Nocioni: I'm not part of Kings' group
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Andres Nocioni made three things very clear: he doesn't want to be a starter, he's not an All-Star in the NBA, and if the Sacramento Kings don't have him in their plans for next year, the Argentinean won't have any problems if he's traded to another team.
"I expect not to. Hopefully I will move on to another place, hopefully," Nocioni told ESPNdeportes.com.
"I think they've shown here, that one: I am not part of this group. Therefore, I don't have a problem. I have to accept it. I think that not being part of a group or not being in the coach's plans or of those in charge is not bad at all. Therefore I accept it," added Nocioni, who is currently in his second season with the Kings.
The season has been one of great frustrations not only for Nocioni but for a franchise that only years ago was a contender for an NBA title. Those times are a thing of the past.
The Kings started the season well, but injuries and losing streaks added up and Kevin Martin's trade to the Houston Rockets clearly showed that the team had other plans. What started out as a season with promise looks to end as a disappointment for all.
On two occasions they have lost four games in a row, in addition having two five-game losing skids. The Kings also lost six and seven consecutive games -- all of which adds up to a losing season.
Despite watching his team's loses amass, Nocioni has seen his minutes drop. Nocioni was averaging over 23 minutes a game in five seasons with the Chicago Bulls, and his minutes increased to 33 a game when he went to the Kings in the middle of last season. This season, Nocioni's minutes have fallen to 19.1 a game.
"For me it's very difficult. I still don't understand what happened. Why there was so much change. Why I found myself playing 30 minutes and all of a sudden I moved to playing five or playing 10. No, no, no, I don't know why. Therefore, how can I tell you, sometimes one doesn't have the answer," Nocioni said.
And with all the negatives this season, the Argentinean still hopes to land a more relevant role than the one he's had so far.
"I don't want to be a starter. I'm not a star and I don't think I will be a starter for a team in the NBA. I think I'm a player that can play 20 minutes, 25 minutes consistently and perform," Nocioni added. "Therefore, good, it is what it is, therefore I have to accept it. I don't think I have done anything wrong."
In retrospective, a moment that Nocioni definitely wants to forget is his arrest on suspicion of drunk driving on Nov. 5. Eventually, he was suspended for two games by Sacramento.
"The truth is that it was totally bad on my part," Nocioni said. "I think I'm not used to going out at all. The truth is that in the United States I have gone out a handful of times and not having the experience of going out a lot, I made a mistake with something I drank."
Nocioni, who is averaging 8.3 points per game, is just waiting for the season to come to an end.
"It's the only thing I'm thinking. I just want the season to end and move forward to the [FIBA World Championship] in the Turkey because I don't think I can do something with my career this year. Therefore, I just try to play the best way possible and do things the best way possible."
Currently, Nocioni hopes that his countrymen that play in the NBA will finally accept being part of Argentina's national team in the FIBA World Championships.
"Yes, we're waiting, hopefully. I think that if we all play, I think we will have all the chances [to win]. I think the team is a team with experience, with a lot of national team games played together. I think we have the chance to be there amongst the top," he concluded. "I think we have to load ourselves the best way possible and play the best way possible."