Mike Brown is among the NBA head coaches who fully endorse having their players take part in international competitions, writes Antonis Stroggylakis of Eurohoops. Brown is attending the EuroBasket tournament to watch and support two Kings players, Domantas Sabonis of Lithuania and Alex Len of Ukraine.
“There’s nothing better in my opinion than getting yourself ready for an NBA season than playing and practicing at the level that these guys [in the EuroBasket] do,” Brown said. “You know you always worry about injury and that’s a concern of all of ours, but these guys are so passionate about playing for their country that it’s hard to not support them. You want them to do what they’re passionate about because that’s what life is about.”
Stroggylakis notes that the Kings had interest in signing another international player, Sasha Vezenkov, for the upcoming season after acquiring his rights from the Cavaliers on draft night. Brown said the organization invited Vezenkov to visit Sacramento this summer, but he declined due to his commitment to the Bulgarian national team. Vezenkov will play this season for Olympiacos Piraeus in Greece.
“We were hoping he could come out so we’d get to know him a little bit and take a look at him, but he had other commitments this summer, especially with the national team and all this stuff,” Brown said. “We have his rights, so we’ll circle back at him next summer. He’s big and versatile. He can shoot the ball, he’s a veteran, he’s smart. He just knows how to play the game.”
There’s more from EuroBasket:
- Rockets center Alperen Sengun is turning Turkey into a medal contender, per Semih Tuna of Eurohoops. The Turkish team is off to a 2-0 start and appears ready to challenge Spain for the top spot in Group A. “In the NBA we play a lot of games against legendary players,” Sengun said after Saturday’s win over Bulgaria. “We are learning constantly everything. We are learning about that busy schedule too, which I am used to it. Here, we play two back-to-back games and then have a day of rest, so we are ready for this. In the next season, things will be even better for me.”
- Vasilije Micic won’t be coming to the NBA this season, but he’s enjoying the chance to play alongside two-time MVP Nikola Jokic with Serbia, according to a Eurohoops story. The Thunder were willing to trade Micic’s draft rights this summer, but no one offered the first-round pick they were reportedly seeking.
- Former Trail Blazers and Nuggets guard Rudy Fernandez is nearing the career record for games played for the Spanish national team, Eurohoops notes in another piece. The 37-year-old moved into second place Saturday and is now just 13 games behind Juan Carlos Navarro.