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The Sacramento Kings guard was unhappy at being asked to back up Jaka Lakovic and has left the team after talks with management.
“I was expecting a greater role on the team,” he said. “I was not happy, so I chose to leave before any games. I was expecting to have a greater responsibility, to have higher expectations, but unfortunately this did not happen.”
“I thank the Federation, Memi Becirovic, Matej Avanzo and Walter Jeklinu as I had excellent communication with them. It was quite amicable.”
Coach Becirovic said he had been open with Udrih about his role on the team from the start.
“The Basketball Federation of Slovenia’s delegation met with Ben in April in Sacramento, where he was invited to participate in the team,” Becirovic explained.
“I later called him to explain in what capacity I saw him playing on the team and to tell him my ideas. I let him know that Jaka Lakovic would start, but he would be one of the team laters on the floor and would have a sufficient number of minutes and a role in deciding what we do.
“Unfortunately, on the very first day he was here, Ben began to think differently so we decided to talk on this sensitive issue, but also to wait a week and approach it with cool heads along with director Matej Avanzo and sporting director Walter Jelklinom.
“We had wanted the issue solved before the preparation matches. We talked about all our ideas, but the differences were too many, so it was decided it was better for the team if we continued separately.”
Avanzo backed the way Becirovic had handled the matter.
“The position of the Basketball Federation of Slovenia and the management here is very clear: the team is required to submit to the decisions of the coach,” he said. “Otherwise it is better to be honest about it and agree with a handshake.”