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Slava's Back

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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.