Crvena Zvezda president believes the Serbian Basketball Federation is living on some old glory, while Partizan are untouchable for their actions.

Credit: BETAPHOTO/SIPA - Scanpix
Credit BETAPHOTO/SIPA - Scanpix

The president of Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade, Nebojsa Covic, appeared on Serbian television and had interesting takes on basketball.

He started by analyzing Serbia's failure at FIBA EuroBasket 2022 when Svetislav Pesic's men fell against Italy in the Round of 16.

"Kudos to the players. They should not be attacked. The responsibility lies with the Serbian Basketball Federation. Those people were good players 30 years ago, but in sports, you don't live on past work. Every new day is a new proof," stated the president, via Novosti.rs.

"Media's stories that Serbia is a country of basketball are frivolous. What basketball country? A country where one team leaves the national championship and is not punished for that, and that's Partizan," Covic referred to Zvezda's archrivals.

"In the Federation, everyone is silent and pretending to be 'dead'. What kind of basketball country are we? Everyone can do whatever they want. Let's put together a strategy, let's make a plan...

The country of basketball is Spain, which won the European championship. The latter team is experiencing a generational change and still wins the big competition again. It's the most successful basketball country in Europe in this century, while we are still living on some old glory," Covic spoke.

He continued to point out mistakes and issues in Serbian basketball.

"There was no Serbian referee in the EuroBasket final. EuroBasket First Team is without Serbians as well. Giannis [Antetokounmpo] made the cut, but Nikola Jokic didn't, although both of them were eliminated early. It shows how weak and ineffective we are. We don't ask ourselves anything, we have become irrelevant. I think this is the last signal to fix some things.

When I see what kind of idiots defend this failure in the media, it is clear to me why we have reached this state. These are the people who have nothing to do with sports.

Remember 1995 and 1996, we made a strategy at that time and ruled basketball for years. I have the right to say this because I have results behind me. Both as the president of the Federation and as the president of Crvena Zvezda," Covic concluded the topic. 

Then he touched on the naturalized players in the national teams. Lorenzo Brown, who received a Spanish passport ahead of EuroBasket 2022, was instrumental in Spain's recent success.

The new Maccabi Tel Aviv player entered the EuroBasket First Team after averaging 17.1 points, 2.0 rebounds, 8.5 assists, 1.2 steals, and 16.7 EFF over 9 matches.

"I think that is the only downside of Spain's win. I am not a supporter of foreigners in the national team, although Lorenzo Brown is a former Crvena Zvezda player," the Red Star president declared. "We were the first to bring him to Europe. He is a great player and now he has proved it at the highest level."

Last but not least, he spoke about Crvena Zvezda's financial situation and the upcoming season.

"We will try to maintain the level to which our fans are accustomed. Though, I am worried about the season ahead of us. All kinds of wars are being declared against the Red Star. Various portals are also involved.

They ask, 'was it a budget inspection?' And that inspection found nothing in ten years. Did we receive funds from the state? Yes, we did. We are satisfied with every dinar.

We are asking for even more help now to save this fair team. Some others got much more money. One is direct money and the other is indirect money. I have no cars to sell.

But let's face it, I'm glad that Serbia will have two teams in the EuroLeague. I just want everything to be transparent," Nebojsa Covic concluded. 

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