As Jordan alluded to in today's Liberty Links, it appears the heart and soul of the Philadelphia 76ers (or at least us at Liberty Ballers) will be headed to Lithuania next season. Hoops Hype broke the news yesterday only hours before the lockout became official. Talk about kicking basketball fans while they're already down.
European basketball website Solobasket.com also reported the impending signing today (I'm leaving it in Spanish - keeps your brains working during the summer):
El Lietuvos Rytas ha llegado a un acuerdo para firmar a Darius Songaila (Philadelphia) para la próxima temporada. Este fichaje podría venir provocado por el tristemente anunciado cierre patronal NBA. Songalia, ala pívot lituano de 2.06m, jugó la pasada temporada 10 partidos donde promedió 1.6 puntos en 7 minutos, muy lejos de su mejor año NBA en la temporada 2005-06 en Chicago donde firmó 9.2 puntos y 21 minutos en pista.
Remember the legend that is the Dong after the jump.
After an alleged typo of Darius' last name by Jordan following the Songaila/Craig Brackins for Willie Green/Jason Smith trade last summer, Darius received the nickname "Dongaila". Not only did it stick like a tongue on a freezing metal pole (stripper pole if your in Jordan's part of town), but it also lead to such gems as the shortened "Dong" and "The Donger". The name was officially inducted into the Liberty Ballers Glossary O' Terms and given best nickname of the year by At the Hive's head chef Rohan.
Most importantly, Darius and his classy nickname were the inspiration for the Liberty Ballers' very own version of the Oscars, appropriately named "The DONG Awards." The name even lead to Mike proclaiming that Dong would be the key factor in a comeback attempt against the Heat when the Sixers were down 3-0.
So on the saddest of days for all Sixer fans out there, let us remember the greatest 16 points, 10 rebounds, 70 minutes of basketball, and suit wearing we've ever witnessed.
Use this as your official Dong mourning thread. And one last time, Dong Shots all around!