NBA : Nicolas Batum: Shut up with the Clippers (videos)


By Vangelis Papadimitriou/

Nikola Batum already has 13 seasons in the NBA. It started in 2008 and has been in the “magic world” ever since, having a great career.

The “golden” years in Portland (2008-2015) when he scored 11.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3 assists gave way to Charlotte… mediocrity (2015-2020). To be precise, the first two seasons were exactly what his team expected with 14.9 points and 15.1, before the “free fall” came.

In 2018/19 he played in 75 matches with 9.3 points, before the disappointment of last season came with 3.6 points in 22 games. All this from a player, who from 2016 to 2020 received 120 million dollars, already having 156 million in his career!

In fact, the 32-year-old was forced to apologize publicly to the Hornets’ friends, with himself making $ 25 million a season, to play almost none at all, either due to injuries or due to a (justified) decision by the coach.

I apologize to the friends of the team, because they have believed in me a lot. And it did not go well. It did not work. But what should I do? Because I’m still here.

I do not want to be soft. I do not want to be selfish. I do not want to be the guy who is: ‘OK, let’s go tonight, the coach sucks, the guy who does not show up, the guy who takes 25 shots a match and does not listen to the bench’. No, I’m not like that, I do not need that. Neither does the team. I have not met expectations in the last 2-3 years. I understand and I know it.

I do not want to pressure anyone. I want to help new players. The team has a bright future. I just probably won’t be part of it. “

That’s what Batumi said last March, in a statement that admittedly is not easy to read in the NBA. In the end, he does not belong to the future of the team, moving to the Clippers for 2.5 million dollars.

And there, he gives his answers!

In a team full of talent and stars, Batumi stands out, possibly doing more than Tyrone Lou would have expected. After 12 matches, the Frenchman counts 10.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.2 steals in 29 ′, while at the same time he has 50% accuracy with 43.4% in three-pointers and 89.5% in shots!

In the defeat by the Spurs (113-116), he had 21 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists (66.7% accuracy, 40% 3-pointers), in his top performance after 2 years and 22 days (21 against the Knicks in 15 / 12/18)!

The Frenchman responded in the best possible way to all the haters, but mainly to himself. And the Clippers “rub their hands”, knowing that if they want to reach the top, not only stars like Kauai Leonard-Paul George will reach.

They also need some “Nikola Batum”. And as it turns out, they definitely have one!

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