The NBA is the perfect theater for making childhood dreams come true, but the NBA also has the particularity of sometimes turning off the light even faster than it turned it on. Off-peak time obliges, this summer we are looking at names that are familiar to us, some more than others, names that “mean something to us” but which no longer really make the first headlines. Stories that bring back a sweet melancholy. Cold Case Closed Cases but NBA version, with the ambition to give you some news of these guys who were once part of our daily lives. Third episode? A random from random, Mr. Joel Przybilla!
“The best style is the one that is forgotten”. It is not for nothing that Stendhal’s writings have made him delightful in the eyes of half a century of women. He drew on the truth, relying on all his faculties as a visionary to swing some very literary punch, very petit fours. It is also not for nothing that he wrote the Red and the Black. An ode to Portland before its time, home of Joel Przybilla over eight seasons of his thirteen seasons in the NBA. The best style is then the one that is forgotten. Many did not remember the man until the opening of this article. At the counter of Joel Przybilla, career averages of 3.9 points on 55% shooting, 6.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. Ducks have no fear for their three legs. But his 592 games played should, eight years after the announcement of his retirement, leave traces in the memory of fans. We’re talking about a guy who grabbed 26 rebounds in a single game, the second-highest performance in Portland history. From the inside of the Blazers under the aegis of Brandon Roy. From a 2m16 inside who has only attempted three shots from the parking lot in his entire career. From the 9th choice of the 2000 Draft, selected by the Bucks, which neither disappointed nor surprised. He did the job, without waves, with all the pros and cons that entailed. An excellent circle protector, sometimes transformed into the official shoe lava of the opposing Boeings: Amar’e Stoudemire, Baron Davis, JR Smith and even Omri Casspi have already passed over him. Height of banality, “Vanilla Gorilla” suffered injuries that sent him to retirement for good, including one to his right knee after he slipped entering his shower. A short last dance in 2012-13 with Milwaukee (only 12 games played), and the NBA draws the curtain on a career… lambda.
On August 25, 2014, Charley Walters – sports columnist for the PioneerPress – announces the retirement of Joel Przybilla after thirteen NBA seasons and $45 million accumulated in the luggage. Eight years later, erased from memory by the transparency of its style, what has become of Vanilla Gorilla? Is he one of those players who box bags of rice on their Instagram account? Is he involved in a sports institution? Does he spend his Saturday afternoons coaching his son’s team? Does he have a son already? We are not going to play the fake investigators, Joel Przybilla leaves absolutely no trace of his post-career on social networks, for the simple reason that he has none. The perfect formula to rest away from the tabloids, which he never attracted during his time in the NBA. Basically, Joel is a ghost to anyone who tries to hear from him. The most recent mentions concerning him are comparisons with current players, papers on the nothingness of the 2000 Draft or even comments from fans who are amused by his memory. We came across a very funny story published on February 22, 2018 on the media Passion of the Weiss. A guy says that in the summer of 2004, accompanied by a friend, he met Joel Przybilla in his wife’s store, and Joel Przybilla refused to admit that he was Joel Przybilla. The interior would have been on the verge of shooting one of the two kids. A completely kamoulox scene, which can help to understand the underexposure of his post-career. A discreet guy, who doesn’t like the light of the projectors and who, at this time, must probably be on a boat trying to get carp out of the pond in his village.
Vanilla Gorilla will be remembered as a discreet guy, who today leads a discreet life, in the shadow of cameras that he never drove crazy. We do not wish him a good continuation of life, quite simply because he surely does not read us. You need to have an internet box for that.