Timofey Mozgov blogs about the end of lockout
Guys, this is not Timofey Mozgov’s personal blog! (Scroll down for the translation of Timo’s recent post)
I mean, chernykh.wordpress.com. It is run by me, Alexander Chernykh, a professional sportswriter from Russia who had his 15 seconds of international fame for getting the original “will play in Europe for $50 million” and “you cut the check, and I’ll bring my Nike checks” quotes out of Kobe Bryant.
Now it IS a shameless plug, but hopefully I got your attention now. I used to add a foreword in italics to previous translations, but apparently it didn’t work, so a lot of people are still leaving personal messages to Mozgov in comments to posts. I re-sent those to Timo via his agent, but still… Probably the lack of design whatsoever on this website is also misleading, I’m about to tweak that.
Feedback is what makes this blog going, please just keep in mind that you’re not writing to Timofey.
One year in, and I still get asked if these are legit blog posts by Mozgov or are they made up. They are legit.
Mozgov runs his blog at Sports.ru which has a booming social network built in. Blogger lineup includes Andrei Kirilenko (blog taken hostage by his wife) and the new Lakers’s assistant coach and European great Ettore Messina (who blogs in English). TV announcer Oleg Ushakov was hired as a GM of Russian national team that won bronze at Eurobasket. Another journalist Dmitry Materanskiy is now a member of the Nets. Hey, I blog there too! Sure makes you wait for that email from Jay-Z.
Anyway, from now on I have decided to run Mozgov translations as quotes to avoid confusion, even though sometimes it’s a translation of the whole post. Thing is, even though I often want to do like other bloggers and only use part of the text, but Mozgov’s prose is so well-structured and I don’t want to ruin it, so I end up not sleeping until 3 AM and translating the whole thing (Sports.ru doesn’t mind and we actually started using my translations on the English version of the website. So, it’s official.).
Another thing that bothers me other than getting a reputation of a Mozgov impostor is the quality of translation. Well, I have a university degree in international relations, but it doesn’t by any means make me capable of translating Leo Tolstoy’s works. Mozgov is very well-read and is always creative with his writing, throwing in some slang and bookish words, so it’s not an easy task. I try to keep it as close as possible but sometimes the result is too word-for-word. Also, I never lived abroad and I only have this much free time for revising. So, some of those weird little phrases are really on Mozgov’s part, and some are due to translation. Whenever you think, “Now, this is not in English” – well, yeah, it’s really not.
Now enough with the disclaimers and over the top self-promotion. Here’s what you all came here for. This is Timofey Mozgov’s recent post in its entirety, up to the last set of closing parentheses (which stand for smileys).
Hi everyone! So tell me, are you celebrating already?))) It’s still hard to believe, right? Just like that – abruptly and spontaneously, yes? 148 days and there you go! The end!!!
Actually, guys (and your female comrades-in-arms), please take my most sincere congratulations. All of us together – colleagues, people who love and value basketball, fans – without a doubt, have eagerly waited for these strokes of the pens which are exactly golden for all of us. It happened at last.
Now I’m going to reduce my emotions a little and tell you about this fact from a perspective of a player. My personal take.
148 days is a long time. It’s very long. Of course I won’t say this time I was on pins and needles. But I definitely wanted certainty. I really missed it. The prospect of having to pack your bags any time or having to look at them unpacked, to tell you the truth, wasn’t making me happy. Well, I think it’s clear. It’s good that the new agreement is in place for no less than five years, now it’s known. It means that this nightmare won’t repeat soon.
Aside from that, everything was not just OK – everything was just SUPER! My agent (yes, I mean Max – now you have seen his photo at last))) and me have made a decision that was the only one that’s right in my opinion: as soon as lockout showed itself, we have started to play in Europe.
When many of the guys across the ocean tormented themselves with painful doubts about all the delights of their remote and not so remote future, the other part of American basketball planet was keeping shape and making it better in field conditions. I don’t know which of these is good
for Mozgovand which is bad for Kobe Bryant. For me the answer is obvious. Huge thanks to Khimki and, of course, to Viktor Bychkov personally, for taking me back with arms wide open. Thanks go to Rimas Kurtinaitis, who believed in me and let me do on the court what some of the NBAers really came to the Old World for – make progress.
Only during the start of the season in Russia I, at last, managed to completely forget about the consequences of that injury which I sustained overseas. When I learned about the diagnosis at the time, I was happy that, so to say, everything was fine and I was lucky that it wasn’t worse. It really could have been worse and it was really a good reason for rejoicing. But that everything was fine… Because of emotions then I rushed into a conclusion a little bit.
All in all, I really was able to step on the court soon after the injury, but even during the Eurobasket I still couldn’t use my leg at least 80% – I was lacking quickness and explosive speed.
The original projection by the doctors proved to be true: as they promised, half a year passed before I settled into shape in September or October. Then I could once again start doing what a center should. Also, I really got into rhythm, got my confidence back and learned some new things. So I can repeat myself – everything was done right.
Of course I knew that Khimki is my second home and I am always welcome here. It wasn’t a hard choice for me. But still, it was so nice to feel it again, to feel yourself at home: my native city, my native arena, the locker room, fans and friends! Everything is so dear, what I’m used to… Here, in this club, all the needed conditions are in place for this. Here’s a huge thank you to all people who were involved.
Here I’m writing this and I caught myself thinking that I got carried away with saying thanks and the memories. It resembles a goodbye a little bit. But I’m flying away not tomorrow. And, it seems, not the day after tomorrow either. So it means that it’s too early for goodbyes. Emotions …
First of all, Max is waiting for the official letter from Denver. Then all my future plans will get some tangible qualities. Second, anyway, I wanted to say goodbye to my fans and friends as it should be done. Because their support all this time was just great! And for that, once again, I’m very grateful.
Don’t ask me if I already got to talk to anybody of my American friends and teammates, to discuss what happened. Believe me, right now few people (other than Twitter fans))) care about text messages and calls – everybody is about to get snowed under with work. OK, we’ll move to all of that a bit later.
What can I add about the collective bargaining agreement. Of course, it’s already good that it’s signed)) And it’s twice as good that it’s definitely for more than five years. It means that this nightmare won’t repeat itself soon.
Actually, right now I know just as much as you do. I know that we are starting to prepare for the season on December 9 and our first game will happen after the 25th. Basically, there’s enough time for restoring the mutual understanding between teammates. It’s another deal what roster changes will happen and still, in what shape will the players join the team. Then we’ll have at least a remote idea of what lies ahead before us in the upcoming season.
But it’s clear even now that 66 games lie ahead. Yes, it’s not 82 games. But still, it’s not few. Especially over such period of time.
So, we’ll be following the news coming from the Nuggets. And right now I’m leaving to Greece with Khimki to play a Eurocup game vs. PAOK which is very important for us. So all of my thoughts are already there.
We’ll keep in touch)))
Having watched Mozgov play since summer, first at Eurobasket and then in the Russian league, it was obvious that he was getting in shape gradually. He looked heavy and slow and was blamed by Team Russia’s head coach David Blatt, who said that it doesn’t matter where you sit on the bench all season, in the NBA or not. Good to hear that injury has played a part, and that now those problems are gone.
Try this link to watch the game from two days ago – it doesn’t work on my laptop right now for some reason, though it normally does. Khimki’s coach chose this game against a modest team Spartak from Vladivostok to give his 12th player and kept Mozgov on the bench. By the middle of 3rd quarter it became clear that a loss is very possible, so the coach put Mozgov in the game and asked him to be Superman. Mozgov got the ball on every posession and went Wilt on Spartak, scoring 20 points in just 14 minutes.
Mozgov is averaging 15.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game in Russian league and 14.5 + 4.5 in Eurocup (check stats of NBA players overseas at DraftExpress)
Nuggets fans, are you waiting?