Former NBA point guard Lorenzo Brown is part of a controversy at the EuroBasket tournament, according to Eurohoops. Brown scored 28 points and handed out eight assists Saturday, leading Spain to an overtime win over Lithuania in an elimination game. At the post-game press conference, Lithuania’s Mindaugas Kuzminskas suggested the outcome would have been different if not for Brown, who was born in the United States but recently became a Spanish citizen.
“I am not sure how this team would look without Lorenzo Brown because you signed him only this summer,” Kuzminskas said to a Spanish reporter. “But it is how it is.”
Brown, 32, was a second-round pick in the 2013 draft and played for four teams in a five-year NBA career that ended after the 2018/19 season. He has been with several overseas teams since then and recently signed with Maccabi Tel Aviv.
“Even if I haven’t been here long, I feel like these guys … they have known each other so long and they brought me in as one of them,” Brown said in response to Kuzminskas’ comments. “So it’s just an amazing feeling to have that brotherhood, “la familia” as they call it. It’s really a family. I am coming in here and I am a regular American guy and those guys are talking in Spanish. And I am learning every single day, so it’s amazing what I have learned and how they treated me so far. The outside noise doesn’t bother me at all. I am just worried about what these guys feel about me. And it’s amazing. They love me and I love these guys.”
There’s more from EuroBasket:
- Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo was able to take part in practice without any pain and is expected to play in today’s game against the Czech Republic, according to John Rammas of Eurohoops. Antetokounmpo suffered a mild ankle sprain in Thursday’s contest.
- Although more than 30 NBA players are involved in this year’s tournament, Antetokounmpo and Luka Doncic clearly stand above the rest, Slovenian forward Edo Muric told Rammas in a separate story. “They are both great players, they are next level. So if they want, they can score 50. In (Doncic’s 47-point) game against France, we played without our starting center, so Luka had to step up. That proves he is a very big player, beating France almost by himself, and Giannis is right there, too.”
- Ukraine’s EuroBasket run ended today with a loss to Poland, but the team served as a source of pride for the war-torn nation, per The Associated Press. Players weren’t able to train in their own country in the wake of the Russian invasion, so they practiced wherever they could. “I hope it inspires and helps them a lot, just to get their thoughts off the war a little bit and just watch us play,” Svi Mykhailiuk said. “Obviously, today was not a great example of us playing, but this whole time, we did our best. I hope they enjoyed it. Obviously, it’s tough for everybody because all the guys’ families are still there and it’s tough having to be here. But I appreciate everyone being here. I appreciate everyone fighting.”