So that whole drafting Raul Lopez didn't really work out that great for the Jazz franchise. He got injured quite a bit and by drafting him, the Jazz missed out on drafting some pretty good players (Gerald Wallace, Samuel Dalembert, Jamaal Tinsley, Tony Parker, Gilbert Arenas, Mehmet Okur, Earl Watson, and Bobby Simmons), but really, which team never makes draft day mistakes? Probably only San Antonio . . . but that's besides the point.
The point is that I still ♥ Raul Lopez. His hobbit-esque/Frodo like features are hard to stay upset with. Plus his sultry Spanish accent is, uh, I dunno. I guess if I was of the chick persuasion he'd do more for me. He had some pretty bad luck with the whole injuries thing. I was a fan of his. For some reason my hard drive is filled with (among other things) loads of pictures of former Jazz players. (yeah, like Tony Massenburg pictures, that's hardcore) Anyway, here are some pictures of Raul Lopez . . .
|This is really where it all started. He had boyish good looks and dared to bring sexy back to Utah with that slit of facial hair.||Why were there no 'Misses Lopez' T-shirts back in the day, like they now have for Kover? C'Mon Masha, get on it!||I hear that his sister used to go to University somewhere in Salt Lake City . . . I doubt that she's still there.|
Unfortunately, his game never really lived up to the potential positive impact he'd have on the team overall attractiveness ranking.
|Here Raul is with Pau Gasol . . . they were the face of Spanish basketball for years||He was a super speedy PG, really, he was!||And a veteran of many International matches|
One of my favorite stories happens to be his first time meeting John Stockton. Stockton gestured towards him and asked one of the front office types "Hey, is this our guy?" After an awkward pause Raul flatly denied that he was Raul Lopez, NBA draft pick of the Utah Jazz. That must have made for a really awkward 2nd meeting between the two of them during training camp.
|A re-creation of events . . .|
Eventually he had to play some NBA games, and sometimes he played well. Other times, well, he didn't play at all due to injuries.
|Those shorts are cool||Raul looks out for adoring fans||Raul looks to pass the ball|
|Raul points to Malone's pick up||Raul cries like only a European man knows how to||Raul hobbles around the Delta Center underbelly|
Most amazing of all, this truncated career still had some pretty crazy moments. For example, did you know that he was the regional cover boy for NBA Live 2004?
|Raul with John Goodman, I think . . .||Yup, NBA Live 2004||He returns to Spain with even more hair than he started with.|
Raul currently plays in Spain and is on the Spanish Men's Basketball team participating in the Olympics. His Utah Jazz legacy is survived by Paul Millsap wearing his #24. If he's ever in Detroit and totally wants to hang out, or watch some DVDs or something, I'm totally up for that.