Last year was a break-out year for Sasha Vujacic. He made a name for himself by becoming the Lakers go-to bench scorer and resident defensive pest. It's the latter part that concerns me though.
Throughout last season, his irritating ways got under the skin of a ton of NBA guys. Sasha had physical confrontations (read: he got manhandled) with Baron Davis, Rafer Alston, Carmelo Anthony, and Renaldo Balkman. He also didn't make make the Cleveland Cavaliers too happy when he tried to infiltrate their huddle.
So what is it about Sasha that gets under the skin of so many NBA Players?
My colleague Brett Edwards investigated Vujacic's irritating ways last season. Here's some of what he came up with:
"I think it's a combination of things. First and foremost, Sasha is considered a one-dimensional, BS player by most of his peers. He's there for his outside shooting ability, and not much else. But defensively, he plays the up-close type of physical D that most players aren't that fond of. So they're like, 'who is this fool?' and then they elbow him in the face. It's also not helping his cause that he's a pretty-boy Euro with long hair, and doesn't exactly have the look of a legitimate NBA baller."And for those reasons, I just have a feeling that this might be the year that an opposing player goes "Philly" on the Machine. It will probably happen on a night when Sasha drops four or five threes and completely shuts down a much better player on the other side of the ball.
I mean, imagine if Sasha did that to Rip Hamilton. Rip -- ironically from Philly -- has been known to have a short temper. And Detroit has kinda been in fights in the past. I don't think Rip or the Pistons would ever have much patience for getting shown up by Sasha. I mean, look at him. Would you be happy getting balled up by that guy?
It really has to come down to Sasha's awkward Euro look, because Lindsey Hunter made a career out of doing what Sasha does. Yet, I can't ever recall people trying to start stuff with him the way everyone seemingly does with Sasha. Hope you've been taking some boxing lessons, Sasha.