HoopsHype Nenad Krstic rumors

June 22, 2011 Updates

Evans Clinchy: Danny Ainge says Nenad Krstic is officially gone and signed in Russia. There's no backing out and returning to Boston now. Twitter

June 11, 2011 Updates

Guys like Brandon Jennings, Andrei Kirilenko, Deron Williams, Trevor Ariza and Kobe Bryant have all expressed interest in playing overseas. Good luck. The reality is, there are not many teams in Europe or elsewhere who will be able to hand out hefty contracts to any player, no matter their NBA credentials. That was part of Krstic’s thinking in bolting the NBA -- where he surely would have gotten offers -- for Russia. Knowing there are limited spots, Krstic made sure he was occupying one of those places. “I think what a lot of people don’t realize is, you’re going to have a perfect storm of issues here,” Krstic’s agent, Marc Cornstein, told Sporting News. “The economy in Europe is not great, that is a consideration. The lockout here is a big consideration. The bigger teams, like Moscow, are going to be very aggressive early. But beyond that, there are very few teams overseas that are going to be able give lucrative contracts. Sporting News

As for Krstic, Cornstein said that the decision to go to Europe was strictly based on the ability to get a good deal there, and not on the lack of playing time Krstic got from the Celtics in the playoffs. He averaged 9.1 points and 5.3 rebounds after joining the Celtics in February, but played only 8.0 minutes in seven games in the postseason. Krstic did have eight points in the Celtics’ final playoff game. “He actually felt good about the way the playoffs ended,” Cornstein said. “He felt it revalidated him and he felt good about what kind of future he would have with the Celtics. It wasn’t about the playoffs or anything to do with Boston or anything like that. It was about how much is available in Europe and taking advantage of this opportunity.” Sporting News

June 10, 2011 Updates

Weighing the possibility of an NBA lockout against the security of playing closer to his home country, Celtics center Nenad Krstic has decided to play overseas next season for CSKA Moscow. The 7-foot Serbian would have been a free agent this summer, and Celtics president Danny Ainge had said the team was interested in bringing back the 27-year-old. Instead, Krstic signed a two-year contract worth 6.6 million euros ($9.6 million). “I was contacted by Nenad’s agent,’’ said Ainge, “and with the uncertainty of the labor situation of the NBA, I think he decided to take the sure thing.’’ Boston Globe

Ainge said he had been talking to Krstic since the end of the season about bringing him back. “He’s been sharing his situation with me,’’ said Ainge. “I talked to him just the other day. He loved Boston and had a great desire to return there and play, but I think the uncertainty gave him [a reason to leave]. I guess this is what he felt, that he was going to take this opportunity.’’ Boston Globe

Growing up, life was just as much about war as it was about basketball for Krstic and Pavlovic. The two were less than ten years old when battles for independence in Yugoslavia ensued in the early 1990’s. Krstic was growing up in Kraljevo, Yugoslavia while Pavlovic lived in Montenegro. The effects of the strife were widespread. Even though the battles were not taking place close to them, both families were impacted. Krstic’s father, a construction worker, and his mother, a nurse, worked to bring home meager wages each month. “My parents worked -- and not just my parents, all people worked for like $10 a month, basically surviving,” Krstic said. “Inflation, every day was just really expensive. And there was war going on. The people in Serbia were going to fight in Bosnia and Croatia. A lot of people died. It was just bad. I was in elementary school back in the days and my parents tried to protect me and not see that stuff on TV and put food on the table every day, but it was a really tough time.” CSNNE.com

Pavlovic’s upbringing was similar. “We as kids didn’t go through a very nice childhood like everybody else did,” he said. “It was great, but it was always talking about war. Even though it never happened right where we lived, it happened all the way around us and it was involved with our people. “Back then there was nothing, you couldn’t buy anything. I don’t even know how they went through that, my parents and everybody. No money, no food. I lived on the coast and it’s a big port and my parents worked connected to ports. It was tough, but like I’m telling you, our people are kind of used to that, from generations back. I don’t know how we handled that, but it’s actually unbelievable.” CSNNE.com

The internal struggle continued throughout Krstic and Pavlovic’s childhood. In 1999, in response to a conflict in Kosovo, NATO began a series of air strikes that lasted nearly three months. Pavlovic felt the rumbles shortly before Krstic did. “It was scary, as much as I remember,” Pavlovic said. “I was at practice when the first bomb fell. It was actually like only five miles away from the place I was practicing. … I heard a loud sound and the gym was shaking. Everybody went back home and we saw the planes in the air. It was a little bit shocking.” Both had heard about the possibility of air strikes, but words could not have prepared them for the reality of them. "Everybody was just shocked and mad," Pavlovic said. “Actually, before practice we talked about that and we said there is no way they’re going to do that. There’s no reason to do that. And in the middle of the practice they did. Everybody was so shocked. But nobody was really scared because you just can’t believe that that’s happening.” CSNNE.com

The bombings near Pavlovic lasted only one night. For Krstic, though, the threat of danger lasted from late March into June. After an initial period of shock and fear, war became part of life. “It’s how we grew up,” Krstic said matter-of-factly. “It was scary. It’s scary when you hear air raids and stuff, but after a couple weeks you kind of got used to it. People stopped caring. You have two choices – stop caring – if the bomb’s going to fall on you, that’s your destiny. Or, you are just going to go insane and in panic. … Serbian people are very proud people. We take our pride and we don’t surrender.” CSNNE.com

Krstic and his family spent the first night of air raids in a shelter that was, as he described it, “dirty, cold, and nobody had used it for 20 years.” Because of the conditions, he fell ill with a high fever and cough. His parents wanted better for their children. The following day, his father left for the military. Krstic’s mother took him, his sister, and his grandparents to seek refuge in a summer house in a nearby village. “My mom was thinking it was not safe to stay in the town because when the war started you heard a lot of people start talking and rumors – they’re going to bomb this today or they’re going to bomb this factory or they’re going to bomb the hospital,” he said. “So you start to panic, and she was thinking the best way was just to go outside of everything and live in the village for a little bit until the war stopped. So that’s how we lived for three months.” CSNNE.com

June 9, 2011 Updates
May 31, 2011 Updates

Last summer, the world watched as one NBA star took his "talents to South Beach." Now this offseason, it appears that a current Boston Celtic may be taking his talents to ... Moscow. CelticsLife.com points out that a Sports.ru report says that CSKA Moscow is interested in signing Celtics big-man Nenad Krstic to a long-term deal. Krstic, 27, was acquired by Boston along with Jeff Green at the trade deadline for Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson. NESN.com

May 16, 2011 Updates
May 12, 2011 Updates

Nenad Krstic got off to such a positive start in Boston in February, but then became an afterthought. He did, however, have his best game of the playoffs with 8 points and two rebounds last night. The free agent said he would like to remain a Celtic. “I know my role changed and I didn’t get as much playing time, but I like the guys and I like the system,’’ said Krstic. “Whatever I can do to help the team, I will. I haven’t talked to my agent or anything, but I would like to come back.’’ Boston Globe

April 23, 2011 Updates

Nenad Krstic had to get to Boston to discover peanut butter. "All the years in New Jersey, I never had it," Krstic said, eating a PB&J sandwich. "And in Serbia, we don't have it over there. So the first time, with the Celtics. It's all right. I prefer strawberry jelly to grape. But we never had with peanut butter. We eat Nutella." Krstic said the peanut butter and jelly sandwich has been his pre-game meal of choice about half the time. New York Post

April 4, 2011 Updates

Nenad Krstic was remarkably calm yesterday for a player who was about to miss his second straight game because of a bone bruise in his right knee. That’s because the prognosis could have been much worse. “I thought maybe we would have lost him for the season,” Rivers said. Krstic knew, thanks to experience — he had reconstructive knee surgery in 2006 with the Nets — that the injury wasn’t as drastic as a torn ligament, but he needed the MRI to relax. He felt so good, he considered playing last night. “I had pain, but I was more scared because I thought it was more serious. We were thinking meniscus or something, but it’s fine,” Krstic said. “I was running almost full speed and tried to stop, and someone pushed me from the back, and my knee went in and out. Boston Herald

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