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Linas Kleiza likes winning in Greece better than losing in Denver

Jun 22, 2010, 12:10 PM EDT

Kleiza_NBA.jpgThe Denver Nuggets have extended a qualifying offer to Linas Kleiza — something they have to do to keep his rights, but if he accepts he could return to the Rocky Mountains.

Whether or not the Nuggets want him back, he likes the life in Greece on a championship team better and is not coming back, his agent told the Denver Post.

“We have no plans to sign with the Nuggets, nor have they expressed interest in signing Linas at this point,” he said.

Kleiza averaged 17.1 points per game and was the leading scorer on an Olympiakos that has been to the Greek and EuroLeague finals in the same season. They win a lot. Oh, and he gets to live in Greece. Life is good.

Denver’s offer is being portrayed as the team trying to get him back, but in reality they cannot expect him to return. However, they need to make an offer to retain his rights (much as Atlanta has had to do the last couple of years with Josh Childress). You don’t give up rights for nothing. So the business move of the offer is in, but don’t expect Kleiza to return to America.

  1. Rod Kaufmann - Jun 22, 2010 at 1:15 PM

    Did the same idiot who wrote this headline also write this article? The Nuggets went to the Western Conference Finals last year, and won 49 games this year despite losing their head coach. I wouldn’t call that “losing”, would you?
    Linas Kleiza is a talented,inconsistent player with a lousy work ethic. He belongs in Greece, with its padded social welfare benefits, strikes, work stoppages, early retirements, and all the other issues that are driving the country to bankruptcy…in case Kurt Hein didn’t ever get past the sports pages this year. Let Linas keep playing his mediocre brand of basketball in Greece. He can drink, party til he drops, and never get in shape…and nobody over there will care.

  2. hk - Jun 22, 2010 at 2:09 PM

    Nuggets won 53 games last year, that’s not losing…

  3. sad - Jun 22, 2010 at 9:16 PM

    Kleiza was most consistent scoring and rebounding option last season on Olympiacos team and one of most consistent in all Eurolegue for that matter..,he never was drug adict,never was involved in drug busts in airports,never killed nobody in idiotic wreckless driving accidents ,was never involved in shootings like other denver players,so before trying to tarnish somebody ,,think…if you can of course…

  4. and again - Jun 22, 2010 at 9:25 PM

    thuggets lost to half of Jazz team in first round,,,I call it loosing…when they were in WC finals Kleiza was important part of one of the best benches in NBA ,,,

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