Thursday, May 22, 2014

Nikola Vucevic Won't Play for Montenegro this Summer

After smoothly avoiding the question at Orlando Magic exit interviews, there were reports earlier this month that Nikola Vucevic was not going to play for Montenegro in late August in the qualifying tournament for the 2015 EuroBasket tournament. Those are officially confirmed through multiple news reporting outlets such as Vucevic was at the Euroleague Final Four last weekend watching Maccabi Tel-Aviv pull off an improbable championship victory. More importantly, Nik was on hand to watch his favorite international team's Under-18 squad - Red Star Belgrade - claim the youth Euroleague championship.

Why isn't Vucevic playing for his national team? The reason is quite easy...Montegrin Head Coach Luka Pavicevic. The man may be a legend as a Yugoslavian player, but he hasn't earned enough prestige in the coaching world to warrant treating 'Vucci Mane' as an afterthought in the 2013 EuroBasket tourney. Nik's really been disrespected for 2 tournaments now. It's fairly safe to say that Vucevic won't play for Montenegro in an international tourney again until Pavicevic gets the boot. I don't blame him.

This is Nik's translated answer of the last interview question from Greek reporter Niki Bakouli in regards to if Vucevic will play for Montenegro:
"I won't play, I've already announced my decision. I don't go well with the coach."
It's good news for those folks not in favor of NBA players exerting themselves for their national teams. It means Vucevic can focus solely on the '14-'15 Magic season. After all, Nik does have the opportunity to earn a contract extension this summer. Also in that interview, Vucevic mentions how his most enjoyable time during last season was when the Magic beat the OKC Thunder, Indiana Pacers, and New York Knicks at Amway Center in February.

It's unknown whether Minnesota big man Nikola Pekovic will avoid participating as well. He was kind enough to donate fifty thousand euros to help support the flood victims in the Balkans. A cause that Nik Vucevic is also promoting via Twitter. It's a very scary situation that is uniting that region of Europe.

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