Carlos Arroyo – Orgullo De Puerto Rico

arroyoI can’t remember where or when it was I first heard about Carlos Arroyo, but my best guess has to be around ’03 when he played for the Utah Jazz.  I mean let’s face it, when the guy who replaces a Hall of Fame PG and legend in John Stockton is a kid from Puerto Rico, the world does take notice. In any case, I started doing my homework on the kid because that’s a pretty big deal wouldn’t you say? Not to mention my wife is also Puerto Rican and that was the same year that I met her so I basically immersed myself in the culture. I went from listening to Nas and Jay-Z to Don Omar y Daddy Yankee. From Hip-Hop and R&B to Salsa y Reggaeton. I couldn’t understand the words but the beats and the music were hot so that was fine with me!

The first thing I found out about my man Arroyo was that he played at Florida International University with Raja Bell of the Phoenix Suns. I had no idea that dude wrecked shop in college the way he did. FIU’s all time assist leader, all time steals leader, second player in school history to put up 1600 points, all Sun-Belt, retired jersey…THE MAN. Impressed, I did a little more digging and found out that while he was in school, he also played for a team owned by his father. This cat would fly from Florida to Puerto Rico to play games and then fly back again to go to class. I mean c’mon, seriously how sick is that?!

At the Athens Olympics in 2004 is when he really blew up. He basically went to work on Allen Iverson and Stephon Marbury when Puerto Rico knocked off the US in pool play. It was the first ever Olympic loss for Team USA since they started using NBA players in 1992. He had 25pts, 7 dimes and 4 steals in that game and on the world’s biggest sports stage he was the brightest star in basketball. I have to admit, when he popped his jersey in D Wade’s face and stared down the rest of Team USA, I thought that was pretty cool. It was the single defining moment of those Olympic games. Puerto Ricans have a lot of pride and that very moment exemplified that pride.

The sad thing is that he could never translate that one shining moment in his career and his proven ability as a scoring PG — based on his success in college and at the international level — into success in the NBA. The Jazz traded him to Detroit in ’05 where he almost became the second Puerto Rican born player to win an NBA championship. A year later he was traded to the Orlando Magic and two years after that — just this past summer — he was part of an exodus of NBA players who jumped ship to the Euroleague when he signed a 3 year contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel after playing almost 7 years in the league.

By NBA standards Carlos Arroyo was certainly not a star but on La Isla Del Encanto, he is their biggest basketball star and I wish him the best of luck in the Euroleague. Boricua!!

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One Response

  1. i actually played with a guy who played against him and radja when he was at troy and them @ fiu, my homeboi is no slouch and he says this was the best backcourt in da country speedwise and talentwise, and just to put it in perspective my boi comes from the same hiskool that produced james “hollywood” robinson(alabama), othella harrington(gergetown), Ronnie henderson(LSU) leading scorer, Jesse Pate( arkansas), Lindsey Hunter(jsu), Mo williams(alabama), jeremy Wise(usm), This year they have Dundrecus nelson and laquinton ross both ranked in da nation. Guess what city they r from, Jackson,MS, ring a bell, monta “moped” ellis, adopted players- al jefferson, erik dampier, da list goes on and on sumbody needs to go to jackson and c wats in da water

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