The customary response among the NBA media is to blow a hidden gem of a player into a huge frenzy. Ask Jeremy Lin about media circuses following great play. Dare I even mention Tim Tebow? Of course, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, and it never ceases to amaze me how a once unnoticed player starts playing well how fast the cries of “fluke”, “hype” and “overrated” start flying around. First of all, none of those things are controllable by the player. It seems as though once the media likes a guy, fans have to start hoping for his failure, just to be different.
But for Boston Celtics newcomer and center-turned-cult-hero Vitor Faverani, there is no media circus. Don’t expect to see the new Air Faverani grape bred IV’s at your local Foot Locker. Yet despite the lack of hype, Celtics fans have still held on to skepticism. While the season is still young, and I’m not arguing we carve the first “V” into the MVP trophy now, it’s time to be honest with ourselves: Faverani is a hidden gem for the Celtics.
No, Faverani isn’t going to make the All-Star game, nor will he save the Celtics, but for a young team looking for an interior presence, a near 7-footer that can shoot threes and rebound like a machine is just what the doctor ordered. Faverani has the prototype, center of the future style found in Euro-league big men, but still with all the grit, toughness and strength of the old school ballers. If you say you aren’t intimidated by the guy nicknamed “El Hombre Indestructable”, and who describes his own game with “I like fight”; you’re lying.
Basketball, like most sports, isn’t so much about playing well, but who you’re playing well against. Again, it’s obvious we can’t expect performances from Faverani every night like his 12-point, 18-rebound and six-blocks outing against Larry Sanders and the Milwaukee Bucks, but just look who Faverani has held his own against. Aside from Sanders, Faverani has had to deal with Brook Lopez, Tyson Chandler, Nikola Pekovic, Chris Bosh, defensive player of the year Marc Gasol and pretty much the entirety of the Detroit Pistons. No, Faverani didn’t drop 45 on them. But for a foreign rookie, who still doesn’t even have a full grasp of English, to stay on the team after a stretch like that is nothing short of impressive.
Despite what gets thrown at him, Faverani is still wearing a Celtics jersey at the end of games, and seems to work well with Brad Stevens. Don’t expect the incarnation of Kevin Garnett from the Italian rookie, but expect some good minutes. The Celtics may just have scored a diamond in the rough with Faverani.