On the retirement of Fabricio Oberto
Fabricio Oberto has retired from the NBA due to a recurring heart condition. 48MoH regulars Tim Varner and Jesse Blanchard wish Oberto well with a brief assessment of his game. We welcome our readers to share your assessment of Fabricio Oberto–even if you simply want to poke fun at the ridiculous rubber band he liked to wear in his hair–in the comment thread below.
I once complimented DeJuan Blair by comparing him to Fabricio Oberto.
Strangely enough, Blair reminds me of Fabricio Oberto in his uncanny ability to move into empty space around the hoop and dutifully present himself to the passer. This helps explain why Blair and Ginobili play so well together. DeJuan is practically Argentinean.
Fabricio Oberto is a departed, but still beloved Spur. A master craftsman without the basketball, Oberto was a cat burglar around the hoop, sneaking in and out of unoccupied space like a thief with a nose for diamonds. Whether the Spurs needed a solid screen, intuitive dive to the hoop, a sneaky-smart flash through the lane, or body to draw a charge, Oberto possessed the intelligence and will to accomplish all the beautiful game changing stuff that doesn’t show up in a box score.
And he was a winner. Manu Ginobili was quick, via Twitter, to send off his dear friend by reminding us that Oberto won at every stop.
Besides being a g8 teammate, he won Arg League, SouthAm League, King’s Cup, ACB, ULEB Cup, Olympic Gold and NBA. Not a bad resume.
I guess it’s a token to a guy’s value when an NBA championship is only one of seven professional championships won.
Like many basketball fans between the ages of 18 and 30, I’ve logged more than a few hours taking my favorite team through multiple seasons on the joysticks. In terms of video games, being a San Antonio Spurs fan has not always been easy.
None of its big three are the extreme athletes or shooters that translate so well to the digital courts and the role players have always been one-dimensional. After all, intangibles and intelligence rarely matter in a game where attributes are rated and numbered. And at the heart of everything wrong with the digital Spurs was Fabricio Oberto.
If you were to create your own basketball player, Oberto was the last thing you would produce. In terms of individual skills, he had none. The jumper was unreliable, he wasn’t very athletic, or even very big. He was a solid help defender who often found himself over matched physically.
But Oberto was about more than what you could quantify in ratings. He simply knew how to play. Basketball has not always translated to this medium as well as football or baseball, because basketball is a free flowing game at heart. Oberto understood this in a way that few other players could. After all, he made a small but successful career out of only two NBA caliber skills sets: being tall and knowing how to play.
In each of the Spurs championships they’ve possessed a chaotic big man. Someone who stood outside of the system and created plays other teams could not account for. That was Fab. Whereas Malik Rose once did it with energy and athleticism, Oberto did it with an intuitive feel for where to be.