Home  >>  Write  >>  Sports  >>  Basketball  >>  NBA  >>  NBA Player of the Week  >>  Andres Nocioni



Player of The Week: ANDRES NOCIONI

On August 11, the Chicago Bulls announced the signing of free agent forward Andres Nocioni, 24, of Argentina. The deal was for $8.3-million over three years.

Fresh after helping lead Argentina to a stunning gold-medal performance at the Athens 2004 Olympics, Nocioni is ready to make the leap from the European leagues to the National Basketball Association. A seasoned pro at only 24, Nocioni has spent the last two seasons with Tau Ceramica in the Spanish League, where he averaged 16.8 ppg and 7.9 rpg during last season’s Euro League play, and had played pro ball in Argentina for four years preceding his stint in Europe. For further credentials, Nocioni has helped Tau Ceramica win the 2004 and 2002 Spanish National Cup, 2001-2002 Spanish National Championship. He earned All-Euroleague Second Team accolades following the last two seasons.

Nocioni has been under the NBA radar over the past few seasons as one of Europe’s most athletic and explosive players. Chicago’s Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, John Paxson, believes his work ethic and dedication will complement the team well. He plays with a passion that we believe all players should play with and we look forward to him joining the Bulls, Paxon continued.

I myself have only seen Nocioni play in international competition, but this young man is a certified beast. Recall the 1999 Olympic qualifier, with Argentina taking on the mighty United States, Nocioni was best remembered for taking Kevin Garnett, reigning NBA MVP, to the whole and dunking hard on him. He followed that up by dunking on Tim Duncan, you know, no big deal, considering that he was only 17 at the time!

Nocioni has always endeared himself to the fans wherever he went because of his intensity, all-out hustle, defense, and explosive dunks. He leaves every ounce of effort on the court. The transition to the NBA will no doubt be difficult, particularly the language and cultural differences. However, the advantage to Nocioni’s game is that it is extremely low-maintenance. You don’t need to cater to him, throw him out on the floor and he’ll be happy playing the inside game, banging with the biggies, and finding his own opportunities to create his shot. To his credit, and Chicago’s, Nocioni is now developing into a threat from the outside. His shot is becoming more and more consistently.

You watch - this no-name (currently) Argentinean is going to turn some heads with his performance this year, playing with the games’ best in the NBA, and competing for Rookie of the Year honors.