Numerous Miami Heat players will be playing for different teams next season, and whether they left as a free agent or in a sign-and-trade deal, nearly every departing roster member left a heartfelt goodbye to the franchise and its fans.
Kendrick Nunn, Trevor Ariza, Goran Dragic, and Precious Achiuwa all sent messages on Twitter or Instagram personally thanking Miami for the opportunity to be a part of the team. However, Nemanja Bjelica, who agreed to a one-year deal with the Golden State Warriors this past week, seems pretty thrilled to leave South beach.
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Warriors beat reporter Connor Letourneau tweeted on Friday, “Nemanja Bjelica on last season: ‘I wasn’t injured, I just didn’t play… Sometimes it’s hard to accept that this is a business. Finally, I’m in a winning organization. There is no better place to be than here. There’s no excuses.”
Bjelica also said he didn’t lose any sleep about leaving Miami. “It took less than a minute. I just said yes. I didn’t think one second. To be part of this historic organization is pretty exciting,” Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman tweeted.
The 6-foot-10 Serbian native only played 11 games with the Heat after being traded from the Sacramento Kings on March 25. In exchange, Miami sent the Kings Chris Silva and Moe Harkless.
Bjelica’s Comment Received Backlash on Twitter
Numerous Twitter users balked at the big man’s comment. One man tweeted, “Hopefully for his sake he can get in shape for the Warriors, unlike with the Heat. Dude was fat and played terribly, you a pro athlete, you should always keep yourself in tip top form.”
Another person took offense at Bjelica saying he’s “finally” going to be with “a winning organization. He tweeted, “Minnesota (0x championships ever) – Sacramento (0x championships since 2000) – Miami (3x championships since 2000)- Golden State (3x championships since 2000). What does he mean by ‘finally’? It’s not Miami’s fault he was nearly unplayable 99% of the time.”
There were also comments from people wondering why Bjelica thinks he’s suddenly going to get more playing time while playing with Steph Curry and the Warriors.
“There’s no way he thinks he’s actually gonna get playing time on the warriors,” one man tweeted. If u can’t survive here you[‘re] not surviving there either. Whos[e] playing time you taking??? DRAYMOND, WISEMAN? S*** even iggy would get more playing time than him.”
Bjelica Is Coming Off One of the Worst Campaigns of His Career
Bjelica agreed to a veteran’s minimum contract with the Warriors. “According to a league source, the Warriors have been interested in adding him for years and were ‘ecstatic’ that he was available on a minimum,” the San Francisco Chronicle‘s Connor Letourneau reported.
During his brief stint with the Heat, the former second-round pick averaged five points, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game, while shooting 43.5 percent from the field. So, the Warriors’ excitement for the 33-year-old forward is likely based on his production from his campaign with the Sacramento Kings the year before.
During the 2019-20 NBA season tallied career highs in scoring, averaging 11.5 points per game, rebounding (6.4), and assists (2.8).