Monday, April 15, 2013

Obscure NBA Player of the Week: Chris Copeland

Each week at Volume Shooters, we highlight an NBA player, past or present, who doesn't spend much time in the spotlight but is nonetheless a valuable cog in his team's quest for the championship. Obscure players tend to be on obscure teams, but with the playoffs upcoming, this week we tried to pick somebody out from one of the title contenders. Here's this week's edition:

With the playoffs starting this weekend, for this week's edition of this post, I (somewhat) eschewed the humorous elements to this post in order to identify a player that might actually be relevant in the title chase. Usually these players only step up due to injuries, so as much as I wanted to point out the recent excellent play of Evan "The French Mamba" Fournier, I decided to go in a bit of a different direction by looking at the injury-riddled team in the Big Apple. My search led me to this week's obscure player:

Sporting the typical rookie gym bag, that's Knicks player Chris Copeland! So what makes him so obscure? Read on...

Country of Origin: The good ol' US of A.

Vitals: 6'8" / 225 lbs

Position: Any. No, seriously - Copeland has logged minutes at every position except point guard this year, recently starting at center for a shorthanded Knicks team against the Bulls.

Nickname: How's this for confidence: Copeland has given himself the nickname "IGB" - "I Get Buckets." Between this and his excellent choice in backpacks, I am starting to like this guy.

Career Arc: AND HE WENT TO THE UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO??? New favorite non-Nuggets player for yours truly. That's right - Copeland signed with CU coming out of Hermitage High School in Virginia and played 4 years before embarking on a worldwide basketball journey. He played for such noted powerhouse clubs as CB L'Hospitalet in France, TBB Trier in Germany, and a club called "Matrixx Magixx" in the Netherlands, which...well let's just say doesn't sound at all like a basketball team. Then again, the Orlando Magic might disagree. Either way, it took Copeland 5 years to finally make it to the NBA, but since being called up to the Knicks this year he has made the most of it, scoring 7.6 points per game despite averaging only 14 minutes, and shooting a cool 42% from 3. Not too bad for your center!

Buck-est Copeland Mixtape Available on YouTube: Here's Copeland dropping a cool 45 points in what appears to be an important game for Generali Okapi Aalstar:

And here's Copeland dropping some fat beats on his debut Christian rock album, "As Long as I'm Awake":

Multi-talented! (Editor's Note: Something tells us these aren't the styles of the same Chris Copeland. But we can believe that the Knicks big man is "just a guy with a guitar that is in love with making music").

Notable Moments in his NBA Career: Copeland has generally performed well when given extended minutes, including dropping 22 against the soon-to-be New Orleans Pelicans and a 22-point game in less than 20 minutes in a big win over Boston. Furthermore, since Knicks big men Kurt Thomas, Marcus Camby and Kenyon Martin have recently joined the seniors only league at the Murray Hill YMCA gone down with injuries, Copeland has stepped up, scoring in double figures in his last 4 games. "IGB" indeed.

Will he ever make the big time? He will certainly get a chance to show his stuff in the playoffs as one of many Knicks capable of changing the game with a flurry of three-pointers. The Knicks look like they will be matched up with Boston in Round 1, so IGB is hoping to repeat his most recent performance over a seven-game series. Next week we will see if the "Magixx Man" can make some magic in Madison Square Garden in April.

Please submit comments, questions, and recommendations for next week's Obscure NBA Player to

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