Thursday, December 21, 2006

Andres Nocioni: Gong Winner

We here at Fleece & Flog would like to extend our congratulations to Chapu, Andres Nocioni, for winning the prestigious Olimpia de Plata (Silver Olimpia for our Anglo-Saxon brethren ) award for basketball excellence in his home country of Argentina.

Each year, a group of Argentine sports writers vote for players in each of 41 separate sports, and the highest vote getter in each discipline receives the coveted award. A singular player of the year award, the Olimpia de Oro (Gold Olimpia for those who never took Spanish as a high school freshman -- the pic on the left is the actual award and Noc's is a silver rendition of the exact same statuette), is given to the best Argentinian player of the year covering all sports. Past winners of the award include Diego Maradona and Gabriela Sabatini.

Nocioni was lauded for his play this past summer at the FIBA world championships in Japan and his stellar work for the Bulls in the 2006 playoffs, but I have a feeling the writers were just tired of giving this award to Manu Ginobli, the so-called MJ of Argentina.

So if Ginobli is the MJ of Argentina, what does that make Nocioni? Barkley? Malone? Hopefully Noc's Bulls career is more productive of post season hardware (read: rings) than those two overrated, ham-fisted power forwards. Just imagine how Sir Charles must feel every time he runs into a Stacey King or a Danny Ferry knowing those two slouches have more rings than he does. Charles can hold his head high though; at least he beat out MJ for the '92-'93 MVP award.

But not an Olimpia de Plata.

Another Bull wins a Player of the Year award. Sounds good to me. Maybe it'll earn Chapu a few more flop calls with the referees, cuz we all know how the NBA caters to its stars, and how can you not be a star if you win the PotY award for an entire country?

(Editor's Note: Hat tip to Blog-a-Bull commenter, Paxson Jackson, for the heads up on the Nocioni story found at SportingLife.com, and Blog-a-Bull administrator, Matt, for finding the new Bulls blog added to our blog-roll called Thank You Isiah.)

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