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Andr�s Marcelo Nocioni (born November 30 1979 in Santa Fe, Argentina) is a 2.03 m (6 ft 7 in) basketball player for the NBA's Chicago Bulls. His natural position is small forward, but his strength allows him to play some minutes at power forward. He shares both Argentinian and Italian citizenship.

Basketball career編輯

Known as Chapu (after the Mexican children TV series [[El Chapul�n Colorado]]), Nocioni's professional career began in the [[Liga Nacional de B�squetbol|Argentine basketball league]] (LNB) in 1998, shortly after he turned 18. A year later, he was called up to the national team that won the silver medal at the South American basketball championship.

In 2002, Nocioni was part of a team that made basketball history, when Argentina became the first team to beat the United States team (the Dream Team) at the Basketball World Championship, held that year in Indianapolis, Indiana. His team once again earned the silver medal, losing to Yugoslavia in a controversial final.

In 2003, Nocioni went to Europe, where he spent two seasons as a refuerzo (reinforcement player) with Spain's TAU Cer�mica of the [[Asociaci�n de Clubs de Baloncesto|ACB Spanish professional league]]. He was the league's 2004 Most Valuable Player.

In 2004, Nocioni was a key factor when Argentina became the first South American team, as well as the first Latin American one, in Olympic basketball history (and the fourth team ever, after the United States, Yugoslavia, and the USSR) to win the Olympic gold medal.

Nocioni was subsequently signed by the Bulls. He joined Puerto Rico's Carlos Arroyo and Daniel Santiago, Brazil's Leandro Barbosa and [[Nen�]], Mexico's [[Eduardo N�jera]], Hispanic-American Gilbert Arenas and his countrymen Manu Ginobili and Carlos Delfino, as NBA players. He and Ginobili are friends and national teammates.

He played in 81 games during his rookie campaign and posted averages of 8.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.5 apg and 23.4 mpg, missing one game due to suspension for a hard foul. Nocioni's physical style of defense created controversy around the league, and he was suspended for one game after a hard foul to Detroit's Tayshaun Prince in April. His defense was also effective, however, neutralizing a number of star opponents such as LeBron James and Antawn Jamison. In the first game of the Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals, Nocioni had one of the greatest playoff debuts ever recorded, tallying 25 points and 18 rebounds while playing all 48 minutes.

In January 2006, even though he was the NBA's leading 3-point shooter, he decided not to take part of the 3-point shooting contest to be held in Houston, claiming that he is not a shooter. Nocioni suffered an unsportsmanlike foul by Shaquille O'Neal on March 18, which was later changed to a flagrant foul penalty two and a fine of 5,000 dollars for the Miami Heat player.

On April 19, Nocioni was named the Chicago Bulls CDW/Lenovo Player of the Year for the 2005-06 NBA season [1]. He finished the seasons with an average of 13 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists, as well as 22.8 points, 9.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists and two double doubles during the playoffs. In game two against Miami Heat he scored 30 points shooting 10-12 in doubles (83.3%), 3-3 in triples and 1-1 in free throws, with 6 rebounds and one steal in almost 40 minutes played. Bulls GM John Paxson raved [2], "I love the way he plays. I'll do everything I can to have him here as long as possible."

Titles編輯

  • 2001 South America Title (Argentina)
  • 2002 Copa del Rey (Tau Ceramica)
  • 2004 Olympic Gold medal (Argentina)

Awards 編輯

  • 2004 Spanish ACB league MVP.
  • 2006 Chicago Bulls CDW/Lenovo Player of the Year

See also編輯

External links編輯

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