By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Mindaugas Spokas, general secretary of the Lithuanian Basketball Federation talked about”shadows” cast on Slovenia’s gold medal achievement in the EuroBasket because of naturalized Anthony Randolph’s presence in the national team’s roster.
“Yes, their game was beautiful and they had a fantastic team. But we forget that both the coach and one player among the leaders were not Slovenian. I think that this casts a shadow”, Spokas said as reported by 15.min.lt.
“We do not understand this. I am against this. Or do a combined European team and then we don’t need those national teams because there’s no identity left. With all respect to Randolph, he has nothing to do with Slovenian basketball. [Igor] Kokoskov is a Serb so he too doesn’t have anything to do with Slovenian basketball. Their victory would be much sweeter if it came without naturalized players. As for us, we share the same thing with the Serbs. They (Serbia) made an exception: naturalized a basketball player (Danielle Page) who helped them become a European champion (EuroBasket Women 2015). But they did that cleverly, she was blonde and not different from others. ” he commented.
The last time before this year that a EuroBasket champion had a naturalized player in its ranks was back in 2007 when Russian national team won the gold with American guard J.R. Holden in its ranks. Holden also hit the game-winner in the Final vs Spain.
“The whole situation creates a huge competitive gap for us,” Spokas added.