Japan? Ryan Blackwell's got it covered.
New Zealand? Annexed by Sir Eric of Devendorf.
Australia? Sir Devendorf's campaign to conquer is in full effect.
Very few Asian and Oceanic lands are left to be conquered by Syracuse basketball. One of them is the Philippines.
Enter Paul Harris. The Red Claw has decided his time in Maine is over and he's shipping out to the Philippines to play for...wait for it...the Talk N Text Tropang Texters.
First, why is Paul leaving? It's a matter of playing time. And money.
"I was playing a lot of minutes and I thought I was playing OK," Harris said. "Coach (Austin Ainge) said I wasn’t playing any defense. That really hurt me. The next game I played like 15 minutes. I couldn’t believe it."
Noticing that his minutes were dwindling, Harris’ agent, Leon Rose, approached him two weeks ago with the offer to play in the Philippines.
"My agent probably wouldn’t have suggested going overseas if I was playing more minutes," Harris said.
The second best part of this story, after the name of his team, is how Paul is able to play in the PBL:
The Texters — taking advantage of a PBA rule that allows each team one American player who measures shorter than 6-foot-4 without shoes on — will provide Harris with a significantly higher salary than he can make in the D-League, a two-bedroom condo with a maid, a car with a driver and an extra plane ticket for his uncle to join him in a couple weeks.
No maid, no deal.
Harris' goal is to finish the season there and then return in July to try and catch on with an NBA squad.
Now, let's talk about the Texters. Fantastic website, by the way.
The Roster provides some good insight. Everyone gets a nickname!
The best part, however, is the evolution of the team name, which has gone from the Pepsi Bottlers to the 7-Up Bottlers to the Pepsi Mega Hotshots to the Mobiline Cellulars to the Mobiline Phone Pals to the Talk 'N Text Phone Pals finally to the current iteration. Makes the evolution of the Los Angeles Clippers name seem downright quaint.
Finally, you're sitting there thinking, "of course the mascot is a giant mobile phone, right?" Wrong, American imbecile. It's two disturbing, chubby-armed, generic guys in t-shirts, that's who!