Credit: BNS
Credit BNS

The long-time bench boss of Khimki Moscow Region, Rimas Kurtinaitis, agreed to talk with Timur Ganeev of

They touched on different topics, including Sarunas Jasikevicius’ stop at Barca, Turkish Airlines EuroLeague transfers, and a situation in Khimki.

Kurtinaitis was straightforward regarding his countryman coach, Saras, and did not see him losing positions in the second season with FC Barcelona.

“Sarunas Jasikevicius is a tough coach, he loves strict discipline,” said Lithuanian basketball legend. “When he left Zalgiris Kaunas, many players said, “Thank God.” On the other hand, under him, the club with a small budget reached the EuroLeague Final Four. It was almost impossible to win in Kaunas.

In Barcelona, he has also established himself from the best side. He brought the ACB championship to the club, was very close to winning the EuroLeague.

Moreover, Barca finished first in the EuroLeague regular season. I think there is still potential for development. It is unlikely that the team will have a recession,” claimed Kurtinaitis.

Asked about interesting transitions in the EuroLeague off-season, Rimas Kurtinaitis admitted that Mike James’ transfer surprised him the most. According to the 61-year-old, AS Monaco already had a decent roster, but the arrival of an American guard significantly increased their potential.

“If the coach finds an approach to Mike, he will bring the club a lot of victories. I think they will qualify for a place in the playoffs, although many underestimate them at the beginning of the season,” told Kurtinaitis.

In the interview, the basketball specialist discussed the summer signings of CSKA Moscow. As stated by Kurtinaitis, Alexey Shved had a changeable season last year. The Russian star had many small injuries.

Kurtinaitis believes if Shved won’t have health problems and remain in good condition, he will bring many benefits to the Army club.

According to Kurtinaitis, in Khimki, Alexey had the green light in offense, he played for 35 minutes and made 20-25 shots. In CSKA, he has a different role, he will have to play fewer minutes.

The Lithuanian bench boss also recognized that he tried to sign Marius Grigonis back in 2020.

“Grigonis has a lot of experience of performing at a high level in different countries. Last year he was the leader of Zalgiris. With a solid shot and a good character, he is not afraid to take the lead in the last seconds. I tried to sign him at Khimki in the summer of 2020, but it didn’t work out,” said Rimas Kurtinaitis.

In the interview of, the basketball mastermind told about the strange conditions in Moscow Region last season.

“I was given time so that we could get out of the pit, improve our results. A couple of games were very close, but in the endings we were unlucky. Then they finally broke down. No results and my contract was terminated.

The team already started having financial problems, so they didn’t pay off with me. The sponsors left. We knew that Khimki did not have that kind of money at that moment. Negotiations were difficult, as my agent was involved.

I don’t want to go to court. I have already had such experiences, working in Poland and Italy, when money had to be returned in court.

If I had gone to court before the start of the season, then FIBA ​​could have prevented Khimki from entering the Super League (2nd division). I didn’t want to do that much harm to the club, but in return, I also want a certain amount of respect,” spoke Kurtinaitis.

Asked why most of the overseas players were paid, but Kurtinaitis was not, the Lithuanian specialist claimed:

“Perhaps they think I am the one to blame for the bad results. But there are no such conditions in the contract: if you win - we will pay you; if there is no result - we will not pay off.

It can be compared to a war where any outcome is possible. Let’s see how events will develop further. If Khimki do not meet halfway, they will still have to go to court,” finished Rimas Kurtinaitis.

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