If you’ve been reading about the signings by Ukrainian team Azovmash Mariupol these days, it looks as though the owners at Azov Sea just discovered oil under their gym: Dijon Thompson, Uche Nsonwu, Marc Salyers, Khalid El-Amin, Alexandr Capin or Simonas Serapinas have all signed contracts in recent weeks.
When I go over these names, it remembers me a bit of the Polish Euroleague team Prokom Trefl Sopot and their crazy summer signings of 2007. Don’t remember? Well, they signed Travis Best, Milan Gurovic, Ruben Wolkowyski, DaJuan Wagner and Thomas van den Spiegel.
The results turned in by Sopot in the Euroleague were poor. Not only did they played some of the worst games in the whole competition, they managed to win just four games in the season. And these came after the roster was completely rebuilt and the stars departed.
I don’t wish the Ukrainians the same destiny, but these new signings remind me of the assemblage of stars that happened in Poland last year. We’ll see if coach Memi Becirovic manages to build a real team out of these guys. At least Becirovic has one quality last fall’s Prokom Trefl coach lacked: He speaks English.