Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Drew Nicholas and Teammates Decide Not to Travel to Serbia After Political Unrest, Off Team?

Some serious craziness going on with Drew Nicholas and 3 of his teammates on Efes Pilsen right now. Basically Nicholas and American teammates Loren Woods, Rashad Wright and Andre Hutson decided not to accompany their team to a game scheduled for Thursday night in Serbia agains Partizan. Apparently the US gov't warned their citizens not to travel to Serbia b/c of unrest there. Last week, Serb demonstrators set fire to the US embassy in Belgrade to protest US backing of Kosovo independence.

Here's a report available on a great site called Ball in Europe:

EFES Pilsen shocked just before the away game against Partizan which will be played Thursday, as four of the American players, Drew Nicholas, Loren Woods, Rashad Wright and Andre Hutson, refused to go Serbia due to security reasons. Efes Pilsen GM Engin Ozerhun said, ‘We do know that the US government warned their citizens not to travel to Serbia, because of the situation in Kosovo, but Serbian government gave us warranty for a safe game and trip as we all had to go there. Scoonie Penn and Kenny Gregory decided to come and play including our US citizen coach David Blatt, but other four Americans refused to travel.

This is definitely unacceptable situation as I can easily say that those four players, Drew Nicholas, Loren Woods, Rashad Wright and Andre Hutson will not play for us anymore.’ Efes Pilsen arrived Belgrade with 8 players, but due to rules there should be 10 players for an official game as there’ll be a meeting with ULEB authorities to play the game with 8 players.

If you go to this link, you can see a post that looks like it's from Drew himself:

I think it would be really horrible and unfair if Drew and his teammates were dropped from Efes as the GM is saying. I mean, these guys are being told by the US gov't that it's dangerous for them to travel there, and instead of standing up for them, their management is saying they are disloyal?

What makes matters even stickier is that two of the six Americans on the team, Scoonie Penn and Kenny Gregory, as well as American coach David Blatt, decided to make the trip.

Sooo... I'll keep an eye and ear out for what happens next. As many readers of this blog know, my good friend Doug Neustadt is Drew's agent so we'll see if Doug can keep us up to date.


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