By Nikos Varlas/ email@example.com
Bobby Dixon’s career – a player who now has the challenging role of leading Fenerbahce/Ulker to successes and titles – is one of the most remarkable! At 32 years of age (1m.78 tall) he broke out and his career went onto another level. He now belongs to the great Turkish club, while he is also a Turkish passport holder and will play in the upcoming Eurobasket as Muhammed Ali!
He spent his college years in two Universities and in the NCAA he became known as a member of the Trojans for two seasons. He was not selected in the draft and since 2007 his wandering in Europe began! Fenerbahce will be the 11th team that he’ll be playing for, in 4 countries! France, Italy, Poland and Turkey! Until his transfer to Karsiyaka in the summer of 2012 he was just another short American guard, playing for middle-sized teams. In 2014 he was the MVP in the Cup final and this was the “first blood.” The 2014-15 season was to change his entire life and career! MVP in the TBL finals, champion and a protagonist in an unbelievable basketball saga and at the same time, a member of the 2nd best team in the Eurocup.
In the Turkish playoffs he tallied 18.5 points, 4,6 assists and some enviable percentages! He shot with 85% in free throws, 46% in two-point field goals and 39,5% in three-point field goals. In 20 games in the Eurocup he had 16.8 points and 5.2 assists with 49% in two-point field goals, almost 40% in three-point field goals and 85% in free throws. Having turned 32 years old he’s getting ready for his second experience in the Euroleague after 10 games in 2009-10 with ASVEL!
The definition of the small American guard with no real athletic qualities, but with great basketball instincts and strong offensive gifts. What changed at the end of the season? He greatly improved his perception of the game, his decision-making, the way he handles his game, himself and his teammates. His experience on European courts made him more mature, smarter and much more efficient. In a few games this year he even managed to hide his weaknesses in defense and Karsiyaka’s overall defensive tactics helped him to do so. Something that coach Obradovic will definitely notice and quite possibly pursue. Now, Bobby Dixon is an accomplished guard in offense, and consistently productive as a facilitator who can also be a threat in every single way: Execution from long- and mid-range, drives, easy shots for his teammates.
The prediction: There is no middle way
This is another big risk and gamble from Fenerbahce! His individual quality is not in question, just like the fact that he can destroy any defense. But there are some question marks: 1. How will he manage and how is he going to react in the Euroleague, where he’ll be a rookie? Our feeling is that, at least in the beginning of the season, Obradovic will trust Dixon in critical points as an ace in the TBL and Kostas Sloukas in the Euroleague until the American adapts to the style of game in the top league. 2. In Karsiyaka, where he took off, he had the freedom to do what he wanted, something that liberates players of his kind. In Fenerbahce he should not be a “hole” in defense, at least not a big one, and at the same time he should take advantage of teammates like Bogdanovic, Datome, Antic, Vesely as well as the forward and the center that the team will sign in the near future.
In short, the decision making in Fenerbahce is a couple of levels – as to the degree of difficulty – above Karsiyaka. The prediction? There is no middle way for Dixon in his new challenge. Either he will become the absolute favorite of the people of Fenerbahce, or he’ll… have a tough time. He has proven, though, that he ultimately responds to challenges. For him, it’s never too late!