Not only was it a hot and muggy 27c in Dirk Nowitzki country in Wurzburg yesterday, but 2012 Beko BBL semi finalist s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg felt the annoying steam heat in another aspect as it was learned that their American Chester Frazier was headed back to the States before game 2 against ratiopharm Ulm Thursday thus ending his shortened season in the Bavarian city. Ratiopharm Ulm has been the big surprise team this season in the beko BBL and took away some of the basketball glare and spotlight from the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg this season despite finishing the regular season in sixth place and kicking out 8 time Alba Berlin from the playoffs and making them scamper back to the German capital like scared sick poodles who had been picked at and bitten for 200 minutes by the aggravating Wurzburg defense led by the pit bull duo of John Little and Chester Frazier. It was announced yesterday that Frazier had opted to get out of his contract early and head back to the States to take an offer as an assistant at Kansas State, a job that he had done before last season assisting at Illinois. According to the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg, Frazier had a contract until the end of the Ulm series. Why the American from Baltimore, Maryland opted to return home early is unknown.
Frazier entered the Beko BBL in 2009 after a stellar four year career at Illinois (NCAA) where he led the Big Ten in assists in his senior career and went to MEG Goettingen where he helped the team win the Eurochallenge in 2010 playing 14 Eurochallenge games averaging 3.8ppg, 3.1rpg, 2.2apg, 1.0spg. In the German League, he played 31 games: 5.9ppg, 3.4rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 50.6%, 3PT: 34.2%, FT: 53.3%. After sitting out last season and being an assistant coach at Illinois, he returned late this season going to Wurzburg in November 2011 being reunited again with his Goettingen mates John Patrick, Jason Boone, Ben Jacobson and John Little. Frazier was an important piece of the Wurzburg success this season as he scored in double figures 8 times including a 17 point game against the Walter Tigers Tuebingen, 16 points against his ex team BG Goettingen and a huge 15 point, 12 rebound outburst against Phoenix Hagen. Despite some impressive offensive games, his strength remained on defense where he formed a nasty duo with John Little driving guard opponents wild as Alba Berlin guard Dashaun Wood found out twice never finding his rhythm in game two and four in Wurzburg and saying after the game two loss that they are so tough to go against.
There are two sides to the Chester Frazier story. Some will say that he is abandoning his team in a very crucial time of the season and looking out more for his best interests. Others will say that basketball is a cruel business where a player has to take care of his best interests and how often does one see an NBA player go to a horrible team for the extra bucks. His leaving seems to leave a sour mark of him letting his team down, but according to a tweet by Frazier yesterday, his team supports his decision. “I won’t respond to criticism of leaving! My teammates gave me their blessing and everyone doesn’t know what and how my decision to leave occurred”, stated Chester Frazier. The departure will hurt the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg team on the defensive side, but the team has shown all season long that they are a fighting team and will continue to play like that. A John Little averaged 18 points in the last three games against Alba Berlin and played like he was related to Dashaun Wood and he wont stop now. The s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg have more than a capable basketball team to overcome this loss and with Chris Kraemer an ace up John Patrick´s sleeve as he plays like a pit bull also even though sometimes his offense strength overshadows his defense cusine. John Patrick will have to make adjustments, but just as ratiopharm Ulm is on a mission and the slight favorite in this series, one should never count out the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg. John Patrick made a BG Goettingen into winning teams with the least amount of basketball means and has done the same in Wurzbug. As long as John Patrick is on the sidelines, its not over until the fat lady sings.