In the name of Nenad Krstic
For my first post as a Master of the Klondike, (and to be perfectly honest, I really do feel like a Master of the Klondike) I would like to make a confession. Much like my co-blogger's relationship with Kobe I too have a love who's name I dare not speak. Perhaps not as controversial a figure, but to my thinking just as heroic, shameful, dynamic, and sordid as the Los Angeles superstar.
Nenad Krstic, the man, the myth, the Serbio-Montenegran giant with the heart of gold. I had heard rumour of the boy ever since he left his home of Kraljevo, giving up his life as a goat-herd and part time chimney sweep for the money of the Austrio-Hungarian junior league. He was drafted by the Nets in '02, but his team, the Slvrankil Tigers refused to release his rights. He stayed there the next two seasons, winning the MVP award his last year when he scored 26 points (no accurate rebounding statistics exist) and shorned two goats during halftime of the championship game.
He came to the Nets with little fanfare, most thought he would get the Darko/Zarko treatment this year. And this was true for the most part, stuck behind J. Collins and the artist formerly known as Alonzo Mourning's kidney Nenad seemed destined to lead the league only in highest proportion of consonants to vowels in a last name. This, however, was when my interest in Nenad began. On nights when the Nets were playing a good team I would watch them play.(I know this must be the most shocking part of this post, the fact that somebody actually is retarded enough to watch the Nets play) One of the good things about watching a team as horrible as the Nets is that by the middle of the third quarter the game is effectively over and you're able to see the scrubs and rookies. When Nenad came in he showed a zest and love for the game which few, past or present, possess. Diving on the floor, running into his own men, hitting his head on the rim, these were just a few of the early Nenad Krstic's antics. He quickly became a local folk hero, a sort of Johnny Appleseed in shorts and New Jersey.
Then the most important thing happened, I saw the Nets Life: Nenad edition. There was a full half-hour of Nenad. I learned all the information previously mentioned about Nenad, plus got to go shopping with him. When he got to the meat aisle and bought every package of Hebrew National hotdogs in stock I knew he was the one.
I still, believed, however, that the Nets midget coach would be able to keep the indomnitable NK down. I didn't have enough faith in the boy who at age 12 was so tall he had to sit on the teacher's desk in math class because the chairs were too small, and when he sat on his own desk it crumpled to the floor.
But a funny thing happened, Alonzo Mourning's liver failed, (well, I guess that's not too funny) and with no other able bodies Nenad started getting some serious run. And you know what? This little bastard has game. He's got nice touch out to 14 feet, good feet (he attributes it to his time as a shephard), and is not really that soft. I started loving the bastard and picked him up on my fantasy team. He's really not bad. Tonight, for instance he scored 16 with 4 boards, 3 assists, and three blocks. He's only 21. This guy could be the next Zoran Planinic! I'm telling you, I love this guy.
In addition to his game and his history he also has, in my opinion, the single best name in the NBA today. I loved Darko Milosovic(Free Darko! Viva la Milosivic) and Zarko Zabarkaba is an all timer, but just say Nenad Krstic and tell me it doesn't bring a smile to your face. I've taken to using it as a curse (in the name of Nenad H. Krstic, what's going on here! etc.) I'm worried about using Krstic's name in vain, but I imagine he'll forgive me. Also, that is just an unbelievable amount of consonants, we're talking 5 to 1 here people! That never happens! Only one man can make the impossible come true, can walk on water and turn it into consonants, and that one man's name is Nenad H. Krstic.
One of my running themes from now on will be the life, the times, the travails, the successes, the improvements, the nasal passages of old Nenad. I'm glad I've unburdoned myself, I've kept my feelings secret far too long. It feels good to loose the fetters and shackles of forbidden love. I didn't think it would happen so soon, but his time has come, and I'm just glad I am lucky enough to be in the right place and time to chronicle it.