Maxi Kleber is already so much better than Tim Ohlbrecht (the previous “next Dirk”) that it’s making me, paradoxically, a little sad. Happy as well, but also sad. I was told directly, by high-ranking Houston Rockets officials, that Ohlbrecht was “the ultimate player, perfectly suited to the NBA game, in the mold of Dirk Nowitzki but just straight-up so much better that I puked five times when I found that we could actually sign him”. That is what I was told, and those words led me to expect more than 1 field goal over a 12-minute career.
No such promises were made about Kleber, or if there were, I wasn’t around to hear them. But even though he wasn’t as touted a prospect as his fellow Krautmeister, he is far outplaying him. Tonight was his tour de force, featuring a 12-point first quarter that invoked long-dormant passions within the loins of German NBA fans across the globe (but mostly just in Germany). He only added four more points after that, but the point was already made: Kleber is here, and he’s ready to… something something whatever. Play basketball, I guess.