Who Is Francisco Elson?
Many of you have heard his name and seen him sitting near the end of an NBA bench, but who exactly is Francisco Marinho Robby Elson?
He was born in the Netherlands, but his parents are from Suriname. The 7'0", 240 pound Elson is fluent in five different languages; his native-Dutch, Spanish, German, South American Suriname, and English (take that Kobe).
Elson was drafted out of the University of California-Berkeley by the Denver Nuggets (second round, 41st overall pick) in 1999, but played four years in Spain before putting on a Nuggets jersey to play 62 games in the 2003-04 season.
He spent three seasons in Denver before signing with the San Antonio Spurs prior to the '06-'07 season, where he was part of their championship run. Elson spent part of the next year with the Spurs as well, before being traded to Seattle along with Brent Barry.
In August of 2008, Elson, the Netherland National Team's captain, signed with the Milwaukee Bucks as a free agent and has a two-year/$3 million contract.
This is Elson's sixth year in the NBA and his numbers would beg the question of "why is he still here?"
He averages just 4 ppg, 3.7 rpg in just 16.2 mpg. In 29 games with the Bucks, Elson is averaging 2.8 ppg and 2.6 rpg in 12.3 mpg.
Recently, Elson has been given increased minutes due to starting center Andrew Bogut's back spasms and backup Dan Gadzuric's ineptitude.
On January 24 against the Sacramento Kings, Elson played 34 minutes where he scored 10 points, pulled down 12 boards and added five steals. It was his first double-double in over a year.
Elson followed that performance with seven points and nine rebounds in 28 minutes on Jan. 26 versus the Minnesota Timberwolves. He has played over 20 minutes in a game just three times this season.
Those numbers may not seem impressive, but given the consistency of 25+ minutes a night, Elson could really help the Bucks as they try to compete for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference.
Elson isn't a guy who will praise his good performances on the floor. His teammates call him the most soft-spoken guy in the locker room, and he was surprised that he had five steals back on Jan. 24.
He later joked that he might have needed 86 more minutes that game to get the five steals needed for the triple-double.
I say this a lot about athletes from Brew Town, but Francisco Elson is a perfect fit for the blue-collar town of Milwaukee. He's not a "me, me" player, or even a "rah-rah" guy; all he does is do his job when called upon. What more can you ask for from a professional athlete?
Perhaps Milwaukee should find ways to give Elson his minutes after all.
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