Wednesday, September 22, 2010


In the brief but stormy history of ‘Searching for Slava’, I’ve founds ways to obviate, to toss scraps and breadcrumbs to the teeming masses whose thirst to know is slowly being eroded by the sands of time (or the Russian mob, I’m not sure which).  By the way, I am truly sorry if the title of this post led anyone to actually believe the second coming of Medvedenko is close at hand.  It isn’t.  I know no more about his whereabouts than I did two weeks ago. I haven’t had time to mount the Sisyphean offensive yet. Too busy with new discoveries like meta tags and keywords.  Strange new world.

Where really to begin? Slava’s story isn’t simply a cautionary tale of snickers bars and blood sugar. There’s nuances here, there’s a past, a present and future, complicated by a mythic lack of information. We want answers!  For example, what was with the language barrier? This dude supposedly knows five languages. Was it just a wide-eyed innocent act like Kaufman's foreign man?  They don’t make ‘em like that anymore.

This may simply have to be a jumping off point, into a serpentine holy grail, the first in an endless mind-numbing series. It makes me a sleepyhead, just thinking about it.  I'm toddling off to bed now. Say what? You’re still hungry? Not enough meat on the bone?  Perhaps just a touch more then. 

Kyivan Stanislav Medvendenko was born on a chilly April 4, 1979, in the village of Karapyshi, in Kyuvsk Oblast (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic - Mother Russia!). The family soon moved to Kyiv for what Slava would later describe as "professional reasons" (his dad was a hearing aid specialist for old people). His parents were tall, 6'2' each, and soon foisted the rosy-cheeked lad off on the Kyiv Institute of Physical Culture where he played a bunch of sports under legendary coach Oleksandr Dmytrovych and got real tall and started playing roundball, landing on the national team and so on and so forth.  I gotta save some of this stuff for future threads but just wanted to acknowledge that better writers than I have managed to capture the saga of Slava in nobler, more succinct fashion. Not me. I mean to milk this sucker until its veins are cold and collapsed, or until men with dead eyes and cheap Ukrainian suits come knocking at the door.


  1. Indulge me here, if you will. It's been a while since I remember watching Slava play. All the past Laker's big, slow, white guys are running together in my head. Can you post a picture of the big Ruskie to refresh my memory?

  2. Better than a picture, I've linked "language barrier" above to his one and only on-court interview, the night of his NBA career high. Oh, the loquacious one.