Alright, it's time for Ryan Richards to come home. Well, no, not Great Britain. It's time for Ryan Richards to get his ass stateside, preferably to Austin. The continent of Europe seemingly doesn't agree with him. According to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando, Richards and Polish club Asseco Prokom Gdynia, have "parted ways."
I have a news for you @hooplikedrazen : Ryan Richards and Asseco Prokom Gdynia parted ways— Emiliano Carchia (@SportandoBasket) January 29, 2013
It's unclear whether Richards decided to leave the team, which he's done in the past, or if Asseco Prokom decided, whether it's attitude or play, Richards wasn't a part of their plans. We reported back in December that Richards was on the outs with the team after a string of poor performances and was mainly riding the bench, but Carchia's tweet gave no indication why the two sides split.
So this is Richards' third team in the last year and he also left Team Great Britain shortly before the London Olympics. Obviously there's a disconnect somewhere here.
Maybe he has an attitude problem, maybe he's been dealing with some personal stuff that's made his life hell the last year or maybe it has something to do with the clubs he's playing for. We don't know, though I'm sure the Spurs have a much better idea of things than we do, and that's why I don't think we should judge Richards too harshly.
When he was playing for Lugano last season, he was putting up decent numbers before abruptly leaving the team. He didn't get a ton of run with Georgia or Poland and it's tough to say why other than he wasn't playing well when he got time.
Richards did make an appearance with the Spurs' Summer League squad and had an up and down week in Vegas. From everything we saw there were no attitude problems despite his up and down playing time. Mostly, he's just still a really raw basketball player.
Here's what now Magic Head Coach Jacques Vaughn said about Richards' play after the first game and his role on the team.
“I think Ryan needs to just continue to get better at all aspects of the game. He was physical out there on both ends of the floor," Vaughn said. "I think for a big, for us, it’s just being in the right place at the right time. Good screens, rebounding, real fundamental, doesn’t get too complicated with us.”
The sets that were being run in Summer League are similar to what's run in Austin, which is what's similar to what's run in San Antonio. Having Richards in Austin, having him do the little things Vaughn talked about, would prove whether Richards can turn his potential in to being an important contribution to a team. If not, then the Spurs move on. If he's in the system and still can't cut it, then he's out of excuses, there's no more uncertainty.
It's easy to call a guy a bust when a couple of years pass and he hasn't done much, but it's also important to remember he's only 21 years old and hasn't had the structure that would even come with playing for a college team. More to the point, it's really tough to give up on 7-foot tall guys with athleticism and NBA 3-point range unless you're absolutely sure he's not going to work out for you.
I think he needs guidance more than anything he has too much raw talent to not even try to mold. Well for what it's worth remember when Blair went to Russia to play and then they shipped right back? Wonder what that was all about? Blair certainly can play in any Euro league. I think it's those euro coaches.
@Spursfan66 i kind of agree with you there. but then again, if he gets into the right system, who knows. I definitely want to see him play in better/tougher leagues.
@JeffProjectSpurs Agreed..spinning his wheels at this point
@Spursfan66 @JeffProjectSpurs The question is, will bringing Richards to the Toros do anything to improve his morale? Is he being a prima-donna b/c he got drafted or does he just have an abrasive personality that Pop can iron out? At this point though, it seems like he needs some Spurs personnel around him to help him get adjusted and develop. Hopefully he will like Austin.
Yea the kid just needs to play on the court. I like the idea of him playing on TP's team if that is possible. Let's try with this kid. He does need to stick in a place for at least awhile regardless of the circumstances. He needs to be more responsible and just work daily on whatever role he is given. He may be pressuring himself to be that all around stud in too much of a hurry.
OK but the big question is if he is a bust? with that supposed attitude he has, that's not SAS material. SAS like humble players.
@JeffProjectSpurs I think our need for "humble" players is a bit overstated. Having players like S-Jax, Mario Elie, and even Tony Parker to some extent, dispels the Spurs myth of ultimate humility (I heard we even targeted the artist formerly known as Ron Artest to wear the Silver and Black!). Pop's ability to manage personalities and players makes almost anyone a "Spur" in my mind as long as they buy into the system. That system is being entirely unselfish. I think the fact that Richards is just leaving when he feels like it is more concerning to me b/c it means he has problems adjusting to coaches and their systems. I wouldn't call Richards a bust quite yet (James Anderson still can't be topped), but signs are not good at this point.
@JeffProjectSpurs I think it has more to do with him trying too hard to justify the Spurs taking him instead of just trying to get better. The lack of structure seems to have done a doozy to him. When he was here in the summer he didn't seem to complain and still gave 100% when he actually was on the floor. I'm thinking its more of a maturity thing than an attitude problem, but we can't really know for sure without having insider infos.
We have been talking about this guy for such a long time, I still don't remember why? Is he talented or something? I mean averaging like 2pts in summer league doesn't shout talent to me. Why is he such a big deal again? We've had plenty of picks that never pan out, it's time to let the idea of this guy coming in and contributing go.
@Spursforever69 youtube him and you'll see why waiting could pay off. If he was older I'd agree with you, but hes only 21.
This was the most thoughtful article PS has run on Ryan. The guy was young, and in most European situations, young guys watch. Richards being an NBA selection aslo hut him. He got game on his last team wher he palyed more than 7 minutes. He played 24 in that one, scored 17pts(?), 7 boards, made 2 of 3 from 3 pts, and was benched for 6 games afterward. He got 2 dnp's on blowout wins where everyone else got in the game. There is more going on than meets the eye.
There is no way to have Ryan in Austin this year with out risking letting him sign with another NBA organization,. Perhaps 1 of the SA leagues could sign him until Summer league. The guys really needs time on the court somewhere to develop.
Do we need to sign the kid to a contract before placing him on the Toros? Is having to carry him as a roster spot the issue, the first round salary? Why not have him play on TP's team? It looks like he needs a lot of coaching, both personal and basketball.
He has so much talent to go to waste...
I agree 100%. Good article. Hopefully he can get onto the Toros some point soon and show the coaches first hand opposed to worrying about what he puts on tape. Only will time will tell but he has so much potential that he could very well be worth the wait.