Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Slava's Back

Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

The Lakers may have lost the Shaq diesel, but they kept the Ukraine Train, by re-signing Slava Medvedenko. One of the few amusing parts during the NBA Finals came when Phil Jackson told ABC's Michelle Tafoya that Medvedenko would start for the injured Karl Malone in Game 5 because he "has a game."

Medvedenko has a game alright, just not a particularly great one. While he has improved considerably, Medvedenko tries too hard to be an offensive player. If Slava knew what was best for him, he'd spend this offseason in Kiev bulking up and try to turn himself into more of a rebounder/defender role player. Medvedenko can't hang with the top power forwards in the West, and against them he often shoots so many outside jumpers that you'd think Kobe Bryant was selfless.

Still, Medvedenko's NBA Finals performance against Rasheed Wallace was so unremarkable, that the Lakers didn't need to break the bank to re-sign him. Slava's getting better, and it's never bad to have an extra big body around.