Nathan Jawai, a 21 year old Australian player who has NBA scouts using their frequent flier miles to go to the land down under in droves. Every year there is some crazy and kooky international player that takes the NBA by storm, be it Yao, Yi, Bargnani, Nowitzki, or Fettucini. This year the hype is starting to build around Jawai, a guy from Cairns, Australia.
I lived in Australia for about half a year and stayed in Cairns for a while. It is the equivalent of Miami times a bajillion, as it is a fairly built up area that happens to be surrounded by amazingly beautiful natural resources. I don't mean "Hey, we got the everglades and shit", I mean, "We have the great barrier reef, tropical rainforests, and a ton of tanned gorgeous nude people bathing in waterfalls"*
Despite the fact that he originally comes from an area around New Guinea, him playing in Cairns leads me to believe this Jawai guy probably is something of a surfer dude, as everyone I met in Northern Australia was either a beach bum or a rainforest guide (Those guys just sorta smelled like B.O. and always had short shorts. Hey moron, you're in the rainforest with a million bugs. How about some slacks?)
I also kept getting stung by jellyfish when I was surfing in Cairns, and was repeatedly told that it was the "good season" if I only got stung a few times. Apparently during the "bad season", there are so many jellyfish in the water that you face certain death if you go in the water. How delightful! Someone sign this guy to a multi-year deal now so we can see the NBA toss in stuff about jellyfish into their contracts!
So what makes this guy better than the rest of the international players out there? I have no idea, but it says he is 208 centimetres (they spelled it with an "re"...how adorable!) and he obviously means something if the Toronto Raptors are checking him out. The Raptors and Spurs seem to be the only teams who actually evaluate overseas talent correctly, so when they go somewhere I pay attention. I was one of the few people who actually paid attention when the Spurs drafted Tiago Splitter recently while the rest of America was talking about foos like Acie Law. Splitter was a top 10 pick option the year before, and the Spurs nabbed him on the last pick in the first round. It's like the Patriots getting a high first rounder in this upcoming NFL draft: you just have to look to the heavens and ask God to not make it so obvious who his/her/its favorite teams are.
For now, we will wait and see what happens, but whenever you finally hear the name Nathan Jawai get drafted remember where you heard his name first.
-And then give that source lots of money for the knowledge, preferably in crisp $100 bills.