Prior to San Antonio’s 106-88 fourth quarter victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday, I had a chance to speak with Wolves Russian rookie Alexey Shved.
Though Shved is a rookie, he’s had his run against NBA caliber players as he went head to head with Manu Ginobili (Argentina), Tiago Splitter (Brazil), and Patty Mills (Australia) when Russia played against each squad in the 2012 London Olympic Games.
It was Shved’s Russian squad that eventually put an end to the “Golden Age’s” run as Russia defeated Argentina for the Bronze medal in a thrilling game back in early August.
In the interview, Shved spoke with me about Spurs guard Tony Parker, and why he’s one of the best point guards in the league.
“He’s one of the best point guards ever,” said Shved of Parker, “he can pass, he can make shots, (and) he can go to the rim.”
“Everybody wants to stop him from make shots,” continued Shved, “we’ll see how we could do this, he’s really good player. We need to play for 100% to stop him, (Manu) Ginobili, Tim Duncan, and the whole team.”
I asked Shved if there was any NBA player he watched when he was growing up, his response, the “Answer” Allen Iverson.
“When I was young,” Shved told me, “I wish to play like Allen Iverson.”
Though Shved is a big 6’6 point/shooting guard, he’s built in the mold shooting-wise like Iverson. As he showed in the London games, Shved has a very quick release off of screens from 3-point range. He averaged 11.4 points per game during the Olympics and has continued to be productive stateside as he’s averaging 10.9 points and 4.7 assists in his debut season.