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To Shved, With Love

A look back at the brief Sixers career of Alexey Shved.

When was Alexey Shved, and if so, how?
When was Alexey Shved, and if so, how?
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Friday's trade of Alexey Shved to Houston for Ronny Turiaf, a second-round pick and Sergei Lishouk makes me think of my own death.

I've given thought to requesting in my will that when I die, nobody hold a funeral or memorial service, partially as a concession to the meaninglessness of our existence, but partially because nobody will miss me when I'm gone, and people who do would be better served by moving on than wallowing in it. Maybe if you went to the moon or rescued a family from a burning building, there'd be something to celebrate about life, but for most of us, we just are born, consume some resources and produce others, then are gone. Life could've been special, but it winds up just sort of being fine, thanks, how are you?

So it is with Alexey Shved's brief Sixers career: 17 games, 16.8 minutes per; 9.9 points, 2.7 assists, 1.1 turnovers on 40.0/29.8/84.2 shooting. Not phenomenally efficient, but not bad for a second-unit combo guard. He didn't have the panache of Casper Ware or the bumbling earnestness of Brandon Davies, but I'm still disappointed that he's gone.

Everyone's got weird basketball fetishes, and Shved checked so many of my boxes the Thad Young trade created an effervescent, priapic joy in my...innards. A European point guard the size of a small forward, who's a decent free throw shooter but can't throw it in the ocean from the floor. In my eyes, Shved was the centerpiece of the Thad trade and not the first-round pick.

Despite a revolving door of hairstyles and beard structures that prevented him from looking exactly like a stretched out version of Richard Hammond from Top Gear, and despite backup point guard play that, while it wouldn't stand out on a team that had more than five or six actual NBA rotation players, he's filled a role for the Sixers.

And somehow I still expected more from him. I was still ensorcelled by the afterglow of the 2012 Olympics, by the possibility that he could become the front half of the alley-oop machine that Nerlens Noel and, to a lesser degree, K.J. McDaniels, need to maximize their offensive potential. I wanted him to be the Ultra-Mecha Shved, the NBA afterthought who realized his full potential after finally being given steady minutes and the ball. But Shved is as Shved is meant to be, it turns out, and like a latter-day Sergei Korolev, Sam Hinkie has now decided that the best thing to do is put a Russian on the Rockets.

But hey, at least Hinkie got a decent return for Shved--a second-rounder and two additional Europeans--but it's still another second-rounder, and Turiaf (possessed though he is of the Cornrows After 2006 and the largest chest in basketball) won't play a game for the Sixers, and this time last week I thought Sergei Lishouk was a figure skater. One day all these future second-rounders will turn into real players, but right now, not even Shved can escape business as usual.

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