Gigi Datome

Gigi Datome Announces Retirement

Former NBA forward Gigi Datome played his final game as a professional basketball player at the 2023 World Cup, writes Cesare Milanti of Eurohoops.

Datome, who captained Italy’s national team, received a standing ovation from fans, his team, and his opponents near the conclusion of the seven-eight matchup with Slovenia. The Italians wound up losing the game to finish the World Cup in eighth place.

The 35-year-old veteran also received a standing ovation from the media after the game, Milanti adds.

This is one of the many gestures I’ve received this summer, gestures of love and respect,” Datome said. “Tonight it was very emotional. I hope this is why I played so badly. My teammates played hard and tried to make me finish with a win. However, after many years I’ve learned this is not the most important thing.

I’m proud of this team, we showed that we could compete at the highest level. They also treated me so well, they made me special. One of the best summers of my life. … Thank you to everybody. Also thanks to the referees, media, teammates, coaches, former coaches: thanks again to all of you.”

Datome played two NBA seasons with the Pistons and Celtics from 2013-15. In 55 regular season games, he held modest averages of 3.4 points and 1.4 rebounds in 8.1 minutes per contest.

While he didn’t find much success stateside, Datome has had a lengthy and productive professional career overseas, playing another 18 seasons for various European clubs, primarily in his home country of Italy. According to Basketball-Reference, Datome averaged 8.5 points and 3.2 rebounds on an impressive .477/.429/.884 shooting line in 565 career games (19.5 MPG) across various competitions.

“I have no regrets,” Datome said, per Milanti. “It was my choice, I think it’s a good moment to step out. That’s why I feel grateful. Doing it now as captain of the Italian national team is an honor.”

International Notes: Lin, Germany, Turkey, Powell

Jeremy Lin posted a message to fans on Instagram as he returned to China for the resumption of the CBA season, relays Dario Skerletic of Sportando. Overseas players have come back to the nation and are undergoing a two-week quarantine before play resumes in the Chinese Basketball Association.

“Safely landed back in Beijing to finish out the CBA season,” Lin wrote. “Excited to hoop again, but leaving the bay worried and with a heavy heart for the sick, the jobless and all those fighting fear, anxiety and stress over the unknown future. Shoutout to our medical staff in the 50 states for working tirelessly and everyone keep doing your part in slowing the virus!

“It’s been an awesome 2 months camped out in the gym…basketball has never been more meaningful. The world needs basketball now more than ever. I still remember when I went through my toughest moments and worst injuries, you guys were there for me. I hope to return the favor. As all you beloved fans told me the day after my knee injury, keep fighting bc we’re #NeverDone.”

There’s more international news this morning:

  • Brose Bamberg in Germany is the latest team to permit its American players to return home, according to Nicola Lupo of Sportando. Former NBA guard Jordan Crawford is the most recognizable name on the roster.
  • All players from the Fenerbahce team in Turkey, along with coaches and staff members, have been tested for the coronavirus and a team manager in under observation in the hospital, writes Ennio Terrasi Borghesan of Sportando. The roster includes former NBA players James Nunnally, Nando De Colo, Derrick Williams, Malcolm Thomas, Jan Vesely, Luigi Datome and Joffrey Lauvergne.
  • New Iona coach Rick Pitino, who had been coaching Panathinaikos in Greece since 2018 before recently leaving the team, tells Lupo that Seton Hall’s Myles Powell could have a bright future in the EuroLeague. He compares Powell to former Suns and Pelicans guard Mike James, who has become a star in Europe. “Myles Powell reminds me of Mike a little bit,” Pitino said. “Do I think he’ll be in the NBA? I think he’ll try out with a team, but I think he’ll be a terrific player over in Europe and make a lot of money and be very successful. Could he play in the NBA? I’m sure he could, but I don’t think he’s somebody you’re gonna say he’s definitely gonna make it, but he’s a very talented young man and I think he’ll get a good shot at the NBA.”

Germany, Italy, Others Finalize World Cup Rosters

We’re just two days away from FIBA’s 2019 World Cup officially tipping off, and more national teams have officially set their 12-man rosters for the event, including a pair of countries whose squads will feature multiple NBA players.

Team Germany made its final cut this week, dropping Wizards youngster Isaac Bonga from its roster. Even without Bonga on the team, there are plenty of familiar faces for NBA fans — Dennis Schroder (Thunder), Daniel Theis (Celtics), and Maxi Kleber (Mavericks) will represent Germany in this year’s tournament.

The Italian national team, meanwhile, will be led by Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari and Spurs sharpshooter Marco Belinelli. Former NBA forward Gigi Datome and 2014 second-round pick Alessandro Gentile are also part of Italy’s squad.

Here are more details on teams that have established their 12-man World Cup rosters:

Gigi Datome Received Multiple NBA Offers?

Italian forward Gigi Datome spent a couple seasons in the NBA in recent years, playing for the Pistons in 2013/14 and both the Pistons and Celtics in 2014/15. However, last summer, Datome headed back overseas, signing a deal with Turkish team Fenerbahce Ulker. And for now, the 28-year-old says he’s happy to remain in Turkey, contending for a Euroleague title.

“It would be amazing to win Euroleague,” Datome told Italy’s Tuttosport, per Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. “But it is going to be difficult. CSKA Moscow is a powerhouse, there are Olympiacos, Real Madrid and five other teams. But for this goal some players of our team have decided to stay instead of signing in the NBA, like [Jan] Vesely or [Bogdan] Bogdanovic.

“I had two interesting offers from the NBA during the summer but for one more year I will remain with Fenerbahce,” Datome added. “This is the most interesting basketball. Then we’ll see.”

It’s not clear which two NBA teams might have made those “interesting” offers to Datome, whose rights are no longer held by an NBA club. A cap hold for the veteran forward had been on Boston’s books heading into the 2016 offseason, but the Celtics renounced that hold in order to maximize their cap room in July.

Datome’s contract with Fenerbahce was initially reported to be for two years with a third-year player option, so it’s also not clear whether he would have even been free to move back to the NBA this year — perhaps those teams making “offers” were expressing interest for the future.

In his first stint in the NBA, Datome averaged just 3.4 PPG in 8.1 minutes per contest over the course of 55 games. He currently has a far more significant role in Turkey, so even after his contract with Fenerbahce expires, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him remain overseas for the foreseeable future.

Atlantic Notes: Anthony, Nets, Bentil

Like many around the NBA, Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony was taken by surprise that Dwyane Wade left the Heat to join the Bulls this offfseason, Nick Friedell of writes. “I was shocked,” Anthony said. “I was shocked more from a standpoint it was just hard to see. It’s hard to see some players in different uniforms and he’s one of those guys who I never thought I would see in a different uniform other than Miami. But it happened, and I got a chance to talk to him and sit down with him and really dig deep about his feelings and what happened. He’s at peace now. And when he’s at peace, I’m at peace with it.”

Melo also took the time to express his happiness at the Knicks’ new-look roster, Friedell adds. “We love them,” Anthony said. “We love those additions. And we’re looking forward to getting the season going. And I think everybody is excited, the excitement is back. Right now there’s an adjustment on paper, but of course we have some work to do putting it all together, making it work. But we’re going to ride the wave of this excitement right now.”

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Celtics have a crowded roster with 18 players currently under contract, and as a result, will have some difficult decisions to make during the preseason. Logan Mullen of 93.7FM’s Green Street broke down who he thinks will make the regular season roster and who is ticketed for Boston’s D-League affiliate in Maine.
  • The Nets are stressing patience as the team rebuilds, which is a marked change from how the team has operated under owner Mikhail Prokhorov in the past, notes David Aldridge of “This goes from ownership all the way down,” GM Sean Marks said. “When Mikhail wrote his letter 9to season ticket holders), the lessons he learned, that sort of stood out. It stood out for me, that a guy of his stature realized, we’re going to go in a different direction this time. Now it’s up to us to put a product on the floor that’s going to be sustainable, and not just for a fleeting moment. I understand there could be some trying times here for the organization. We’re not going to win 50 games next year. We get that. But if we can put a product on the floor that we can be proud of, that fans can appreciate, if fans know that we’ll compete every night, that’ll speak volumes. Especially the Brooklyn-New York fan base will appreciate that.”
  • Ben Bentil‘s three-year contract with the Celtics includes a partial guarantee of $250K for the first season, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets.
  • Unrestricted free agent Shane Larkin, who appeared in 78 games for the Nets in 2015/16, has switched agents and is now represented by Jim Tanner of Tandem Sports, Liz Mullen of The Sports Business Journal tweets.
  • The Celtics have officially renounced their rights to Gigi Datome, Pincus relays (on Twitter). The 27-year-old last appeared in the league during the 2014/15 campaign.

Atlantic Notes: Pressey, Prokhorov, Williams

Phil Pressey, whom the Celtics waived today, is already drawing interest from other teams, according to agent Aaron Mintz, as Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe reports, though he’d have to clear waivers before he could sign. In any case, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge had no shortage of praise for the point guard, as Himmelsbach relays.

“Phil may be my favorite player I’ve ever been around in the NBA, as a player, a coach or as an executive,” Ainge said. “It was a very difficult morning for me today. He’s a player I’d want on my team all the time. Unfortunately, we just have an abundance of small guards already. It’s unfortunate. He’s helped us a lot in the last two years, and he’s a classy and hardworking player.”

Here’s more from around the Atlantic Division:

  • An announcement could come within the next two weeks that Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has bought Bruce Ratner’s 20% stake in the Nets, a move that would give Prokhorov 100% of the team, Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher says (video link). The possibility still exists that Prokhorov will move in the other direction and sell off his majority interest, but the indications are strong that he’ll indeed buy the remaining shares of the team, Bucher says. Such a deal would also see Prokhorov’s interest in the Barclays Center rise from 45% to 100%, according to Bucher. Still, the move may well have more to do with debt that Ratner’s company owes Prokhorov and his partners than Prokhorov’s desire to own all of the team and the arena, since according to NetsDaily, Ratner faces a deadline to resolve that debt.
  • The precise amount of money the Nets will have on their cap each of the next five years as a result of the buyout and stretch of Deron Williams‘ contract is $5,474,787, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (All Twitter links). That means he gave up exactly $16MM in the buyout. His new contract with the Mavericks is worth $5.4MM this year and $5.6MM next season, according to Pincus, so assuming he remains on that contract through the end of 2015/16, and assuming he and the Nets didn’t waive set off rights, Brooklyn’s obligation for 2015/16 will be further reduced to about $3.197MM.
  • Shooting guard Daniel Hackett, who worked out for the Knicks, has a verbal agreement to sign with Olympiacos of Greece, sources tell Sportando Emiliano Carchia. New York was willing to sign Hackett for training camp, Carchia adds, but it looks like he’ll stay overseas.
  • Fenerbahce Ulker said the contract that former Celtics forward Gigi Datome signed with them covered two years, but it includes a player option for a third, according to Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald.

Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Miller, Ellington, Mickey

The Sixers, for all their losing on the court, continue to turn a profit, and the value of the franchise has at least tripled since owner Josh Harris and his partners bought the team in 2011, Grantland’s Zach Lowe reports. Thus, Harris continues to appear patient with a slow, draft-focused rebuild, and even as last month’s draft was going on, the Sixers were in talks with teams in the bottom half of the lottery, seeking to acquire their picks, Lowe hears. Philadelphia is reportedly interested in Norris Cole, but it remains to be seen if that manifests into the first free agent signing of much significance in the tenure of GM Sam Hinkie. Here’s more from around the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets appeared likely to waive Quincy Miller shortly after acquiring him from the Pistons on Monday, but a source tells Marc Stein of that Brooklyn plans to keep him at least through the start of training camp in the fall (Twitter links). It’ll cost the Nets a $50K partial guarantee if they keep him through Wednesday.
  • Wayne Ellington‘s two-year deal with the Nets is worth $3,067,500, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders.
  • The Celtics and No. 33 overall pick Jordan Mickey began negotiations on Monday, reports Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald (on Twitter), and confidence about the ability to reach a deal surrounded the opening of the talks, MassLive’s Jay King hears. Still, neither side is in a hurry, Bulpett tweets. Mickey, a client of Matt Babcock, is expected to seek guaranteed money, King writes.
  • Gigi Datome spoke with the Mavericks, Clippers and Wizards, but those teams wouldn’t promise him that he’d be a part of their rotations, tweets Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald. The former Celtics forward just signed with Turkey’s Fenerbahce Ulker.
  • Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge doesn’t see deals for veterans like David Lee and Amir Johnson as antithetical to a youth-focused approach, believing that vets can serve important mentorship roles, as Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald details.

Gigi Datome To Play In Turkey

Gigi Datome is leaving the NBA and has signed a two-year deal with Turkey’s Fenerbahce Ulker, the team announced. Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia first reported the sides were finalizing a deal (Twitter link). It’s worth 1.7 million euros a year, reports David Pick of (on Twitter), and that’s the equivalent of more than $1.876MM. The Celtics last month elected not to make a qualifying offer to Datome that would have been worth $2,187,500.

It’s no surprise to see the Italian forward head back overseas, as Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe reported early this month that he was torn as he considered whether or not to stay in the NBA. The most recent rumors connected him to European teams, and clubs from overseas began lining up for him months ago.

The two-year NBA veteran made playing time a priority as he pondered his future, Himmelsbach wrote. Datome saw much more burn with the Celtics than he did this season in Detroit, where he made it into only three games before the midseason trade that took him to Boston. Still, he averaged only 10.7 minutes per contest for the C’s, and while coach Brad Stevens was a fan, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge had only measured interest.

Free Agent Roundup: Thompson, Sloan, Datome

Cavaliers GM David Griffin remains optimistic the team will retain restricted free agent Tristan ThompsonSam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio reports. “I think we’ll wind up getting something done,” Griffin told the Cleveland media. Amico opines that Thompson should take the reported five-year, $80MM contract that Cleveland has offered him, given that the club already has three max-level players in LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. It may come down to the Cavs having to match an offer sheet for the power forward, Amico adds.

In other free agent news:

  • Donald Sloan is discussing a contract with the Spurs, Bulls and Mavericks, league sources told RealGM’s Shams Charania (Twitter link). Sloan spent the past two seasons with the Pacers and averaged 7.4 points, 3.6 assists and 2.7 rebounds in 53 games last season, including 21 starts.
  • The Pistons are looking to re-sign point guard John Lucas III, Marc Stein of tweets. The Magic, Spurs, Mavericks and Clippers are also interested, Stein adds. Lucas would give the Pistons four point guards along with Reggie Jackson, Brandon Jennings and Spencer Dinwiddie.
  • Luigi Datome‘s Eurobasket profile has the free agent forward signing with Khimki Moscow but’s David Pick is skeptical, adding that Datome might wind up with CSKA Moscow if he plays overseas (Twitter links). Datome played for the Pistons and Celtics last season.
  • Fuquan Edwin drew interest from three NBA teams after he scored 16 points and made two steals for the Pelicans’ summer league team, Adam Zagoria of SNY.TV tweets. The former Seton Hall shooting guard played for Guaros de Lara in the Venezuelan league last season.

Atlantic Notes: Celtics, Knicks, Datome

While the Celtics didn’t land the premier free agents in this year’s class, they did agree with Amir Johnson 0n a deal that brings him in from the Raptors.  Coach Brad Stevens believes that, in general, the team’s positive environment will help attract players to Boston, Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald writes.

I think the biggest thing is that I feel really good about our environment. I think people will really enjoy playing with this group of people. I don’t think there’s any question about it. We’ve got guys that like the game, they work at the game, they want to be good. And we have to focus our attention on those guys and helping them become the best they can be,” Stevens said.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division..

  • Knicks president Phil Jackson and GM Steve Mills are still talking with Jason Smith‘s representatives about bringing him back for the 2015/16 season, sources tell Ian Begley of (on Twitter).
  • The Knicks have also been in constant contact with Louis Amundson‘s representatives about bringing him back for next season, sources tell Begley (on Twitter).  Amundson appeared in 41 games for New York last season, averaging 6.0 PPG and 6.0 RPG in 20.9 minutes per contest.
  • When asked about reports that he has been approached by reps from Olimpia Milano about signing with them, Celtics free agent big man Gigi Datome dismissed the talk as premature. “It’s very early because [NBA] free agency is so [early],” Datome told Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald via phone. “My agent told me that first the big players will sign, and then you have to wait. I’ve waited more than two months to get here, so I can wait two more. My agent is listening to proposals from European teams, and right now we’re not saying no to anyone. But I still want to see if anyone in the NBA wants to sign me.”
  • The development of newly-signed forward Derrick Williams will be a good litmus test for Knicks coach Derek Fisher, Ian Begley of writes.  Williams’ talent led to him being selected No. 2 overall in the 2011 draft, but he has yet to put it all together at the NBA level.