The experienced coach, Neven Spahija, who was coaching Baskonia last season, gave an interview to Mozzart Sport and, among other things, talked about the naturalised players of the National teams competing in Eurobasket 2022 .
"I am against foreigners in the National teams. In my opinion, it has no basis. But if everyone: the public, the media and the players have decided that a foreigner should play, then fine," said the Croatian coach, who also referred to Jaleen Smith, admitting that he has improved Croatia's team.
And he even reached the Greek National Team, confusing the naturalised players with the two Greek internationals, one of whom, Giannis Antetokounmpo, was born and raised in Greece and the other, Tyler Dorsey, has a Greek mother.
“I see that Greece is playing with Tyler Dorsey who is winning with Giannis [Antetokounmpo] alone. If that's the goal of the national team, fine, but I am against it.," Spahija explained, stressing at the same time that he would not like to see a foreign player in the Serbian team.
"They win on their own for Greece," said the Croatian coach. "The national team is the identity of a basketball school, a nation and a culture."
"If Serbia were to reach this stage to naturalise a foreigner, then I and my like-minded people would capitulate. I sincerely hope it doesn't happen.
"This may be necessary for some national teams, which unfortunately includes us (Croatia). We haven't been able to produce a playmaker for 15-20 years.
"But I sincerely hope that Serbia, as a basketball powerhouse, will never allow it."
And while Spahija, who is without a team at the moment and is in Prague teaching at the FIBA seminar, emphasised in his statements that he watches all the matches. However, it is likely he has probably never heard or read commentary from a Greek match considering what he said next...
“It's funny to me when I watch the National Teams presentation, where the National Anthems are played before the game and the camera pans over the player, who doesn't even know how to speak the language, doesn't know the words of the anthem...That's why we have clubs.
"Let five, seven, eight foreigners play there, however, national teams are National teams for a reason."