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  • Writer's pictureJoe Pace

New England Sports 366, #39: Vitaly Potapenko

In the 1996 NBA draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers drafted Vitaly Potapenko 12th overall. One pick ahead of Kobe Bryant, three picks ahead of Steve Nash.


He’d make his way to Boston for a few years (1999-2002), where he carried a lunch bucket in the paint night after night. He was a limited offensive player but he had a soft touch around the hoop and could rebound. Your NBA teams needs guys like Potapenko, usually as your 10th or 11th man. The problem with those Celtic teams is that he was a starter.

I figured this might be a fun time to profile a guy nicknamed “The Ukraine Train.”

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