Los Angeles Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari won't be playing with the Italian National Team during the upcoming FIBA EuroBasket tournament due to an injured hand that he suffered in the most dishonorable of ways.
During a scuffle in an exhibition game between Italy and the Netherlands on Sunday,delivering a punch to the face of Dutch player Jito Kok.
"He did something I can't explain, unacceptable. An example of do-it-yourself justice that disgusts me in society, imagine in sports" Messina said. "He apologized, he was mortified. But I did not want to talk to him. It is difficult to explain to a 30-year old man concepts [such] as loyalty and responsibility.
"His absence it will influence the team because we'll be missing his talent. But sports is full of situations that are overturned thank to old concepts as humility, cohesion and wish to overcome their limits."
Coming from a disciplined culture like the Spurs, it's easy to see why Messina would find Gallinari's actions intolerable. But calling into question Gallinari's character and lack of moral compass was a bit shocking.
Gallinari is expected to recover in time for Clippers training camp this fall, but is out for the duration of EuroBasket. The 6--foot-10 forward was sent to the Clippers in a sign-and-trade deal in early July. In Los Angeles he will join forces with forward Blake Griffin, who missed considerable time and was suspended four games in 2016 for breaking his hand while punching a Clippers equipment staffer.