Does the “Euro Blake Griffin” live up to the hype?

Earlier today, I was intrigued by this SI.com headline: ‘Euro Blake Griffin’ to enter NBA draft. The link takes you to a T&R post that excerpts the following from this SLAM Online article:

Jan Vesely says he’s in the Draft. The 6-11, 20-year-old told SLAM Magazine that he will “enter the 2011 NBA Draft” and that he’s “ready for the NBA after this season.” Vesely is spending time between the small and power forward spots for Partizan, though he says that he envisions himself as a “power forward” in the NBA. Donned “the European Blake Griffin” by many, he’s had no problem putting guys on posters and has more bounce than any true European in recent memory.

With the way Blake Griffin is dominating the NBA with his freakish athleticism, the unbridled power of his dunks, and his consistent onslaught of 20-10s, any player being compared to Griffin should pique the interest of basketball fans. And when it’s a skinny white dude from Europe – a continent not exactly known for producing Blake Griffin clones – the intrigue is even more acute.

So I went to YouTube to see Jan Vesely for myself and determine if there is any validity to the “Euro Blake Griffin” moniker. Before I tell you what I think, check him out for yourself.

Note: the soundtrack for this mixtape is definitely NSFW thanks to the lyrics (which are extremely profane), so turn down your speakers if necessary or if that sort of thing bothers you.

Video Mixtape: Jan Vesely – the “Euro Blake Griffin”

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So what do you think? Should Blake Griffin be worried that his awe-inspiring game will soon become commonplace once all the power-dunking Europeans show up, led by Vesely? Yeah, not so much. I won’t say that calling Vesely the “Euro Blake Griffin” is as bad as when Tamir Goodman was called the “Jewish Jordan”, but it’s at least in a surrounding zip code.

Sure, Vesely has some ups and the coordination to complete alley-oops, but a skinny European guy dunking over other skinny European guys who appear disinterested in defense isn’t really anything to get worked up about. Plus, I bet you that if someone put together a mix tape of Blake Griffin, it wouldn’t include a free throw.

Okay, jokes aside, here is what this mixtape of Vesely shows:

  • He’s got some skills, including a nice looking jump shot (those his scouting report says it’s inconsistent)
  • He has length with decent speed and quickness (for a Euro) to go with it
  • He’s a cocky SOB who probably thinks he’s the Euro Blake Griffin

If you want any more cold water to throw on the “Euro Blake Griffin” notion, this comes from Vesely’s scouting report on MyNBADraft.com:

Body needs more bulk……very skinny and lean, and doesn’t posses the physical mind set to play the four effectively.

Does that sound at all like Blake Griffin to you? Uh, no. And just in case you need a quick reminder of how big a difference there is between Griffin and Vesely, here you go:

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Also, there is this about Vesely: the player he is compared to is Nikolaz Tskitishvili. Yes, this Nicholas Tskitishvili, who shot 30.4% from the field during a thoroughly disappointing four-year NBA career.

Will some NBA team probably grab Vesely in the first round this year because of his measurables and youth and the success of guys like Dirk Nowitzki? Probably. Could Jan Vesely turn into a really good NBA player someday? Of course he could. Is he the next Blake Griffin or even a close facsimile? Hell no. And if he’s the closest Europe can get to producing a player comparable to Griffin, we should probably just retire the term “Euro Blake Griffin” forever and cut out the comparison hyperbole.

Unless someone wants to starts calling me the “Midwestern Bill Simmons.” Then we can talk.

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About Jerod Morris

I love words. I write for Copyblogger and founded MSF, The Assembly Call, & Primility. I practice yoga, eat well, & strive for balance. I love life. Namaste. Say hi on Twitter, Facebook, & G+.

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