Former Net Nenad Krstic (above, second from left), recently acquired by Oklahoma City, had an unpleasant, albeit brief tenure earlier this season with Triumph Lyurbertsy of the Russian Super League, an experience the Serb C details for the Newark Star-Ledger’s Dave D’Alessandro.
“The coach just had a weird tactic for me,” Krstic explained Sunday. “He didn’t want me to practice at all. And then, I didn’t play much, because he said he was saving me for the second part of the season. He just kept saying, ‘You’ll play more when we really need you.’
“I told him I wanted to play more, but he didn’t speak English very well. Maybe he was scared for my knee or something, but I kept trying to explain that I could practice and play more. He wouldn’t do it. But he is a good man, really. I never argued with him.”
If there was a method to the madness conjured by Stanislav Eremin (above), head coach of Triumph Moscow, it eludes Krstic to this day.
It was last July 5 that Krstic gave an interview to Sportski Zurnal — the Serbian sports daily — and accused the Nets’ training staff of mishandling his rehab, and rushing him back to the floor before he was ready. He holds no grudge, and hopes the Nets have forgotten his remarks as well, but the accusation stung.
He rephrases it this way now: “Something was wrong with the rehab, right now I can see it,” he said. “Well, I can’t call it wrong — that’s not a good word. But I didn’t do the right stuff with my knee. The Oklahoma coaches can see I’m doing a lot of good things now. Maybe some of the exercises weren’t right.
“So something was wrong — I wasn’t ready to play, and there was swelling, so I was upset. Maybe it just takes time, I don’t know. Nobody did anything on purpose. They did their best. I was just frustrated at the time.”