Episode 87: Deep-Dive | Sabonis, Chapter 3
Arvydas Sabonis won the Euroscar Award six times, Mr. Europa Award twice, is one of the greatest European basketball players ever and arguably the greatest all-time passing big-man.
Sabonis spent seven seasons with the Portland Trailblazers (1995-2001 and 2002-2003), after a long, accomplished career playing internationally with Žalgiris in the USSR Premier League (1981–1989), as well as the Spanish teams Fórum Valladolid (1989–1992) and Real Madrid (1992-1995). Sabonis was a 2x champion in the ACB League (1993, 1994), 3x champion in the USSR Premier League (1985–1987), and won the FIBA European League Championship (1995) and FIBA Club World Cup Championship (1986). He was inducted into both the FIBA Hall of Fame and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
However, for all his accomplishments on the hardwood, Sabonis' significance and impact transcended basketball. After years of bloodshed, resistance and unrest, Lithuania declared it's independence from the Soviet Union in 1990. Sabonis and his countrymen were instrumental in Lithuania reclaiming it's sovereignty on the global stage, earning bronze medals at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics.
Sabonis in Spain (2:20), Fórum Valladolid (3:20), Lithuanian declares it's independence, 1990 (6:00), Soviets storm Vilnius, 1991 (10:10), Team Lithuania, 1992 (13:30), the dream of independence (15:00), The Grateful Dead (21:00), Lithuania vs. The Dream Team in 1992 (27:00), Lithuania vs. The Unified Team (former USSR), 1992 (27:45), winning the bronze medal (30:00), Sabonis partying like an animal (32:00), Sabonis runs off a string of championships and awards around Europe (33:30), Sabonis comes to the United States (36:00), Sabonis, a 31 year old rookie for the Portland Trailblazers, 1995 (37:15), rookie year success (39:00), Portland shakes up the roster, adds Stoudamire, Rasheed, Steve Smith, Pippen, etc (42:00), Blazers-Lakers, 2000 (42:30), Blazers leading the Lakers by 15 points with 10 minutes left in Gm 7 of the Western Conference Finals, 2007 (48:30) and Bill Walton and the Hall of Fame (52:20).
On The Line is hosted by Chris Wendelken, Ben Craw and friends.
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