Nemanja Bjelica of the Sacramento Kings spoke with the Serbian newspaper, Sportski Zurnal, and was critical of the World Cup Qualifiers.
Here is what the Serbian forward said:
On the FIBA windows: “I’m always sure that all the teams would love to have their strongest roster. Thus, basketball suffers. And that does not bring anything good. I understand that this is how some other players get a chance to play for the national team, but that also means losing.
At the end of the whole story, this system of competition does not help the player’s burden. Just look at how many of them have been seriously hurt lately.”
On whether this situation is harmful for basketball: “It’s not for me to deal with these topics, but I do not see who is on the winning side. Players are not protected, quality falls, and fans do not see the best that each country has. Basketball suffers and I hope that the best solution for the players, clubs, and FIBA will be found.
But now the situation is what it is and there is nothing left for us to do in order get out of this position. What can we do? We are facing a very difficult match against the Greeks and we must be focused, not just to talk about who and why he can not play.”
On Milos Teodosic, Nikola Jokic and Boban Marjanovic not playing against Greece (September 13) and Estonia (September 16): “What I know is that none of the players said “I will not play” and he was in a position to choose. Everyone needs to know this and we need to make this clear. There was already too much talk about who and why he cancelled. There are two important matches ahead of us, we need to see who can play and make the most of it. Everything else should be put aside.”