James Nunnally compares Europe to NBA, names Obradovic's best quality

2022-11-16 09:46

James Nunnally names Zeljko Obradovic's character to be the differentiating characteristic from other coaches. The forward thinks it's harder to score in Europe than in the NBA.

Credit: Cibona/Marin Susic
Credit Cibona/Marin Susic

James Nunnally is one of Partizan Mozzart Bet Belgrade's marquee signings of the offseason. A veteran forward with years of both EuroLeague and NBA experience is set to be a key part of the club's overall picture.

Led by the legendary Zeljko Obradovic, Partizan are looking to reestablish their place on the European basketball map. Talking about the veteran coach in an interview with SportKlub Srbija, Nunnally was sure that the coach's character is what sets him apart from all others in his profession.

"It's how he is on the court. He demands a lot out of you, you have to be on your A game at practice, during the games, just thinking the game, thinking about basketball, you just have to love it, you really have to love it," the player told.

Throughout his career, the American forward has played for numerous teams both in Europe and in the USA. Asked to compare the game in the two strongest leagues, Nunnally echoed Luka Doncic's words.

"It's harder to score in Europe for sure. The court's more open, different rules in the NBA," he explained. "The game is more physical in Europe, it's more like a scheme, you have to go by the gameplan. In the NBA, it's a gameplan but it's a more free and open style of play."

Nunnally has played for 5 teams in the NBA. In 37 games, he averaged only 2.6 points and 0.9 rebounds per match. However, the player thinks he just didn't receive the opportunity, and things would've turned.

"I never really got a chance in the NBA, honestly. I never got a chance to play 40 games, 20 minutes per game, I never got that chance. I feel like if I had that chance, I would have killed it because I feel I can play anywhere," the forward told. "I can shoot at a high level. You can shoot... [you can make it anywhere]"

Nunnally has previously played with Obradovic when he was a part of Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul in 2020. Now he's playing for another fiery fanbase in Belgrade. However, Nunnally doesn't feel big pressure.

"Even when I was with Fener, there was no pressure. You just knew that you had great teammates, great coaching staff. Practices were harder than the games, honestly," Nunnally started off.

"I don't think that basketball is really pressure. Basketball is not pressure. Basketball is fun. It can be stressful at times but I don't think it's pressure. Do what you're supposed to do and the chips fall where they may," the player explained. "You play hard, you win some, you lose some. I don't think that's pressure."

The forward has been averaging 11 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game for 10.2 PIR this season. This week, Partizan welcome Nunnally's former team Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv in the EuroLeague. The game is scheduled for 20:30 CET on Friday.

James Nunnally's full interview:


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