Nicolas Batum: “I grew up as a Maccabi Tel Aviv fan”

2023-02-11T12:09:31+00:00 2023-02-13T19:26:28+00:00.

Cesare Milanti

11/Feb/23 12:09

The French small forward talked to Eurohoops about his desire in the NBA and the EuroLeague

By George Efkarpidis/

Los Angeles, CA – During the NBA Night, the Los Angeles Clippers faced the Milwaukee Bucks. The Californian franchise lost 119-106, and Nicolas Batum didn’t step into the court.

However, the French star took time after the loss to talk with Eurohoops about his future and his interest in the EuroLeague, where he played first with Le Mans from 2006 to 2008 and then with Nancy, during the 2011-12 NBA lockout.

“I work hard to be in the NBA and to stay here. The toughest part is to stay in this league, especially when you come from overseas. Next season will be my 16th year, so I never know if I’ll be able to come back and play in the EuroLeague. But I’m a huge EuroLeague fan, I watch that a lot”, he said about potentially coming back to Europe.

Batum follows the competition, and he’s completely sure about his favorite team. “I played in the EuroLeague before getting drafted as a young guy for two years, and then during the lockout, I came back to play in France. I know the EuroLeague atmosphere, and I grew up as a Maccabi fan. If I were ever to pick a dream place where to play in the EuroLeague, it will be Maccabi, he said.

Then, he went on to talk about this season. “EuroLeague is tough to predict as a league. Madrid is good, Efes may go for a three-peat, and Barcelona, Olympiacos, and Monaco will be in the race. Six teams can be good as now, Red Star can come back strong. You never know what to expect in the EuroLeague, and that’s why I love watching it”, he added.

The French veteran also talked about the “potential” #1 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, Victor Wembanyama. “Potential? I don’t have any advice about his game to give him: that skill set at his size is just insane, all he has to do it’s just keep working on his game. People are waiting for him here, and he has a great mindset. He knows what he has to do, and he knows where he’s going to end up. We know what Victor can do, and everybody is here waiting for him. Keep surprising the world and being who you are”, Nicolas Batum said about the next big thing in the NBA.

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images