http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/columns/story?columnist=stein_marc&id=1723508Originally posted by <b>italianBBlover</b>!
In these days here are spreading come rumors about a possible "coming" of Vlade Divac to Italy in season 2004-2005 ...
What can u say to me ?
Another story circulated this week that Divac is done with international basketball. He told me so as well last weekend. I told him I don't believe it.
Although Divac does point out that "my international career ended perfect" -- with a gold medal at the 2002 World Championships in Indianapolis -- I question whether he'll be able to resist the temptation of trying to beat a beefed-up Team USA at the Athens Olympics. The other temptation? Team USA is playing an exhibition game in Belgrade before the Olympics, and it's the sort of once-in-a-lifetime occasion Divac will struggle to pass up.
You can believe that Divac, a free agent this summer, is serious when he says he'll retire from the NBA at season's end if Sacramento wins the championship. Or at least take a one-season break from the NBA. Divac turns 36 on Tuesday and says he wants to play at least one full season in Spain or Italy so his children, who have been essentially raised in America, get a chance to experience a full-fledged European lifestyle. "It's probably the only way they'll get to do that," Divac said.
Mmm, and so why he speaks clearly about "Spain or Italy" and not about Belgrad ? Sabonis said always "only with Zalgiris" , Divac no.Originally posted by <b>LegoHat</b>!
When he isn´t with the Kings anymore he will probably play for Partizan, like Sabonis is doing for Zalgiris at the moment.
Kings must do all they can to keep DivacDivac, who will be a free agent at the end of the season, is having such an outstanding season that he has tabled his retirement plans and wants to remain with the Kings for another few years, provided of course, that the feelings are mutual.
"Are you kidding?" replied Geoff Petrie, the Kings' president of basketball operations. "Absolutely. Vlade is the heart and soul of this team. It's hard for me to imagine him playing anywhere else because of our style of play, the fixture that he is within the organization and community. And the fact that, with all the injuries, he has always been there for us, always. We will be the first in line."
Better start moving toward the front then. Though teams cannot formally negotiate with players during their free-agency seasons, the Kings can at least initiate the wooing process, showering Divac with love and affection, and with the promise of a communal bash when he finally decides to retire.
This makes sense for several reasons, primarily because he can still play, because he deserves it, and because if the Kings don't wrap him up tightly, someone else will. Those 36 years notwithstanding - and we can only take Vlade's word on the actual birthdate - he will have numerous suitors and abundant options, though playing in Europe in the immediate future does not appear to be among them.
"That is the way I feel now," said Divac, who will earn $12 million this season. "The last couple weeks I have been feeling great. I was talking to (wife) Ana about this. If the money is even close to what I would get somewhere else, I stay here. But if it's big difference - if (the Kings) offer me $2 million and someone else offers me $4 million - I would have to leave. But I would love to come back to Sacramento. This is my city. I am comfortable here. My family is comfortable here. I just hope I don't get any crazy offers and have to leave."