Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Rasho's call to arms

Photo by Flickr user flavio ferreira used under a Creative Commons license.

The Slovenian national basketball team could probably be pretty good. Certainly not on the level of the US, or even Argentina and Spain, but they certainly could be pretty good in the sense that Germany, France, Lithuania, Greece and China are pretty good.

Their only problem? It seems to be apathy, as many of their best players have declined to play in this month's Olympic qualifier. You'd think that after a similar thing happened at the World Championships, where the depleted Slovenes still finished a remarkable 7th, some players might actually try to help them qualify for the Olympics.

I mean look at who has chosen to not to participate, due to injury or free agent negotiations: Sasha Vujacic, Primoz Brezec, Bostjan Nachbar, Beno Udrih, Goran Dragic, and a slew of others that I have never heard of (Gasper, Matjaz, Lorbek?). You're telling me that that team doesn't want the chance to beat up on a team of hapless Angolans for the sake of their country? Come on.

A notably perturbed Captain Rasho Nesterovic tried to keep things positive in an interview given to FIBA.com, and afterwards had these words to say:
“We talk too much about the players who are not with us.

“Those who wanted to play are here. We all know that Gasper and especially Matjaz will be hard to replace, but we were in a similar position before the EuroBasket in Spain.

“We had very few guards then, now we are short of power forwards and centers. But why wouldn’t we surprise once again, like we did in Spain when everybody predicted for us a terrible outcome?”

I feel like even an undermanned Slovenian team can make it through the first round of Olympic qualifiers where they are set to meet basketball powerhouses Canada and Korea, but after that, I'm not sure how far they go.

  • Rasho sounds call to battle for depleted Slovenia [FIBA.com]