Nicolas Batum: Maybe this is the first time the doubters got it right about me

2020-03-05T18:05:57+00:00 2020-03-05T22:55:46+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

05/Mar/20 18:05

In 2016, Nicolas Batum signed the most lucrative contract in Charlotte’s history. Now, he’s become a non-factor who just sits on the bench.

By Eurohoops team/

Nicolas Batum made some self-criticism and said he’s sorry for the fact that he fulfill the expectations the Charlotte Hornets had from him when they signed him to a five-year, $120 million contract in 2016.

“I apologize to the people here. Because they put so much faith in me. And it didn’t go well. It didn’t work out. But what do I have to do? Because I’m still here, Batum said in an interview to the Charlotte Observer.

Batum’s numbers have gone downhill with every season after 2016-2017, when he averaged career-high 15.1 points and 5.9 assists. The French swingman had 11.6 points the next season and 9.3 in 2018-2019 while playing over 31 minutes per game. His impact wasn’t what Charlotte expected of him when they signed him to the most lucrative contract in the history of the franchise.

At 31 years old, Batum has 3.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 23.0 minutes in the 2019-2020 season so far. He hasn’t played a game since the Hornets faced the Milwaukee Bucks in Paris on January 24.

Batum said that he doesn’t want to make his frustration affect the team. “I don’t want to be an a–hole. I don’t want to be selfish … I don’t want to be that guy who’s like, ‘OK, let’s go out tonight. Coach sucks. Don’t show up. You shoot 25 times a game; don’t listen to him.’ No. I won’t do that. I don’t need that. They don’t need that.”

“I didn’t live up to expectations the last 2-3 years. I understand that. I know that,” Batum also said.

Batum’s disappointment becomes quite obvious by the way he talks about those who doubted him in his basketball beginnings, in connection with his current state with the Hornets.

This is how the story of the Observer concludes:

“When I was younger,” Batum said, “ wasn’t good enough to leave my hometown. And then I wasn’t good enough to play as a pro. And then I wasn’t good enough to get drafted. And then I wasn’t good enough to sign my first contract.”

For now, though, Batum understands that his haters are having the last word.

“Maybe this is the first time the doubters got it right about me,” Batum said. “They finally got it right about me, after 15 years.”