Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Tim Kisner in Finland

The basketball career of Tim Kisner is one of those stories that shows just how interesting a path such an occupation can take one on. He was a four year starter at Central Michigan University, where left with his name all over school record books: first player in school history with over 1000 points and 400 assists, third in made three-pointers, fourth in assists and steals, Captain of the squad that won the 2001 MAC Championship. Later in 2001 he was drafted by the NBDL, and a professional journey began. He played in the CBA (alongside the legendary Olden "Golden" Poly-NICE!) before taking his game across the Atlantic to Poland, and then off again to a new country and team you probably know if you read this blog, The Honka Espoo Playboys of Finland.

He's been a teammate of Petteri Koponen for three years, and has watched him mature from a substitute with minimum PT to an NBA first round draft pick. I'm still waiting to hear back on any insights into this scary concussion business, but Tim has been nice enough to fill us in on some perspective for exactly what things are like over there.

Oh, and he has a Scottie Pippen in Finland update too. Apparently its happening. Word is, Tim and Petteri's team will face off against Scottie and the Helsinki team that paid him on January 5th. There's some buzz, but not as much as when Dennis Rodman showed up for that same team a couple years ago, Tim was there, "Two years ago Rodman came and played for the same team against us and it was huge, but Rodman is more famous over here due to his off the court stuff." I vote for Pippen to wear a wedding dress in promotion of the event.

I asked Tim some basic stuff about what Finland is like, culturally and basketball wise:

"Finland is really a small country, Helsinki being the Capital only has basically a million people, so everyone knows everyone. People are very smart here, almost everybody speaks English and Swedish along with their own language. Technology here with Nokia being from Finland is unbelievable, how far they are ahead of us. This time of the year it sucks here, it is dark by 3 in the afternoon and does not get light until about 9 or later. Summer time here is great though because it is light all day.
Basketball is about the 3rd most popular sport here, Hockey is huge. They have one of the best leagues in the world. There are 3 teams in the Helsinki area and they pack out the arenas on game nights. Basketball does not have much of a following because there has not been a whole lot of succes by teams in Finland (national teams) or by players in the NBA. They show one game a week here from the NBA so there is not that great of an influence as other places like China, or spain where games are on all the time."

Oh Finland, to know you is to love you. Expect more updates soon.

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