Andres Guibert, the Greatest Cuban Player in NBA History


Okay, okay, given the current era of CH glasnost, I came up with the plainest, straighforwardiest headline I could think of. No "From 1 to 35,535: Urgent Sidebar* OR Dallas Doesn't Have The Only Cuban" or anything else that would strike fear into the heart of any first-time peruser of our favorite Timberwolves site.

* Alternate anagrams considered: A Bursting Deer; Underrate Bigs; Bat Urine Dregs.

Where was I? Oh yeah, continuing my look at every Timberwolf in franchise history in order of minutes played. Next up is Andres Guibert, for whom I will now present an airtight case as the best Cuban player in NBA history:

  1. AG, not to be confused with KG, was the first Cuban in the NBA, a member of the Timberwolves for the 1993-94 and 94-95 seasons. He had defected from the Communist island nation in 1993 at the Centroamerican Games in Puerto Rico. We do not know if a young J.J. Barea was involved.
  2. AG leads all Cuban players in NBA minutes played, rebounds and assists; he is second in points scored.
  1. AG was, however, preceded by center Al Cueto, who played 149 games in the ABA prior to the merger with the NBA.
  2. When I say "all Cuban players," what I really mean is Guibert and Lazaro Borrell, a forward who played 17 games for the Supersonics in 1999-2000.

AG, a 6'10, 225 center, was claimed off the Timberwolves' roster by the Toronto Raptors in the 1995 Expansion Draft, but waived before the next season began. He played for various international squads for the next eight years before retiring.

I wish I could tell you more about AG's time in Minnesota, or what he's doing now, how he would reflect upon the difficult decision to flee his homeland 20 years ago. But a little digging turns up little more than what I've shared above. If you remember Guibert, please share your memories in the comments.

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