It's been a while. But with Arvydas Sabonis' induction into the Hall of Fame right around the corner, there wasn't a better time to bring it back. For today, Around The World is a listing of everything Sabas! You want video? Check. Photos? Got that too. In-depth stories on our beloved Lithuanian big? Roger that. So sit back, relax, and take some time out to remember Arvydas on the eve on his enshrinement into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. And remember, he's not YOUR-Vdyas. He's not MY-Vydas. He's Arvydas!
Arvydas Sabonis Highlights
Photo gallery: Arvydas Sabonis Through The Years
Trail Blazers: Sabonis: 'Better I am not main man, ok?'
"Arvydas is as aloof as he massive, replying to one of Ahmad's questions by saying "What do you want?" And his response to whether Rashad can refer to Arvydas as his "main man" is classic. Thank you NBA TV. Thank you."
Rip City Magazine Rewind: Sabas' Sixth Sense
"What the big guys lacks in lateral quickness at the defensive end, he makes up for with smarts. Few of today’s centers understand the way basketball was meant to be played as Arvydas does. In my mind, he’s the best passing post man since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. I love watching how he positions without the ball. And what a nice complement to Chris Dudley’s steel-toed sneaker style. Dudley’s rebounding and defense and Sabas’ canny, offensive-minded game is a one-two punch that has floored several opponents this season. "
Trail Blazers: Olympic Dreams Achieved
"Drafted by Portland in 1986—the same year the late Trail Blazer and Olympian Drazen Petrovic was drafted—Sabonis was a dream come true for the Rose City. Though he didn’t make his first appearance in Rip City red until 1995, nearly ten years after being selected, he’d thoroughly captured the hearts and support of Blazer Nation by the time the 1996 Atlanta games rolled around. The bronze medal earned for the second consecutive Olympics by Lithuania was celebrated in Portland and Sabonis’ native land."
Rip City Magazine Rewind: Sabonis Speaks Out!
"Yes. I remember a funny story from last summer. I was visiting my grandmother and other relatives in Lithuania. We were outside chatting and having fun when some rain began to fall. Everyone ran inside the house except me. To me, the rain was an ordinary event. I shouted to them: "What happened? Are you guys scared of the rain?" Right now, rain doesn't bother me too much."
Arvydas Sabonis, Trail Blazers' towering and respected center, set for Hall of Fame induction
"I think the people in Europe understand how great he was, but I think people in the United States saw maybe half of what he was once capable of doing," Buckwalter said. "United States fans never really saw the full package, that's for sure."
What ifs will stick forever in rating Arvydas Sabonis
“When he was 17, 18, 19 years old, Arvydas was a physical specimen like I had never seen before,” says Carlisle, who coached the Dallas Mavericks to the NBA championship in June. “He was a 7-3 guy who could run like Bobby Jones and and shoot like Larry Bird. He was unbelievable.”
Hoops giant Sabonis was a mystery man with indisputable talent
"Sabonis was breathtaking. The three things that struck me were, first, his outlet passes. With what seemed like hardly any effort, the ball would just materialize in a guard's hands around midcourt. No effort at all. Second, his outside touch. Finally, he was perfectly proportioned -- a normal human being simply writ large." Then Wolff added: "Oh, and he was 19 at the time."
2011 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement
"The Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony takes place on August 11th and 12th. We’ve been huge fans of the HOF since we were kids and really wanted to do something based on this event. We were fortunate to have frequent Hoopism contributors Milton Un and Robb Harskamp step up with another amazing illustration."
Video: Hall Of Fame: Arvydas Sabonis
NBA, fans didn't get chance to see Sabonis at his best
"The Sabonis of overseas greatness -- the two Olympic medals, the four selections as European Player of the Year in Spain and the Soviet Union -- could sprint with uncommon dexterity for his size. That was the gifted center Portland drafted with the 24th pick in 1986, when international prospects were still a curiosity in the NBA and getting one from the Soviet grip was nearly impossible. The Blazers tried the State Department and American tycoon Armand Hammer, known to have close ties to Moscow, and most anyone they could find connected to the Soviet basketball federation. When then-owner Larry Weinberg and VP of Basketball Operations Bucky Buckwalter finally met with Sabonis at the 1986 European championships in Madrid, not long after the draft, uneasy handlers insisted on the secrecy of a 3 a.m. meeting in a hotel room. Eleven years later, Buckwalter still can't help but wonder if Soviet officials expected a smash-and-grab job, just grabbing Sabonis and making a run for the airport."