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Asian National Teams
CHN - Frustrated Kazlauskas tells it like it is regarding Sun


GUANGDONG (FIBA Asia Championship) - A club-versus-country conflict has erupted in China where national team coach Jonas Kazlauskas has expressed misgivings about Sun Yue's decision to travel to America to showcase his skills for the Washington Wizards instead of preparing for the FIBA Asia Championship.

Kazlauskas, the hugely successful Lithuanian who led the Chinese into the last 16 of the FIBA World Championship last year, said Sun was hurting his chances of playing for the country at next year's Olympics by going to America.

The veteran boss said the player was in no way ready to play in the NBA and would be better off with the national team in the Far East, where they have been playing in a four nations tournament against Italy, Croatia and Australia.

Sun's club, the Beijing Aoshen Olympians, were so upset by Kazlauskas' remarks that they wrote to the Chinese Basketball Association demanding the coach apologise, only to be rebuffed by the CBA.

"The CBA always supports its players to go abroad for further development and Sun will join the draft with the permission of CBA," said the statement.

"As the head coach, Kazlauskas is entitled to comment on his players, his comments on Sun were subjective and responsible."

For his part, Kazlauskas claims comments made to the media were not fully understood, but he did not back down on his assessment of the 2.06m playmaker Sun, who averaged just under 12 minutes of action last summer at the World Championship.

"I am not defaming anybody," Kazlauskas said in the statement issued by the CBA.

"If you ask me which skill Sun needs to improve in terms of playing in the NBA, I'd tell you he needs an all-around improvement, because he is not strong enough to join the games there.

"This is not defamation, this is the reality that Chinese players have to face. If you don't want to accept the truth, how can you help the team to prepare for the Beijing Olympics?"

Kazlauskas also said he is in a very difficult situation coaching in a land where the language is completely different.

"I am in an embarrassing situation," he said. ?I don't know Chinese, and I don't how the Chinese media interpret my words."
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Messages In This Thread
[No subject] - by Black Urum - 06-19-2007, 01:08 PM
[No subject] - by Black Urum - 06-19-2007, 01:10 PM
[No subject] - by Black Urum - 06-19-2007, 01:11 PM
[No subject] - by Black Urum - 06-19-2007, 01:13 PM
[No subject] - by Black Urum - 06-19-2007, 02:04 PM
[No subject] - by TalkBasket - 06-19-2007, 02:34 PM
[No subject] - by Black Urum - 06-21-2007, 11:28 PM

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