THE Briante Weber fought in Olympic in his most difficult period, the 2018/19 season. The American guard, who now plays for Buyukcekmeze, was quoted speaking to Basketnews in his adventurous journey, the financial problems faced by KAE at the time and his decision to leave before the end of the season.
“The most difficult challenge at Olympiakos was the lack of communication, from the presidents down to the last player on the roster. It was a strange situation because my first game there was a derby against Panathinaikos. We ended up stopping playing at halftime, which was new to me. I tried to understand the situation as best I could and be supportive to my teammates. But the hardest part was not getting paid for two months and trying to be patient“, emphasized the 30-year-old ace.
“At first, it was OK. Then we knew that we would not play in either the EuroLeague or the playoffs of the Greek league since we were 8th and Panathinaikos would be the first. It was a foregone conclusion that this would happen, but the presidents weren’t telling us anything more. It was our third month without payment and we knew we were just training for no reason. I made the decision to leave because of this. The reason I left was because we weren’t going to play, they weren’t talking to us and they weren’t taking the initiative to pay us. They used to tell us “okay, tomorrow you will get your salary”. We waited a day, and the next day the same thing happened“, he added.
Regarding his decision not to be patient and leave, he said:I had to make a decision for me and my well-being. We had signed a professional contract. We didn’t know what was going on. Where I had come from, which was the NBA, I never had a problem with paying checks on time. I will never be OK with that. I love basketball to death and would play for no money if I had to. But since I signed up for something to happen and it doesn’t happen, I have to defend myself. I had signed a contract for 1+1 years. I think it was a team option. I received my first check almost a month later when it was time to get my second. Back then, I was hearing from everyone in the locker room that no one was getting paid. I congratulate all the players who stayed and stood out, but it was because they knew. I had no idea from abroad. Of course, I had Patrick Beverley, but I didn’t actually communicate with him when I was there to get inside information. So I decided as a rookie overseas to say, “I can’t accept not being paid. I don’t care what happens. I expect you to keep your side of the deal as I do mine.”“, he emphasized.
“With the presidents we had two meetings in the locker room about the situation. They always said “tomorrow, this will happen”. Same thing the next day, until we had a meeting due to the fact that no training took place because no one had been paid. Some stayed, but Axel Tupan and I decided to leave. He was there all year and knew what to do and how to fight it. I, because I was young and did not understand the FIBA court, left. But Jacques LeDay and Nigel Williams-Goss couldn’t leave because they needed Europe. They were trying to establish themselves as professionals. The contract is void if I am not paid within 30 days. But I received the February payment in April. I’d rather be okay with my decision than let someone else treat me like a puppet. Money is not everything to me. If it was, I would be playing in the Middle East or China“, concluded.
At the same time, he mentioned how he was convinced to transfer to Olympiakos and the collaboration with Vassilis Spanoulis: “Me and Coach Blatt talked when he was in Cleveland. I had earned several 10-day contracts and it was one of the coaches who asked me if I wanted to go to Cleveland. Due to the situation I rejected this prospect. When I was in the G-League I had in my mind to go overseas to raise my value to the NBA. I wanted to have a role like Patrick Beverley. He started there and then came to the NBA. The process with Olympiakos was beautiful. I did a little research and as soon as I signed everyone was asking me if I knew Spanoulis. I was thinking “that name sounds familiar”. It wasn’t until I did more research that I figured it out. He was pretty much Europe’s Kobe Bryant. I got to play with a GOAT. Me and Billy bonded. He took me under his tutelage, we spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to play in Europe. It helped me a lot. Most importantly, it helped me be aggressive».
Source: Sport Fm
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