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Divac: Yes, I paid for Krstic freedom

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by Milan Lazarevic

After a little war between Nenad Krstic and his ex club, Partizan, in the spring of this year, the whole story had an epilogue during the last few days. Krstic had accused his former club and people in it, claiming that they were sending him letters during season insisting he pay the rest of his buy-out contract.

Krstic answered that he had already done that, and that he owes something only to Vlade Divac [who was part owner of Partizan in 2004 when the buyout was negotiated]. On the other side, Partizan officials said nothing, but legendary Serbian center Vlade Divac now has something to add. In interview with the Serbian daily, "Glas Javnosti", Divac said:

"I heard that story and I will explain you whole thing now. When Krstic was leaving for the NBA, we agreed that I will pay, from my pocket, the buy-out for him, because he didnt sign so big a contract with Nets. I wanted to help oin that way both him and Partizan. He will give me back that money when he signs a new, better contract with Nets. That's the thing."

Krstic confirmed the whole story for the same daily:

"It's the truth. Half of my buy-out, 650 000 euros [then about $700,000] was paid by New Jersey and the other half I had to pay. Vlade Divac paid instead of me and told me that I could give it back to him when I would have such money. There are no words which can describe such a thing that he did for me, but we all know how great man he is."