In an interview to the Greek sports website Gazzetta.gr Nicolas Batum claimed that although he is sad about the lockout, there is nothing he can do about it and that he has made the right decision to return to Europe.
Here’s the full interview:
What was the main reason you decided to return to Europe and play for Nancy during the lockout?
– Time was going by and the solution to the lockout was not even close to be found. So I spoke to Tony Parker and Ronny Turiaf and we all decided that it would be for the best if we all returned to play in France. It would also help improve the league. The team is really good, I’m having fun and I feel like I made the right decision.
If you could play for any other team outside France, which one would you choose?
– I’d like to play for Panathinaikos. I admire Diamantidis who is my basketball idol, so I would like to be teammates with him. I’ve lost count of the Euroleague DPOY (Defensive Player of the Year) awards he has won, he can do countless tasks on the court and I hope to reach his level one day.
How do you plan on facing Spanoulis tonight?
– He is one of the top guards in Europe and he can score at will, so we will have a tough job tonight. We can’t stop him individually, so great teamwork is required if we are going to stop him.
What are your chances against Olympiacos?
– We don’t have the pressure that Olympiacos has, as they have only one win in four games. We are in a better position, so we will play stress free. If we stick to our gamestyle, we could give them a hard time. However Olympiacos are the favourites as the home team.
We’ve got the Panathinaikos-Olympiacos game on Sunday, any predictions?
– I think Panathinaikos will win since they play at home and have more experienced players.
How about the Diamantidis – Spanoulis duel?
– It’s a tough question. It’s a battle between Europe’s best defender and probably Europe’s best offensive player, so I can’t wait to find out for myself too.
Are you worried about the dead end in the clubs-players talks in NBA?
– The situation is really sad. We really want to get out there and play. People loves the NBA, and so do we. Trust me, we desperately want to play and we miss it a lot. But there is nothing we can do at the moment. I hope a solution if found as soon as possible, so the season can start.