Kevin Seraphin, his fists and his Bulls hat
Longtime readers of this blog will recall that I had a certain soft spot for a former Ernie Grunfeld draft-day gamble named Oleksiy Pecherov, a foreign big man no fans really knew about when he was drafted. Pech maybe didn't work out on the court, but damn if he wasn't the most entertaining guy in a locker room filled with them.
The Wizards went ahead and got another foreign big man I had never heard about on Thursday night. His name was Kevin Seraphin, and the early indications are he might take Pech's spot in my heart.
Why? Well, at 1 a.m. he was standing outside Madison Square Garden, holding a basketball and posing for photos in front of a white stretch limo. While wearing a Chicago Bulls hat.
See, the Bulls technically drafted Seraphin. His trade to Washington won't become official until the free agent moratorium ends on July 8, according to Michael Lee. So he was handed a Bulls hat, and he never gave it up, wearing it throughout the majority of a press conference in which he talked constantly about playing for the Wizards.
He finally took it off when an NBA official urgently signaled from the sidelines, but by 1 a.m., he and his advisers were again wearing Bulls hats as they walked down Seventh Avenue. Hey, why not?
It would appear that Seraphin speaks fine English -- he made small talk with media members after his press conference ended -- but the majority of the event was conducted through a translator. That led to this bit of hilarity when Seraphin was asked about his strengths and weaknesses.
"I have a physical, a natural physical ability," he said through the translator. "I'm like 280 pounds. I never lifted [weights]...."
"Rebound, block shots, toughness," Seraphin suddenly said in English, interrupting. Then he used some sign language, smashing his fists together. "I can [use my fists of fury to pound weaklings into tearful submission], you understand?" he asked.
Hell oui, we understood.
"He's a tough player," the translator then said, deciding to translate English into English. "He's strong and he uses his body for that, because he has natural abilities."
"And I can score!" Seraphin said, interrupting again in English.
"He can also score," the translator wondrously said. "He's getting better and better offensively, too."
Seraphin said he's only been playing basketball five years ago, but that he immediately started thinking about the NBA. He said the Wizards scouted him in France, and were "one of the teams to come to see the matches a lot." He said he would "go step-by-step and work to get minutes," and he said Roddy B. is one of his best friends and mentors, and he said he he's happy to be going to Washington. He said this while wearing a Bulls hat.
"I have a good feeling with the team in Washington," he said through the translator. "They told me they really count on me, and I'm going to work. I know that I have to work hard now. And to get the opportunity to play with John Wall is going to help me, too, because John Wall is a tremendous player."
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