Random Athlete Of The Day- Jiří Welsch
The 6-7 SG/SF Jiří Welsch is from Pardubice, Czechoslovakia (same place as goaltender Dominik Hašek). Jiří was a prodigy, and begun his professional career as a teen, he was essentially the Justin Bieber of basketball in Pardubice (I guess a Ricky Rubio comparison could have sufficed too). He played in the Czech Republic League with BHC SKP Pardubice until 1998 when he signed with CSA Sparta Prague as a stepping-stone to the Slovenian League where he won MVP.
After he won the MVP, the Philadelphia 76ers stepped up and drafted him 16th overall in the 2002 NBA Draft to only trade him for a 2005 first rounder (Joey Graham) and a 2004 2nd rounder (Viktor Sanikidze). Seems like a pretty fair insignificant trade. As a Warrior Welsch was limited, he only played 6.3 mpg in 37 games, and averaged less than 2 points. But the next season he was apart of a trade to the Mavs, who then immediately shipped him up to Boston along with recently acquired Chris Millis, Raef LaFrentz, and a 1st rounder (who ended up being Delonte West) for Tony Delk and Antoine Walker.
As a Celtic Welsch flourished as a starter, and was able to average 9.2 ppg and 3.7 rpg. The next season Welsch kept it going with 6.5 ppg in 20.5 mpg, but the Celtics decided to trade him to the Cavs for a 2007 1st rounder. That pick resulted in Rudy Fernandez, but Fernandez was traded on draft day for Brian Grant and Rajon Rondo, so essentially Jiří Welsch was traded for Rajon Rondo.
In Cleveland the European only got 12 mpg in 16 games, the Cavs were not impressed and traded him to the Milwaukee Bucks for a 2006 2nd rounder, Lior Eliyahu. In 2005-06 with the Bucks he averaged 4.3 ppg in 58 games (starting in 2). It was his final NBA season before returning to Europe.
This is the best highlight music selection I have ever seen…
In 2006 he signed with Unicaja Málaga in the Spanish ACB League for 4 years where he didn’t average over 10 ppg in any season. He recently signed with Spirou Basket in Belgium last July.
Jiří Welsch will always remain a great random athlete. He has a fun name, is from a foreign place that is hard to pronounce perfectly, and has played in the NBA and in 3 other countries.