BC Khimki is ready for a new season
The building of BC Khimki for the 2010/11 season is completed.
The club has done a good job: our president Bodunkov managed to get a slightly higher budget than last year, and our general manager Bychkov has built an experienced and balanced team even succeeding in keeping it well below the starting budget, mainly due to the remarkable buyout that the New York Knicks will pay for Timofey Mozgov.
I will start this post with an affectionate good bye to those who have been with us last year but will not in the next season:
to Tima, with with a good luck for the NBA debut;
to Kelly McCarty, who received one of those offers you cannot refuse and who deserves a thank you from all of us for his important years in Khimki as a great captain;
to Ricky Minard: I wish good luck to a very valuable player whose injury and absence (combined with those of Langford and McCarty) in the final against CSKA was probably the main reason for being unable to compete as we did throughout the year;
to Robertas and Paulius, excellent pillars of our defense, serious and high quality players;
to Peter Gubanov, a young player with a bright future ahead, who at Dynamo will look for the space he could not have in Khimki;
to Sergey Toporov, whom I could not give the minutes I wanted to, wishing him to find soon a team where getting back the joy and fun to play basketball, and Carlos Cabezas who, despite being still under contract with Khimki, will not play with us next year, with the wish of finding a new team that will help him to return to the levels that made him European Champion, World Champion, Liga ACB’s Champion and winner of the Copa del Rey, with Unicaja and the Spanish national team.
The new roster will have in the roles of guards and point guards:
Zoran Planinić, a player of great experience, with already winning experiences with Vitoria and CSKA;
Raul Lopez, very much confirmed after last, excellent season;
Slava Zaytsev, who continues his progress and will have an important space, at least in one of the competitions we will play;
Keith Langford who, after the end of season’s injury which prevented him to make a real contribution to the team during the playoffs, will certainly have a strong desire to start again, and is now working in Texas with our trainer Bram Swinnen;
Vitaly Fridzon, probably our new captain, a Khimki man for many years and our shooter and representative in the Russian national team.
The small forwards:
In the role of 3 Thomas Kelati, last arrival, excellent defender, great shooter, a man capable of creating shots for his teammates;
Vadim Panin, an experienced player although still relatively young, called for the first time to an important role in a great team and in the Euroleague.
In the role of 4 and 5, many new players:
Sergei Monia, the first and most desired objective since the beginning, in our quest for the best Russian player available. The first choice over many months has finally arrived, with the goal to re-play his big chance to compete at the highest level in Russia and Europe;
Fedor Dmitriev, who will be back after the good past season, with the advantage of knowing the system, having trained hard during the summer and starting with the conviction that he can be useful to the team as much as he was last year;
Kresimir Lončar, who can play as 4 or 5 and is a talented and experienced player, with character and versatile, who will help us a lot in all competitions we will compete.
Finally, our new centers:
Ben Eze, former center of the starting five of Montepaschi Siena, who won several Italian titles and reached a couple of Final4: a generous and athletic player, who knows well what to do beyond the individual statistics in order to win together with the team and Alexei Savrasenko, who will remarkably help us with his experience as I believe that, although his minutes will probably be more quality than quantity, I also think that with dedication and desire to prove that he is still a major player, he will definitely do well.
I have great trust in this team even though I know well that the beginning will be hard because will be a really a tough challenge playing the Euroleague’s qualifying round so soon, just returned from the World Championship, with so many new players and against teams that will have been already training for more than a month with their complete rosters, but over this hurdle I am confident that it can be another wonderful season for all of us of the great Khimki family (managers, players, coaches and especially our passionate fans).
See you soon!