Biedrins, Ha have taken different routes
LOS ANGELES -- Andris Biedrins and Ha Seung Jin represent the changing face of international basketball and the ever-morphing NBA draft.
Biedrins, who just turned 18 several weeks ago, is the first prototype of a new Euro hybrid that destroys just about every stereotype there is about European big men. His game is closer to Kevin Garnett's than Dirk Nowitzki's. He is strong, athletic and can jump out of the gym.
He's a 7-footer who doesn't hang out on the perimeter shooting jumpers. He lives in the paint, hustling for rebounds, blocking shots and spinning off defenders for power dunks. Unlike most of the untested 18-year-old Euros in the draft, he not only plays on a senior team -- he stars on it.
Ha, who also just turned 18, is at the other end of the spectrum. He's one of a growing group of physical freaks who loom large over the future of the NBA paint. Standing taller than 7-foot-4 in shoes and weighing 323 pounds, Ha has taken a new path to the NBA that could become a major trend in the league if he succeeds.
Instead of languishing in a bad league with a coach who had no idea how to prepare for the NBA, Ha left South Korea six months ago with the help of his agent. SFX's Bob Myers rented Ha an apartment in L.A. and brought in the very best physical trainers and basketball coaches to see if they could create the NBA's version of Frankenstein -- a man-made NBA giant created through the art of science.
Insider traveled to L.A. this week to watch Biedrins and Ha prepare for the draft.
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