Heading in to these Olympics, one of the players NBA fans were most excited to see was Lithuania’s Jonas Valanciunas. Not only was he a lottery pick in the 2011 draft, there were rumors he’d go No. 2 in this year’s draft, right behind the unibrowed Anthony Davis. That’s how good people think he is and this would be his biggest stage. By playing against NBA competition every single game, we’d finally be able to give Kenny Smith some Raptor news and see how Jonas measured up.

The results? Not so good. He never played more than 16 minutes and often played less than 10. He never scored more than seven points in a game and managed five or more rebounds just three times, while being in constant foul trouble and looking very slow defensively when forced out of his comfort zone, even though he made the right decisions. Basically, he looked like a 20-year-old playing against grown men while being coached by a guy who wanted to give his veteran squad its best chance to win a medal.

However, according to Doug Smith of the Toronto Star, he did eventually learn one very important lesson in London.

After introducing myself as a scribbler from Toronto, to which he replied “good to meet you” and that puts him ahead in my books, first question out was what did you learn here?

“I learned how not to foul out.”

Now that, my friends, is a valuable lesson. Just ask Greg Oden (don’t mention the knees). Once you learn how to play defense without hacking everybody who comes near you, you can actually stay on the court, which is very important when it comes to playing basketball. Someday, David Lee might even learn about it.

So there you go, Raptor fans. Maybe the tournament wasn’t the most exciting thing you could hope to see from a future player, but at least he learned something that’s going to come in handy in the future. Then once he learns how to complain any time a foul is called on him, he’ll truly be NBA ready.

Comments (10)

  1. Thank you for finally giving me some Raptor news.

    • I love how elegantly the Jonesers incorporated this little “Rapta Noos” nugget into their work: how to sectretly diss a popular TV analyst while still being completely professional, lesson 1.
      that was maybe my favorite nba.com moment of all time, the Jet not having the slightest idea who he’s actually talking to and just assuming TBJ is a raptor-related website from some guys who do something with them internets. pure gold. love the allusions every time.

        • you saved me some time, thanks :)

        • I watched this clip for the first time and yeah, there is some akward stuff. Who cares, a typical arrogant American behavior.
          But he did get Tas very good on the Knicks-Heat part, media is sometimes too naive with all the hype some teams get during the season. You can always take sample size what happens during regular season and see that some teams just don’t succeed in the playoffs.
          It’s neat to pretend that Carmelo and the Knicks are ‘the real deal’ to satisfy your main audience market, but it’s sorta popcorn.
          Keep the good work :)

  2. haha, the last line’s hilarious. Nice close

  3. This is an article from an optimist… I m glad you are trying look at things positively. But the truth is that the Raptors suck and Jonas may need to learn a more valuable lesson; how to take constant losses and diappointments. #losercitytoronto

  4. suck a d oryben. Raps 4 life

  5. No Kidding- Raps do suck though

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