Guadeloupe – Center Stage
Many NBA fans are aware that Mickael Pietrus and Rodrigue Beaubois are of French descent and that they play for the French National Team. However, very few of those fans are aware that both players were born and grew up on the eastern Caribbean archipelago of Guadeloupe, an overseas region of France. Tonight when the Orlando Magic and Dallas Mavericks faced off, the tiny French island in the eastern Caribbean Sea had much to celebrate. Despite a recent sprained ankle, Mickael Pietrus was able to suit up tonight for the Magic and at the beginning of the second quarter, MP and Beaubois were on the court at the same time. According to preliminary reports from ”sources”, it is being reported that 68% of the population of Guadeloupe was tuned in to watch the two players face off.
Surprisingly, this is not the first time that the pride of Guadeloupe, Pietrus, has faced off with a fellow Guadeloupean. On 5 different occasions between 2006 and 2008, while still playing for the Golden State Warriors, Pietrus took the court against countryman Mickael Gelabale. Pietrus won the 5 game scoring battle by an outcome of 59-25 and the minutes battle by 144-97. One can only assume that Otis Smith was watching these titanic clashes and based upon the outcome, as well as the potential to expand the Magic brand into Guadeloupe, decided to sign Pietrus to his 4-year 20+ million dollar contract. Gelabale would have to settle for playing professionally in France.
Tonight’s match up was about the new breed of Guadeloupe. With Gelabale fully in his rear view mirror, Beaubois set out to take down Pietrus and try to win the hearts of the Guadeloupean faithful. At first, Pietrus and Beaubois could be seen casually chatting during warm-ups and exchanging pleasantries. However, this affection would be short-lived. Once they were both on the court at the same time, TNT sideline reporter Craig Sager reported that he overheard a heated exchange between the two. However, due to the fact that they were arguing in Creole… much of the actual message was lost in translation. (I may have made this entire scenario up in my head, I am not positive…)
In the end, Pietrus would once again have the last laugh. With the spotlight firmly on him, Beaubois simply could not handle the pressure. He looked rushed and eager to play to the lights out effort that Pietrus was putting forth. While Pietrus was dropping bombs from 3 point land and throwing rare passes, Beaubois was clanking the ball from deep and turning the ball over. Pietrus finished an outstanding night with 24 points while shooting 6-6 from long distance. Poor Roddy Beaubois could only fill the stat sheet with 2 free throws made and 2 turnovers in 11 minutes on the court. Hand tonight’s victory to the great galloping grandiose Guadeloupean, Mickael Pietrus. Better luck next time, Roddy.
It’s nights like tonight, where we can all truly appreciate Christopher Columbus’s treks to the Caribbean. Without his brave and heroic exploration/massacre of the Americas, we would never be able to enjoy such a diverse NBA talent pool. Sure he basically enslaved and murdered an entire region of people… but isn’t that a small price to pay to see the smiles and joy on the faces of the Guadeloupean people as they watched two of their finest countrymen go toe-to-toe at the highest competitive level? As Mickael Pietrus shined tonight, and Beaubois at least attempted to twinkle, the stars shined brightest over the beaches and hills of Guadeloupe.