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Evessa disaster was predictable, coach claims

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

In the aftermath of Osaka Evessa coach Zoran Kreckovic’s getting fired on Monday, there were many stunned players and coaches around the bj-league, what with Kreckovic only lasting four games in charge. Teams play a 52-game season.

Osaka’s woeful start (0-4), however, didn’t surprise one longtime bj-league coach.

“It’s shocking that a team with Evessa’s history, three championships, one of the best players in league history (ex-power forward and two-time MVP Lynn Washington), would turn the team over to a coach and four import players, none of whom had any previous connection to Japan,” the coach said Tuesday evening, speaking specifically about Kreckovic and newcomers Temi Soyebo and Larry Cox (both of whom have been released already) and Nathan Walkup and Andre Coimbra.

“It was painfully obvious before the season started, based on reports coming out of Osaka’s practices, that these guys were out of their league, and had no idea about the level of competition. This was definitely a failure at the top to insure that the team’s coach and players were ready for this season. Inexcusable considering the quality of people they let go: (ex-coach) Ryan Blackwell, (standout forward) Mike Bell, etc.”