For the second time in the last 10 days, Timofey Mozgov has criticized his treatment by Kenny Atkinson. This time, the criticism was not in response to Russian reporters’ questions, but in his own words, posted on a new, Belarus-based sports blog. It was more pointed and less vague than the earlier critiques.
“I’m very dissatisfied with my NBA season. It was a hard one and really bad. The breaking point came quite unexpectedly. The coach just said: “This is the situation we have”. There were no transitional periods, just like this: bang! I had a personal talk to the coach later, but it did not help. Probably the coach had some ideas about me, but he failed to get them through, at least I did not understand anything. The team meeting at the end of the season did not make things clear either. There haven’t been any talks about the next season, so we’ll wait and see.”
The Nets seven-footer used most of his blog entry to talk about the Russian basketball team, the World Cup and his personal activities, but his most pointed comments related to his experience with Brooklyn.
It follows a series of interviews with Russian media 10 days ago. In interviews with big Russian radio and newspaper outlets, Mozgov made it clear that he’s frustrated with his situation in Brooklyn and wants to play, either for the Nets “or another NBA team.”
He criticized Atkinson in those interviews, but not as harshly as he did in the Scorum blog.
“I don’t know any reason why I first lost my place in the starting five and then not playing even a minute,” he told Izvestia, the Russian newspaper. “But it’s the head coach’s decision and he is responsible for result.
“I tried to speak to Atkinson but he was not able to give me answer. Anyway I’m confident. Just want to play for Brooklyn or any other NBA team”. I tried to talk to him, but I did not succeed in drawing out something intelligible.”
Brian Lewis talked to Stanislav Ryzhov, Mozgov’s agent, last week. The agent told the Post that he and Mozgov have met with Sean Marks —which seems to contradict Mozgov’s comment about a lack of a meeting. Ryzhov added that he and Mozgov have not made any trade demands and there are no discussions of a buyout either.
“Yes, Mozgov is not satisfied, and Nets know about it. He is motivated to play and hates sitting on the bench,” Ryzhov told Lewis. “We are 100 percent sure that he is still a contributor, even in nowadays super-fast NBA fashion...”
If the Nets and Mozgov were interested in a buyout, it would make sense to complete the deal before July 1 to give the Nets more flexibility in free agency.
Mozgov is owed $16 million this season and $16.7 million next season. He arrived in Brooklyn last June from the Lakers as part of the deal that brought D’Angelo Russell to the Nets and sent Brook Lopez and the 27th pick in the 2017 Draft to L.A.
The Nets have previously declined comment on Mozgov’s remarks.
- Timofey Mozgov takes his criticism of the Nets to next level - Brian Lewis - New York Post