Nikola Mirotic made one of the most surprising moves by this summer when he left the NBA and joined the Euroleague team Barcelona. Mirotic was an NBA starter and was offered a lucrative deal with the Utah Jazz, who are one an underrated contender for a championship this season.
In an interview with Sport Klub, from Europe, Mirotic talked about the real reasons behind his return back to Europe. Even though it may sound surprising, he said he missed European basketball and believed there are a lot of similarities between these two leagues.
EuroLeague is increasing its level constantly. There’s a lot of things similar to the NBA. I think there are some things they are copying, which is OK. But EuroLeague is EuroLeague for me, team basketball, not the NBA with more of some individual stats. I missed that, to be honest. Unfortunately, I didn’t win EuroLeague so far. I played two, three Final Fours, I was very close, so the desire is there, the dream to take that title.”
Mirotic gave more context about his departure and how he didn’t feel appreciated enough. He said every NBA team has one or more superstars on their roster, and there wasn’t enough room for him to fully showcase his skill set.
All five seasons in the NBA were very good, especially the last two in which I made a step forward, but I was missing something. I was a very important player in the lineup, but every NBA team has a superstar, and I was the third or fourth player. And that’s OK, but I wanted more, I wanted to be a leader. I’m 28, I’m experienced, and I wanted something else.”