But it is Schrempf who is hoisting the team to another level. In the NBA, in which he has won the Sixth Man award two years in a row, he's like Greg LeMond in the Tour de France, a foreigner excelling at a sport the host country has always claimed as its own. There is one crucial exception, which Schrempf is quick to point out: "I haven't won a championship yet."
Like everyone else who was in Aragon last week, Schrempf knew exactly who was in Oregon last week—and that his first title is more likely to come in the NBA than with the Fatherland.
An editorial in last Friday's Boston Globe was not about the budget deficit, the Supreme Court or the presidential campaign. Spurred on by Boston radio sports-show host Eddie Andelman, who had recently suggested that the disappointing Red Sox wouldn't do anything to beef up their lineup unless an editorial in the Globe called for it, the newspaper pleaded with the Sox to get a leadoff hitter.
The editorial read: "His qualifications are known to all. He must be able to steal second base...he must be capable of going from first base to third.... And he needs to have the demonic powers required to rob a major-league pitcher of concentration and composure."
Concluded the Globe, "There, we've done our part."