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The wind up and the pitch. Batum sock-a-locka in France vs Spain.

Nic Batum Must Fight For France. He’s A Fighter.

My inner history geek took a direct hit.

My Greatest Generation grandfather spun in his urn.

Nic Batum must fight for his country?

If playing basketball equals fighting for France, then Coach Charles de Gaulle sends highest praise from headquarters where he fights the good fight for eternity.

There’s no question too many politicians use sports analogies to explain their positions.

Too many generals misuse sports to explain war.

Let’s be clear, sports and war are different. Very different.

In one you lose a game, a match, a bout. In the other you lose your life.

Even with those differences Nic and Chuck have so much in common.

Both fight for France but from other shores. De Gaulle from London, Batum from Portland.

Charles de Gaulle had all-world teammates in Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, and Joseph Stalin. His own Big Three.

Batum has LaMarcus, Lillard, and RoLo.

De Gaulle’s world class team faced world class opponents, the worst of the worst.

Hitler and his Blitzkrieg All Stars? Hirohito and his Island Hoppers?

They don’t come any tougher.

Nic will face the usual Euro league teams when he fights for his country.

As good as they are none compare to what he faces every night in the NBA.

If fighting for his country from a basketball court means anything, the NBA fight is the best training ground in the world.

Portland Trail Blazer fans are getting the best Nic Batum there is in spite of his French connection. You can’t say the same about another great Euro-Blazer.

Arvydas Sabonis gave the olde country everything. It had to be everything for Bill Walton to call him the Lithuanian Larry Bird.

By the time Sabonis got to Portland he looked like he’d been helping Bird lay the cement for his mother’s driveway that ruined his back.

He had enough flashes to make you wish he’d been here with Clyde Drexler, Jerome Kersey, and Terry Porter.

Batum isn’t mixing any cement and pouring a cathedral, castle, or riviera.

He’s playing basketball against the E-league and delivering the sort of lessons he’s learned with the Blazers.

Yes it’ll be wearing, but there’s plenty of worse ways for NBA players to spend their down time.

The point forward position made famous by Scottie Pippen shows Batum at his best.

Maybe it’s his re-emergence as the ball handling, shot creating, slasher we’ve seen grow here instead of watching him play for Minnesota after they made an offer to the one-time restricted free agent.

That would have been to hard for Blazer fans who remember Jermaine O’Neal exploding with the Indiana Pacers.

From wiki:

In his eight seasons with the club, he was voted an NBA All-Star six times, made the All-NBA teams three times, and was voted the NBA Most Improved Player in the 2001–02 season. He also helped Indiana reach the NBA Playoffs six times, including the Conference Finals in the 2003–04 season.”

Batum at his bests makes NBA opponents look like Euro gym rats.

There’s something about his handles in traffic that looks like BYU’s Danny Ainge going coast to coast in the 1981 NCAA tournament for a win against Notre Dame.

Lucky for Ainge Batum wasn’t there to deliver the chopper to the woodshed that he laid on his Spanish opponent.

More of that is good for everybody.

Fight for your country, Nic.

Do it and make Portland proud the way you make France proud with your play here.

You’ve got no surrender on the court or off.

Vive le France.

Vive le Blazers.

Vive le Batum.

Look at the top image again before you call Nic Batum Euro-soft.

Wear a cup if you call him soft to his face. And not a tea cup.

If you flop on Batum, he’ll give you a reason.

About David Gillaspie
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