International Notes: Gallinari, Dragic, Teodosic, Russia

Danilo Gallinari is looking forward to the next phase of his NBA career with the Celtics, but his immediate priority is the Italian national team. In an interview with Italy’s Sky Sport, Gallinari talks about the challenges that lie ahead in both the next round of EuroBasket and the 2023 World Cup qualifiers (translation by Johnny Askounis of EuroHoops).

“There are many very strong teams carrying multiple NBA players,” Gallinari said of Italy’s EuroBasket competitors. “We will have to be amazing and maybe exceed expectations. But a team like ours has been successful in the past and we can be again.”

Once his international commitment is done, Gallinari will return to the U.S. to start training camp with the Celtics. He signed a two-year, $13.3MM contract with Boston after reaching a buyout agreement with the Spurs last month, believing the Celtics offer his best chance to win an NBA title.

“The goal is the ring with Boston,” Gallinari said. “Despite being in the NBA for 14 years, I feel excited for the next chapter in my career. As long as I can feel the excitement, I don’t want to stop. At the Celtics, there are definitely many responsibilities and expectations. I have already talked with many of my new teammates and members of the coaching staff. They can’t wait to get back in action, there is great enthusiasm. Some are already there. Myself, I am focused on Italy, and after I will focus on the Celtics.”

There’s more international news to pass along:

  • Goran Dragic is ready for a different role with Slovenia than he had when his country won the EuroBasket gold medal five years ago, according to a Eurohoops report. Dragic was the team leader in 2017, but now that role belongs to Luka Doncic. “I was Batman, but now I’ll be Robin,” Dragic said. “The most important thing will be to make sure we have good chemistry and be a leader on the court and lift guys up when it’s most difficult.”
  • European star and former NBA player Milos Teodosic has been cut from the Serbian national team heading into EuroBasket, per Askounis, relaying a report from Mozzart Sport. The 35-year-old guard, who spent two seasons with the Clippers, is one of the top players in Serbian history and served as team captain during the 2016 Olympics.
  • In a separate story, Askounis reviews the players who have left their teams in Russia since the nation was disqualified from EuroLeague play in the wake of the Ukrainian invasion. The list includes some familiar NBA names such as Kevin Pangos, Will Clyburn, Joel Bolomboy, Alex PoythressLorenzo Brown, Jordan Mickey and Mario Hezonja.
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