Scottish Sensation Turns Down The Hornets

ROBERT Archibald accepts his NBA dream is finally over after turning down interest from the New Orleans Hornets for a two-year contract with ACB outfit Malaga.

The 6’10” Scot, the cornerstone of the national team’s all-conquering 2007 summer campaign, was invited to join the Hornets’ summer league team.

But his League MVP season with Ukranian champs Mariupol was enough to convince Unicaja that Arch was worth a two-year investment.

And faced with the chance of a guarantee with one of Europe’s leading lights, Archibald had a simple choice to make.

He told Basketball 24/7: “I had been planning on summer league and New Orleans was really interested. It seemed I was going to have a good opportunity to make their team.

“That seemed like a great situation but then the Malaga thing came up two or three weeks ago. In fact, I had offers come in from four teams in Spain but, obviously, Malaga was the most attractive out of them.

“So, I had to choose between taking a shot through summer league and taking a guaranteed contract in Europe. Playing with Malaga, one of the top five or ten places to play in Europe, it was kind of a no-brainer.

“Still, it was tough to pass on the NBA!”

The popular Scotsman entered the NBA in 2002, spending two seasons with Memphis, Phoenix, Toronto and Orlando.

But his NBA career amounts to no more than 44 games, despite Archibald having a rock solid reputation Stateside. (Earlier this year, San Antonio GM R.C. Buford told me Archibald was one of his favourite all-time players because of his attitude and work rate).

Now, with his rep in Europe soaring sky-high, it seems unlikely that Archibald will ever be able to return to play in the US because it would involve a large gamble or drop in salary.

He explained: “New Orleans wanted to see me play summer league and get to know me a bit. They said if I went and played well they would offer me a guaranteed contract.

“But Malaga offered me a two-year contract. I was kind of pushing for that longer term deal to take some of the doubt out of every summer.

“If I played really well these two years and something came up from the NBA at the end of it then we would see, but I think this is probably the end of the NBA for me. I knew that when I signed this deal but it was too good an opportunity to turn down.

“I have no regrets about that because I really enjoy playing in Europe. The NBA would have been easier in terms of living in the States but I really enjoy the European style of game.

“Also, I’m obviously able to play more and be more of a factor. And, based on my own experiences, there is a lot better dynamic with guys over here, they get along with each other on the team. I enjoy Europe very much.”

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One Response

  1. I am sorry to hear that he turned down the Hornets. The Hornets is such a great team, and this would have been a good opportunity for Robert Archibald to display his basketball skills here in the U.S.

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