Remembering Robert Archibald
On 25/01/2020 Robert Archibald, the only Scotsman to have played in the NBA, died at the age of 39. Today Sky Sports released their documentary 'Making it Rain: A Scottish Basketball Story' onto their YouTube channel, the documentary originally aired on Sky Sports in May and features Archibald heavily.
Robert Archibald was the son of Scotland and GB captain Bobby Archibald, born in Paisley he first played basketball for Dunfermline Reign before moving to the United States where he attend high school and then college on a basketball scholarship at the University of Illinois.
Archibald was drafted into the NBA in 2002 by the Memphis Grizzlies where he played alongside basketball legend Pau Gasol who also features in 'Making It Rain', upon Archibald's death Gasol said that he was "Sad, very sad. My thoughts are with his family and friends." In addition to the Memphis Grizzlies Archibald also played for the Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic and Toronto Raptors in his NBA career. In 2004 Archibald moved to playing in Europe where he had eight seasons in the top European leagues including four seasons in the EuroLeague as well as winning the FIBA EuroCup in 2006.
Archibald joined the Great Britain national basketball team when it formed in 2007 and represented Great Britain 46 times including EuroBasket 2009, 20011 and the 2012 Summer Olympics. Their final game of the 2012 Olympics was a 90-58 win over China and was the final game of Archibald's career as he retired from basketball after the tournament and moved back to the United States.
Pictured above with Archibald is another Scottish basketball legend. The now retired Kieron Achara, former GB, Scotland and Glasgow Rocks captain speaking to the BBC after Archibald's death said, "You talk about once in a generation, to make the NBA is unprecedented. His memory has to live on. His legacy has to be there to continue to make the dream palpable that someone from Scotland can go on and achieve the highest levels. He was the first to give advice, as a teammate he was great because he had this willingness to win, but he wanted to win the right way, involving everybody and making sure everybody was playing to the highest standard, at times sacrificing his game. He didn't have to be the most dominant player, he just wanted to win. It's just devastating, I just find it so hard to process that big Arch is gone." Achara also features heavily in 'Making It Rain'.
The day after Robert Archibald passed away basketball superstar Kobe Bryant also died after being killed along with eight others including his daughter in a tragic helicopter crash. Tributes were payed to both men throughout the world.