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Mike Sweetney - PF/C, 6'8, 295
Signed in Latin America - Signed with Urunday Universitario in Uruguay
       Date of birth: 10/25/1982
       Country: USA
     Drafted (NBA): 9th pick, 2003
     Out of: Georgetown
  NBA Experience: 4 years
  Hand: Right

From blog:

   The best of what's left

Mike Sweetney - Sweetney's never-ending weight problems, covered here before, are no better. He was listed on the Wizards summer league roster earlier this month, yet he never played for the team. The Wizards wouldn't let him because he turned up too fat. This is the story of Sweetney's career, an oft-chronicled one around these parts. It doesn't look like it'll change any time soon.

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   2010 Summer League Rosters: Washington Wizards

Mike Sweetney

This is actually a pretty great place for Sweetney to be. The Wizards rotation of big men for next season currently reads Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee, Yi Jianlian, Trevor Booker and Hilton Armstrong; by my troth, that's not a very good list. And even if Kevin Seraphin is added to it, that won't change much. Sweetney should have a good chance here to win a roster spot, because even though he's not exactly part of a youth movement, the Wizards know they're going to have to get by on some retreads. That's why they traded for Yi. That's why they signed Armstrong. That's why they traded for Al Thornton. They're going to (or should do) things on the cheap, build through the draft, and hope to catch lightning in a bottle. Michael Sweetney might just be that. Although lightning moves quite quickly, so it might be more like Marmite in a bottle.

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   Chicago's Last Resort Offseason Plan That Still Manages To Avoid Signing Joe Johnson

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   The 2010 Puerto Rican BSN Season

Mike Sweetney - 24 games, 30.5 mpg, 18.0 ppg, 11.3 rpg, 1.9 apg, 2.6 fpg, 0.5 spg, 1.3 bpg, 57% FG, 20% 3PT, 70% FT

Michael Sweetney's career since leaving the NBA - or lack of it - has been a subject long of focus on this website, covered in places such as here, here, here and here. The picture above is pretty solid evidence of that fact that his post-NBA career has been.....sporadic. That said, Sweetney's ability has never been called into question. There's tons of it, and it shouldn't be a surprise that Sweetney has been one of the BSN's best players this season. He even hit a three. But as ever, Mike needs to lose 60 lbs. In fact, he needs to lose 60lbs just to get back to his draft night size. And even at that size, critics were saying he needed to lose weight. There's still a long way to go here, and no obvious progress being made. Although at least things have stopped getting worse.

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   Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 64

- Mike Sweetney

This time last year, there was nothing to report on Mike Sweetney. Since his rookie contract expired as a member of the Bulls in the summer of 2007, Sweetney had not been heard from at all. He literally disappeared off the map. Wasn't even on Facebook or anything. It looked bleak.

But finally, a sighting came; the Boston Globe reported that he was in the crowd for the Bulls versus Celtics first round series' game 7 last May, and that was the precursor to a summer league contract with Boston. Sweetney was back on the court in a sanctioned game for the first time in two years, which was nice to see. But whatever he'd been doing in his time away, it hadn't led to weight loss. Sweetney played only one game for the Celtics summer league team, totalling 3 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists, before not playing again due to a pulled hamstring.

Sweetney claimed to have lost 40lbs in his two years away from the game, but if he did, it's only because he put 60 more on in his time off, because he was as big as ever. And he seemed to have gotten even bigger between the end of summer league and the starting training camp, which he also spent with the Celtics, and which resulted in this media day picture. After being waived by the Celtics - who wanted to open up a roster spot for him, but who couldn't justify his presence enough to waive J.R. Giddens for him - Sweetney turned down a workout from the Memphis Grizzlies to sign in China. But he never played a game there, and returned to America, where he took the unexpected step of joining the D-League.

In the last 9 games of the D-League season for the Erie BayHawks, Sweetney averaged 13.2 points and 6.9 rebounds in 25.7 minutes per game, shooting 64% from the field and 49% from the line with a PER of 16.7. When the season concluded, Sweetney went to Puerto Rico to play for Santurce. He put up 20 points and 13 rebounds on debut, but was also responsible for this picture. In 8 D-League games overall, Sweetney has averaged 29.4 minutes, 17.6 points and 11.8 rebounds per game, shooting 60% from the field and 68% from the foul line, ranking second in the league in rebounds with only Shaun Pruitt ahead of him.

Sweetney looks destined for another training camp spot in 2010. He is plenty skilled enough to be in the NBA, and always has been. But as long as he's over 320lbs, he's not going to be in it.

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   Chinese Basketball Association Statistics, 2010

[...] As you can tell from the sheer number of them, Shanxi have had a lot of trouble with their imports this year. They tried out about ten in the offseason, eventually settling upon three; Smith, Taylor and Michael Sweetney. The team had wanted to bring back Lee Benson, who was a star for them last year, but they refused to yield to his contract demands. Taylor has been with the team the whole season, but the rest has been a juggling act. Even though he played well, Smith was replaced after seven games by Adeleke, who got injured in his second game and was replaced for a short time by Benson, seemingly having yielded some on his contract demands. Benson was then replaced after five games by Marbury, which you probably already knew. (Sweetney never played a game for them, by the way.)

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   Michael Sweetney signs in China

As always, Chinese Basketball Association transactions are extremely hard to verify. There is no English language version of the CBA's website, and crude Google translations aren't really that helpful. Tryouts are often reported as signings, signings often aren't reported at all, and lots of things go unreported. From these tatty shreds, we have to piece together the workings of an entire league. And it's not easy.

However, one thing that's perfectly clear is that former Bulls and Knicks big big big man Michael Sweetney has joined the legion of ex-NBA big men making their way over to the Chinese Basketball Association. The story was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski over six weeks ago, and became official yesterday.

Sweetney turned down the offer of a workout with the Memphis Grizzlies to go to China, fully aware of the fact that he's not able to play in the NBA right now. The reason why he's not able to play in the NBA right now is obvious; put simply, he's fatter than ever. How fat? This fat:

That's Byron Eaton territory.

Sweetney is not a guarantee to have made the Shanxi roster; Chinese teams can only carry two non-Chinese players, and Shanxi currently rock all four of Sweetney, Maurice Taylor, Lee Benson and Donta Smith. (At least, as far as I can tell. There's also a team called Shaanxi, which makes this all very confusing.) Nevertheless, this is the right move for him. China pays well, and the CBA tends to play more games than comparable leagues (although apparently they're down to only 32 regular season games per team this season). The games are 48 minutes in length and not 40, and the import players will play huge minutes (as opposed to in Europe, where teams will employ 11 man rotations in 40 minutes games wherever possible.) The stint in China will get Sweetney money, court time, exposure, and bloody enormous statistics; if he stays healthy and drops some weight, this could be the launchpad for his NBA comeback.

So that's good.

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Signed in Latin America


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Note: Non-US teams that the player has played for are, unless stated otherwise, from the top division in that nation. If a league or division name is expressly stated, it's not the top division. The only exceptions to this are the rare occasions where no one league is said to be above the other, such as with the JBL/BJ League split in Japan.

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