Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Batum, Meet Claver
Rudy Fernandez may share a common passport with Victor Claver, but Nicolas Batum is probably the Trail Blazer most familiar with Claver's game. Being around the same age, Batum and Claver have played against each other numerous times. Batum guesses it's been about ten times they've lined up opposite each other, so he's got a pretty good understanding of who he is as a player.
But it's not Claver's jumper or his ability to play multiple positions that sticks out in Nic's mind when he thinks about Portland's first round pick in the 2009 Draft. What Nic remembers is some that happened more than six years ago in their first meeting.
"The first time I played him I was 14," said Batum "He dunked on me, but I dunked on him one time. He dunk on me, I dunk on him after."
Nic makes sure to get that last part out as quickly as possible. He doesn't want anyone thinking he didn't get payback for being posterized by Claver at the tender age of 14.
Come to think of it, maybe that's the reason Batum goes so hard at Pau Gasol. Pau has Victor to blame for that.