Veteran forward Nikola Mirotic shocked NBA observers and fans alike during the 2019 offseason when he opted to return to his home country of Spain as a free agent, signing with Barcelona despite reportedly having lucrative multiyear NBA offers on the table. Two years later, Mirotic said that he doesn’t really miss the NBA, with one notable exception.
“I would say I only miss playing against the best, those superstars like (Kevin) Durant, (James) Harden, Steph (Curry), Giannis (Antetokounmpo)… It’s something unforgettable,” Mirotic told Alex Molina of Eurohoops.net. “Playing against LeBron (James)… just amazing. Thinking that I also played with some of them like Anthony Davis, Giannis himself, Jimmy Butler, Derrick Rose… An amazing experience. You always want to play against these guys, but apart from that, I don’t miss the NBA.”
Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:
- NBA coaches will once again be allowed to wear casual attire on the sidelines rather than having to wear suits and ties, tweets Marc Stein of Substack. The league adjusted the dress code for head coaches during the 2020 bubble and has opted not to revert back to the old rules.
- Although the expectation is that newly-released center Marc Gasol will sign a contract with Girona in Spain, a report from Spanish outlet CCMA.cat indicates that the 36-year-old hasn’t yet made a final decision on his future (hat tip to HoopsHype).
- Gene Littles, who played in the ABA and later coached the Cavaliers, Hornets, and Nuggets, has died at age 78, according to a press release from his alma mater, High Point University. Littles’ head coaching stints were short-lived, as he led Cleveland, Charlotte, and Denver to a 44-111 (.284) record across parts of four seasons. However, he did win an ABA title as a player with the Kentucky Colonels in 1975.