I love it here in Miami. Sailing on my boat, going fishing… But I’m eager to start the season with my new team Regal Barcelona! I think we’ll start the preseason on August 21.
I’m looking forward to meeting my new coach, teammates, general manager, the president… I can’t wait to see Terence Morris. I spent so much time with him in Houston with the Rockets. I competed with him for the small forward spot to get playing time in training camp. I remember Rudy Tomjanovich having a lot of confidence in him. That man was a positive influence on the players. He really trusted them.
Let’s talk a little bit about Ricky Rubio, which I know you like. I’m hearing he could go to our team, he could go to Madrid, to Olympiakos… This is the exciting part: he’s got a lot of things going on for him. It would be great to have Ricky with our team. I know his dad and I’m sure they are excited about all the possibilites right now. I had dinner with his dad in Vitoria after we played DKV Joventut in the Euroleague. He is a very nice guy and was very good with his son and the way he talked about him I’m sure they have a great relantionship.
It looks like Wolves GM David Kahn is not worried about Rubio staying in Europe. He should be. He shouldn’t forget that Ricky is Spanish, and sometimes is good to be close to home. And Barcelona is really close to Badalona. You just have to cross the street!
Some people in the NBA don’t quite get Euro basketball. They don’t understand that players are very comfortable in their countries. Of course Ricky would like to go to the NBA. I’m sure about it even though I haven’t spoken to him. But guys, Spain is also a great option. You are talking about two of the biggest clubs in Europe in Real Madrid and Barcelona.
This Ricky situation is a perfect example of what some people of the States don’t understand. European basketball is great, being in the Euroleague is great. I meet a lot of people and when I tell them I’ll play with Barcelona they ask me, “Aren’t you trying yo come back to the NBA?” Hey, there’s a world outside the NBA! And the Spanish League is a great situation.
You make dollars in the States and now I’m making euros in Europe. The truth is, my market is higher in Europe. Ricky would make more money in Europe than he would in the NBA this year. If he goes now to the NBA, he would play for the Wolves, a team that is at least a couple of years away from competing for the title… Here in Spain he would compete for the ACB title and the Euroleague title right away.
I was in the Bahamas last weekend and guys were asking me where I played and stuff. I explained them, and when I said Barcelona everybody was like, “Oh, I love that city.” Barcelona wanted me bad, and teams in the NBA wanted to pay me the minimum. Come on! I’m 31-years-old. I’m not playing for the minimum. I built my career in Europe from 2003 when I started in Peristeri in Greece. Then I went all the way up. I reached the top level with Tau and now I’m still on the top with Barcelona. In some way, going to the NBA would be a step back for me. Why do that when I have it good in Spain?
What do you guys think?
That’s all for now. Bye!