By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Andres Nocioni, one of the greats of Argentinian basketball and a former EuroLeague champion and Final Four MVP, criticized the use of naturalized players by national teams, especially when there are no links between them and the country they represent.
“I would never sign a foreign player,” Nocioni said to Infobae, when asked about the recent comments by Argentina head coach Pablo Prigoni on the naturalization of American-born guard Lorenzo Brown by 2022 EuroBasket champion Spain. “I think it shouldn’t be allowed. It’s one thing if a player is an import who comes from practicing from a very young age, lives in the country and plays on a team. In that case, it is possible, he can be selectable. But going out to sign players, according to need… no. That’s what the clubs are for, not the national teams. Also, buying players for your team is not cheap. It is better to invest that money in training and it is a process of monitoring inferior players who in the future can participate in our selected teams.”
Nocioni was one of the prominent members of the “golden generation” of the Argentinian national team that also included Manu Ginobili, Luis Scola, Prigioni and Fabricio Oberto, among others. He won 12 medals in international competitions, including the gold in the 2004 Olympic Games, the silver in the 2002 World Cup and the bronze in the 2008 Olympics.
In 2015, Nocioni pushed Real Madrid to win its first EuroLeague championship in 20 years while being named Final Four MVP. He spent six years in Spain from 2012 to 2017 until his retirement.