It was not exactly a secret that Mirza Teletovic was unhappy in his rookie season in the NBA. He was brought over from Europe with big expectations, but he ended up playing in just 53 games averaging just nine minutes per game.
“I think it’s very important to get a chance to show what you can do,” Teletovic said back on Media Day. “If you don’t have a chance there is no point. You have to have a chance. I think last year I played 35 games, nine minutes a game. Anybody in my situation would have had my results or worse. It’s tough to play like that.
“The experience I have, I can adjust to things, but last year I didn’t play. If I played 35 games, 9 minutes a game each game, if it was nine minutes every time out then OK fine. But I didn’t do that, I played five games or 10 games and then didn’t play three or four games. It’s very, very tough. You can’t be put into a game randomly and be told to make four shots. You just can’t do it.”
“Mirza will be an important part of this team,” Kidd said back in July. “He’s the guy who contributes to the defense and has a good shot.
The only problem is that three games into the season there has been no evidence of Teletovic getting more of an opportunity.
He sat completely against the Cleveland Cavs and Miami Heat. Even when it appeared to be the perfect opportunity for him against Orlando, when the Nets were desperate for offense late in the game, he sat there on the bench until it was too late for him to contribute at all. After the game, he vented his frustration on Twitter.
“Mrzim kad me lažu ((((((,” he tweeted. A quick Google translation reveals that it means “I hate liars,” in Croatian.
On Monday, Teletovic was not available for reporters, but considering the tweet was shot off immediately after Sunday’s game it is hard to believe the two aren’t related.
J-Kidd’s reaction to the tweet was not to back down. Instead, he pointed out that with such a deep team, there aren’t a lot of minutes to go around. “I think everybody wants to play,” Kidd told reporters. “There’s only 48 minutes [each game]. There’s nights when guys will play minutes, and there’s nights when guys won’t. There’s no in-between.”
Kidd is absolutely right. It’s hard for this team to spread the minutes around with so many options. Even Joe Johnson‘s minutes are way down this year. Still, it certainly seems like there was some miscommunication for Teletovic to get upset so early in the season.