Thursday, July 25, 2024
HomesportNeemias Koeta needed just three seasons to become an NBA champion

Neemias Koeta needed just three seasons to become an NBA champion

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The Portuguese international, who made his debut in the competition in 2021/22, in his first two seasons with the Sacramento Kings, achieved in such a short time what some huge figures in the history of the sport sought and failed to achieve.

Elgin Ballor, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Reggie Miller, Patrick Ewing, Steve Nash, Allen Iverson, Dominique Wilkins or Chris Webber are some of the NBA icons who do not have any “ring” at home, even though they They all played 14 or more seasons in the competition.

Trying, and still active, almost at the end of their career, other “monsters”, such as James Harden, Chris Paul or Russell Westerbrook, who also do not have what is the first – and so far only – Portuguese player in the NBA. You just achieved it.

Regardless of what his future in competition holds, Neemias Koita has already made history, and will always be able to tell his “grandkids” that he was an NBA champion, just three years after realizing his dream of reaching No. 1 in the world. a race.

The 2.13m tall Portuguese 'giant' already owns the coveted team award, but his third season in the competition, after two in Sacramento, has been far from a surefire one, despite breaking almost all of his individual records.

In a team full of great players, even if not the 2023/24 champion, Neemias Koita had little 'space' to prove himself and rarely got into Joe Mazzola's rotation, and his usage in the playoffs was practically zero.

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The Portuguese was on the court in just three of the Celtics' 19 games, including one in the final, where he came on with 5:25 to go, with Boston losing by 45 points to the Mavericks, in what was their only defeat of the series. (84-122).

In his short time in the Finals, he scored two points, converted the only shot he attempted, and also managed to interfere with a shot, earning seven points while on the court.

Previously, he played in the first two conference semifinals, with the Cleveland Cavaliers, winning 120-95 and losing 94-118, with the games decided. He added two points and three rebounds in eight minutes.

However, after signing a record-breaking contract with the Celtics on April 8, he was part of Boston's “15” team selected for the playoffs and was always on the bench.

With his use in three playoff games, the first ever, Neemias Koita has totaled 31 goals in the 2023/24 season, with 28 regular-stage appearances, almost all of them (24) coming in victories for the Massachusetts club.

In a season in which he was also used, more prominently, in the secondary, the Maine Celtics defeated the G League finalists, giving him a two-way contract, Neemias had his most successful game at the end of the regular season. .

With Joe Mazzola saving the 'Stars' for the playoffs, the Portuguese player was given nearly 20 minutes in two games and put them to good use, racking up 16 points (eight of 10 on 'shots' from the field) and six rebounds. against the Charlotte Hornets and 19 points (eight of 11), nine rebounds and six tackles against the Washington Wizards.

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Neemias Koita had previously played more than 10 minutes in 16 other games, bringing the total to 18, with a maximum of 22.55 in the stronghold of the Los Angeles Clippers, on December 23, 2023, in a 145-108 victory for him. He contributed 14 points, 12 rebounds and three assists.

The Portuguese also exceeded 20 minutes (20.46) four days ago, in the stronghold of the Golden State Warriors, with a 132-126 defeat, after extra time, achieving another “Dubelica”, with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

However, in the majority of matches (54), Nemeas was not even used, because he was with the Maine Celtics, due to injury or simply, at the choice of Mazzola, who throughout the season always had words of praise for the Portuguese.

The biggest problem facing the Portuguese international, who averaged 5.5 points and 4.4 rebounds in 11.9 minutes in the regular season, was the presence of Latvia's Kristaps Porzingis and Al Horford, both of whom are more versatile shooters, and the experienced Luke. Kornet and in the second half of the season Xavier Tielemann.

At only 24 years old, there is a tendency that Neemias Koeta could get more minutes in the 2024/25 season, if he stays in the NBA, with the Boston Celtics, who have the option of renewing with the Portuguese, or with another team.

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