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Berry Tramel: Nenad Krstic's reputation takes a hit

General manager Sam Presti has discussed brawl with Thunder big man
by Berry Tramel Modified: August 20, 2010 at 7:11 pm •  Published: August 20, 2010

Serbian coach, Dusan Ivkovic, said Krstic acted in self-defense, which is nonsense to anyone who has seen the videos.

Thunder general manager Sam Presti said he has spoken with Krstic, and "he recognizes this is an unfortunate situation. He's regretful."

Presti said Krstic, who was detained for awhile by Athens police, has apologized to the Greek National Team and individual players. Presti said Krstic plans to play for Serbia in the World Championships, which begin next week.

Krstic is a patriotic guy. He's captain and sole NBA veteran of a young Serbian national team which is building for the future.

Here's the crazy part. Serbia and Greece are friends. U.S.-Canada type friends. This was U.S.-Canada. Greece and Serbia have been aligned at the hip for centuries. In wars together since the Middle Ages. In religion together, with the Eastern Orthodox church. Greeks invest in the Serbian economy; Serb tourists committed to visit struggling Greece this summer.

Several years ago, some suggested a Greek-Serbia confederation, along with Macedonia.

This was no holy war. This was just a basketball game gone bad.

Is it an NBA career gone bad? Doesn't have to be, even though Krstic is coming up on the final year of his OKC contract, Presti has been consistent with a no-knucklehead policy and the Thunder took Cole Aldrich in the NBA Draft, as an obvious, eventual replacement for Krstic.

The NBA is a forgiving league, the U.S. is a forgiving nation and Americans are forgiving sports fans. This doesn't have to brand Nenad Krstic. Except now everyone will be able to pick him out of the European crowd.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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