Nikola Mirotic decided to return to the EuroLeague last summer and signed with Barcelona, after spending five years in the NBA.
Mirotic, who admitted he had an offer from an NBA team to remain in the league, called his return to Europe ‘a step forward’ in his career.
“There are people who want to be in the NBA, even if they don’t play. But basketball in Europe is of a high level, the EuroLeague is becoming more competitive, the Liga Endesa is being tremendously strong.
For me, this is a step forward in my career. Now, I have to prove something again,” Nikola Mirotic said.
The versatile forward confirmed he had a three-year offer on his hands by the Utah Jazz, but he eventually decided to reject it and join Barcelona.
“Utah wanted to have a meeting on June 30 to sign me as the first player in free agency. They offered me three years guaranteed, a great contract.
I said to myself: ‘Don’t do it Niko. If you go, you will sign.’ I left the airport and went back to the hotel.
I told my agent that I wasn’t going to catch the flight and to apologize to Utah for not attending the meeting. “I’m going to take another path, I don’t want to continue in the NBA,” Mirotic stated.
Nikola Mirotic, who has been the leader of the Catalans this season, also talked about his time in the NBA.
He pointed out the differences between the NBA and the European basketball.
“The game was completely different. Games were played every other day, a more individual game and – what I had the hardest time understanding in the first season – is that everything revolves around the stars of the team: training, games, plays.
First, it’s them that they have to touch the ball and then decide. It’s already known who takes the last shots, and I did not understand why.
If I am “breaking my face”, maybe I deserve more shots… In the end it was patience and training,” Nikola Mirotic said in a video interview for Sergiobasket Vlogs.