Q: What are your reflections about your time with the Hawks and your two years in the NBA? Pero Antic: Expect the unexpected! I would not talk about the results that we made, but more important than that are the people around and within the team. Everything starts with COACH BUD. He taught me so much about life, family, basketball and so many other things. I would miss him a lot. I’m so happy that I met a person like him in my life, that has accomplish so much in life and still he is down to earth. My teammates and the other coaching stuff that made it all easier for me – from my El Capitano Al Horford to the old man my mentor Elton Brand and Dominique Wilkins. People are great. The city is beautiful and the whole HAWKS organization was my family. We all built something great. Maybe the best chemistry in the league I wish them a lot of health and more happiness for the HAWKS and the city of ATLANTA. TRU TO ATLANTA.
Q: I’m curious about Pero Antic because when I asked him before the end of the season if he wanted to come back, he said ‘From your lips to God’s ears.’ And then, pretty quickly after the season, he chose to return to Europe. What happened there and I wonder if the New York incident had anything to do with his decision? Mike Budenholzer: No, I think he genuinely wanted to be back and we genuinely wanted him back. The European market moves at a different time and a different pace. There was an opportunity, really two-fold, to be closer to home and family. There was some discussions of his wife and kids coming here if he came back. For his family, to be closer to Macedonia and play in Turkey. And then financially, I think was something he thought was a very good situation and something he could not pass up. It was a happy-sad phone call. We were telling each other how great it’s been. I genuinely love him. He is a special person. How things all worked out was a wild 72 hours. I don’t think New York had anything to do with it. It was just family and money at the end of the day. Both of them lined up and he made a tough decision.
According to MixBasket, Fenerbahce Istanbul is in talks with Mehmet Okur for the coming season. The two parts are negotiating on a one-year deal with NBA out when the lockout ends. Okur has played 617 games in his NBA career averaging 13.7ppg and 7.1rpg. About Fenerbahce, it is still not known the future of James Gist. The player was signed by Turkish champions in the offseason but he falied an anti-doping test due to cannabis while he was playing for Partizan Belgrade. Gist might stay with Fenerbahce and returns to action after the stop imposed by FIBA.