Webster opens up on Breakers situation

Corey Webster was a star for the Tall Blacks at the FIBA World Cup in China. Photo: Getty Images
Corey Webster was a star for the Tall Blacks at the FIBA World Cup in China. Photo: Getty Images
For Corey Webster, a recent offer to play in Turkey has quickly become a touchy subject.

After the Kiwi guard dazzled at the FIBA World Cup in China this month, Turkish outfit Darüşşafaka Basketbol approached him with a one-year offer. Contracted with the Breakers for another two seasons, the 30 year old's request for a release was denied.

"I don't want to speak on it too much," Webster said of being unable to take up the offer from Darüşşafaka. "Obviously there's a lot going on, but it was an amazing opportunity."

Instead of packing his bags for Europe, Webster was back training with the Breakers at their Auckland base in preparation for a preseason game on Thursday night.

After averaging 23 points per game - shooting at better than 50% from the floor - during the World Cup, Webster is looking to bring that same form into the upcoming ANBL season, but admitted he was affected by recent events.

"Obviously it's not a secret that I wanted to leave," he said.

"No one would ever turn down an amazing opportunity like that to play in one of the world's best leagues and the Euro Cup, so it's a disappointing and stressful time right now, but we'll see how it goes."

Breakers owner Matt Walsh addressed Webster's request for a release from his contract with Radio Sport at the weekend. He said the Turkish club was not willing to buy out Webster's contract, and the veteran guard was too valuable to let go for nothing.

"He's one of our best players," Walsh said of Webster. "He's totally irreplaceable - there's not another Corey Webster in New Zealand. For us, it's a no-brainer - we have to keep him, he's so important to our team."

Webster said he would be taking a professional approach to the season ahead, and was focused on playing good basketball.

With the arrival of young American stars RJ Hampton (Breakers) and LaMelo Ball (Illawarra Hawks) to the league, there will be plenty of scouts taking interest in the league ahead of the 2020 NBA Draft. While a lot of attention will be on the stars of the future, good performances won't go unnoticed.

"People are always watching," Webster said. "I've just got to be aware of that. We'll see how it goes. I'll just focus on playing good basketball."

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