Svetislav Pesic on his confrontation with ELPA: “I didn’t want to criticize anyone or attack anyone”

Svetislav Pesic Barcelona
Photo: Barcelona

The head coach of Barcelona, Svetislav Pesic, addressed his confrontation with ELPA and its Managing Director, Bostjan Nachbar.

A week ago, after the Catalans’ victory over Crvena Zvezda, the Serbian coach had heavily criticized Nachbar, calling him “completely abnormal” for the changes he and ELPA (EuroLeague Players Association) proposed.

Here is what Pesic told reporters prior to the game between Barcelona and Valencia on Wednesday (30/10), per Eurohoops.net:

“As everyone knows, I am not a person that says in press conference everything you like to hear. Sometimes I see situations with different ‘glasses,’ but I try to give my opinion about so many injured players – Zvezda also had those problems. No more, no less.

When I talked about injured players, especially after the World Cup, I tried to explain why players got injured and what happened.

I have been a coach for 35 years, and I played professional basketball for 15 years, so it is logical for people to ask, and it is normal that I know how a player has to prepare and how to prepare a team, especially nowadays, when you play ten months in Europe.

If anyone felt offended, I can say sorry. I didn’t want to criticize anyone or attack anyone, or offense this or that person. I have to say I am sorry if someone feels bad. Let’s think about the future of basketball in Europe and how it develops.

I didn’t say a word about the EuroLeague. I didn’t talk about the EuroLeague, but about the problems, we have with injured players. Let’s say the truth and talk altogether and find a solution.

This is a big problem, and all of my colleague coaches know – some talk, some don’t, but everyone knows we have many injured players, especially in basketball.

As German people say, there are no problems, only solutions. Let’s talk about solutions, all together, for the interest of basketball, players, and the quality of the game in the competitions we play in.”