Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bourousis wants to play in the NBA in 2 years

When Ioannis Bourousis took the AT&T Center floor Friday for Greek basketball power Olympiacos Piraeus, he envisioned returning someday.

Bourousis, a 6-foot-11 center, turned down a contract offer from the Spurs this summer, telling coach Gregg Popovich he didn't feel he was ready for the NBA. But playing for the Spurs remains his dream.

I'm anxious to play, not only against Tim Duncan, but also against the whole team,” Bourousis, 25, said before tipoff. “I had two or three offers from other (NBA) teams, but if I decide to play in the NBA, it will be in this facility.”

Bourousis wasn't perfect — he missed 3 of 5 shots and committed four fouls — but he did nothing to alter the opinion Popovich formed when scouting him at the 2008 European Final Four in Berlin.

As soon as I saw him I started thinking: Vlade Divac,” Popovich said, recalling the former NBA star from Serbia. “His body language, his gait, the way he shoots, the way he moves on the floor ... He's good inside and outside. He runs the floor well, and he's got great hands. He's a very skilled young man.”

When Bourousis feels ready to make the jump, he said San Antonio is his first choice.

I would like to play two more years in Euroleague, and then to come (to San Antonio),” he said. “In the future, if they still want me, and it is the right expenses, probably I will come.”

That news was welcomed by Popovich.

That's OK with me,” he said. “I think he's fantastic.”

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