Alex Len is from Ukraine, but you couldn’t tell if all you were given was a name. When I think Ukraine, I think unpronounceable messes of consonants. “Alex Len” just sounds like a plain old normal-person name. Nothing at all like Vyacheslav Kravtsov (who really should still be in the league, I loved that guy).
Turns out that Len’s name is a carefully crafted PR move to cultivate a more accepting American audience. His real name? Олексій. Now we’re talking! Saying it sounds fine (if you can even read those russo-runes), but writing it is an exercise in patience, especially if you don’t have a Cyrillic keyboard.
Олексій has supplanted the disappointing Miles Plumlee for the starting center job in Phoenix. I admit, after his rookie year I thought he was a bust. Now, he’s just a player who isn’t quite living up to expectations but is playing pretty decently. Moving up! Next year we can expect him to be a role player for a championship contender.