EuroLeague MVP Sasha Vezenkov says coming to the NBA is ‘like a dream’


The last time a reigning EuroLeague MVP decided to sign for an NBA team was back in 2018, when Luka Doncic went from Spanish club Real Madrid to the Dallas Mavericks. Five years later, Sasha Vezenkov is following his footsteps as he recently inked a deal to play for the Sacramento franchise. 

This Thursday, the 28-year-old was presented at the Golden 1 Center and talked about his feelings towards this new challenge in California, as the media attended his introductory press conference.

Back in July, the new Kings player signed a three-year, $20 million contract that starts this upcoming campaign.

“It’s a totally different game. I understand that,” Vezenkov said when comparing European basketball to the NBA. “The coaching staff and the players will help me adjust as fast as possible to this new game. On the other hand, it is basketball. It is five-on-five, for sure here there is more athleticism. I can fit in this team and I can help this team, that is why I am here.”

The relationship between the Sacramento team and the former Olympiacos player has been going on for some time now. The rights to sign the foward were in possession of the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2021, but they were acquired by the Kings last year.

Ever since, coach Mike Brown has been eyeing up the possibility of bringing over to the United States, as he even travelled to Europe to see him perform up close this offseason. Vezenkov says he rather not talk too much, and prove his worth on the court.

“I don’t like to talk a lot,” he stated. “I am really happy that we are a winning team. Everybody saw what Sacramento did last year. So, I am here to help with my experience, with whatever coach needs from me for this team to continue to win games and perform better and better.”

The former EuroLeague star reveals it has always been a dream for him to play one day in the NBA

The 28-year-old had played in many European squads before taking the leap across the Atlantic to the NBA.  Back in 2017 he was selected by the Brooklyn Nets as the 57th overall pick in the draft, but returned to his continent and played for teams like Barcelona and Aris.

After spending his last five years playing for Greek superteam Olympiacos, he can’t hide his excitement to begin what he calls the biggest decision in his basketball career.

Check out his highlights from last season, which earned him the title of the league’s MVP:

“I’m really happy, really excited,” he said, “It was a big decision for my career and I’m really happy to do it for Sacramento. I’m really thankful to the whole organization because they showed me their commitment, how much they are interested and want me to be here.”

After jumping through three different NBA franchise’s hands, he can now say he completed his objective. “The NBA was like a goal, a dream for me. Every kid who plays in Europe wants to come to the NBA,” he assured.

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