Nicolas Batum deplores the methods of the captains and staff of the French women’s basketball team in the face of Maren Iohannis, who was fired for a flight back to the United States due to a contractual issue with his WNBA franchise.
Nicholas Batum would have liked to see the Johannes Marines with the Blue family. The Asvel international full-back, at the heart of a dispute with the French national team, will not participate in the European Women’s Championship to be held in Slovenia and Israel (June 15-25). The subject of contention: a quick trip back and forth to the United States to sign a contract with the New York Liberty in the WNBA, which is right at the beginning of the preparation of the tricolor. But for Nicholas Batum, who spoke before the player’s absence from the select list became official, the captains should have let go of the counterweight.
“The final warning is around his head, I find it absolutely disgusting for a kid who since he was 15 has not missed the France team once,” he denounced at the start of the week in an interview with First Team. The Los Angeles Clippers winger added, “She’s asking for a week to deal with a contractual matter, and for us to give her an ultimatum, (…) I find that absolutely disgusting.”
Even if he “understands what the federation meant” by wanting all internationals at his disposal to better prepare for the competition, Nicholas Batum notes that Johan’s Marines could have done nothing else. Her US contract status could not have been settled earlier given she had just won the French Championship with Asvel. “If she hadn’t been in the qualifiers, her round trip wouldn’t have caused a problem. Except she would go to the end,” he comments.
Domark: “It’s not easy”
But the leaders stick to their position. “It’s sad because it’s not easy,” replied Céline Domercq, manager of the French basketball team. “The choices have to be beyond our control. The desires of the crew, the desires of the Navy. We’d like it to happen, to have the Marines in the European Championship. Now, the choice has to be made because of the calendar (…) the preparation is too short, and we’re left with nothing but A little time to prepare, we’ve been chasing a title for ten years and it’s the year before the Olympics,” she also said into the beIN Sports mic.
Date of return to France deemed ‘incompatible’
This Thursday, the French women’s basketball team made it official that Marines Yohannes not be selected. With this justification: “Marine Iohannis, who finished her season with LDLC ASVEL Féminin, assured Les Bleues staff of her intention to go to her New York Liberty franchise. The date of her return to France does not allow her to participate in the preparations starting from June 7 only, a week before the start Euro Championship. In view of this late arrival, and contrary to the previously mentioned issues, the staff of the French women’s team decided not to keep Marines Iohannis in the group.”
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