HoopsHype Serbia rumors

August 23, 2010 Updates

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nenad Krstic fears a basketball world championship suspension following a bench-clearing brawl during a game between Serbia and Greece. Krstic, of Serbia, left Greek player Yannis Bouroussis with a bloodied head after hitting him with a chair in the fight that broke out during the Acropolis tournament on Thursday in Athens, leading to the game being abandoned. FIBA, the international basketball federation, will review the incident and announce possible sanctions by Wednesday. Krstic said Monday, "I can't say I'm not a bit nervous" about the possibility of suspension. SI.com

August 21, 2010 Updates

Thunder general manager Sam Presti said he has spoken with Krstic, and "he recognizes this is an unfortunate situation. He's regretful." Presti said Krstic, who was detained for awhile by Athens police, has apologized to the Greek National Team and individual players. Presti said Krstic plans to play for Serbia in the World Championships, which begin next week. Krstic is a patriotic guy. He's captain and sole NBA veteran of a young Serbian national team which is building for the future. Oklahoman

August 20, 2010 Updates

FIBA unconditionally condemns the violence that occurred during the Final of the Acropolis tournament between Greece and Serbia that was played in Athens, Greece last night. Such scenes involving players on a basketball court are entirely unacceptable, especially as players are seen as important role models for young fans. They are also ambassadors for basketball on the global stage and they should always be seen to act as such. Patrick Baumann, the Secretary General of FIBA, said: "I was appalled to see the disgraceful scenes that occurred during the Greece v Serbia game. They were an awful stain on the good name of world basketball. FIBA.com

FIBA will take whatever steps are necessary against any individual player found to have been involved in this shocking incident. FIBA will not let this stand. "FIBA, as the sport's world governing body, is now urgently reviewing last night's game and the circumstances leading to the violence. FIBA.com

"This shouldn't have happened," said Serbian coach Dusan Ivkovic, who is due to take over Greek club Olympiakos next season. "Relations with the Greeks are now very bad." A stunned crowd of about 5,000 at the Athens Olympic Arena watched players from both teams exchange punches and kicks on the floor and in the tunnels leading to the dressing rooms. Two or three spectators entered the fray but were quickly shoved out of the arena. The fight began when Greece forward Antonis Fotsis had moved threateningly against Serbia guard Milos Teodosic, who had fouled him. Krstic grabbed Fotsis by the throat and threw a chair toward Sofoklis Schortsanitis, who was pursuing him. The chair hit Yannis Bouroussis, who had not played because of a hand injury, and left him with a bloody wound on the side of his head. ESPN.com

Krstic returned to his hotel after being released and was due to leave Athens for Belgrade later on Friday. The rest of the Serbia team returned earlier. "I don't know the rules, but I hope I won't be punished," Krstic told Serbian media. "An [act of] stupidity was committed, and I hope they will not punish us. The Greeks started the brawl, there were no guards and the [Greek] fans entered the court ... If they punish me, they must do it to others as well." Ivkovic said that Krstic did not want to hurt Bouroussis with the chair. "I believe he acted in self-defense and grabbed a chair after some half-naked [Greek] fans rushed into the court," the coach said. "The chair fell from his hand and grazed Bouroussis." ESPN.com

Serbia's Nenad Krstic has been released after he was held in custody overnight following a brawl during a game against Greece. Krstic, who played for the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder last season, grabbed Greece forward Antonis Fotsis by the throat and threw a chair at Greece center Sofoklis Schortsanitis. The chair instead hit Yannis Bouroussis on the head, leaving him with blood trickling from a wound. SI.com

August 19, 2010 Updates

Thunder center Nenad Krstic was at the center of a brutal brawl between Serbia and Greece at the Acropolis Tournament in Athens. Krstic didn’t appear to start it, but starts throwing punches at about the :40 mark. This seems crazy because Krstic has never shown a mean bone in his body during his NBA career. Will he play for Serbia in the FIBA World Championships? But, more importantly to Thunder fans, how does this affect his status with OKC? Is he likely to be reprimanded for this by the team or league, or can he be? Oklahoman

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