“I couldn’t imagine a better ending to my career than here – in front of my family, in front of my parents, in front of my brothers and sisters. Thank you very much for being here and for being in the final game of my career. I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart,” said Jānis.
At the time when “Sports Studio” visited Saldu, there were three hours left until Blum’s game – the last in his professional career. Although he put an end to his career a little earlier. This is a more special day. Arvis Blums, brother of Jānis, took up the organizational issues.
“With my brother’s wife and brother [izdomājām] the whole concept. Other people, technical support, ideas and what we did together, so that we can create an unprecedented atmosphere in Saldu.
All the connoisseurs know Jānis, but in recent years they had only seen him on TV screens. The last time he played in Saldus was in 1998 with the Saldus team, at the age of 16, when he scored four points, and then he went to Riga.
“I had the opportunity to enjoy this atmosphere in my life, it is very fantastic. I see it as a thank you to Jānis for giving me the opportunity to enjoy the environment of basketball,” admits Arvis.
In his final game, Blum chose people close to him, with whom he played in the youth league, in Latvian and foreign teams, in the national team. Heavyweights of their time.
“I also read here: Kambala, Biedriņš, Walters, Blum, Seibutis, Banić, Jahovičs… It seems to me – just a surreal feeling. It even seems like a fairy tale. But it can’t be!” admits Arvis.
Andris Biedriņš – Jānis’s friend and teammate in the basketball club “Skonto” and the Latvian national team. Played eight seasons in NBA – Golden State “Warriors” and Utah “Jazz”. At least that’s what “Wikipedia” says, admits Jānis.
Ugis Viļums – Jānis’s friend and teammate in the basketball club “Ventspils”. Ugis’s birthplace is Saldus.
“In principle, there weren’t several that I wanted. Let’s say – Janicenok and Tsiprus. I really wanted it.
Understand that someone will always fail. Many are already busy now. I already have a son [Roberta] not here either,” says Jānis about the composition of the team.
The friend, entering the dressing room, does not hide that the feelings are strange: “It’s funny. I feel nervous. Such deja vu feeling It’s always cool to see old comrades. Most of them we really hadn’t seen in years. Very cool atmosphere.”
“He always has been vocals. Always been a leader. Always talked to everyone. Helped everyone. Always been friendly. Tried to steer myself in the right direction. These are the best qualities of John. You can only learn from them,” says Biedriņš about Blum.
“He was also a great example for me, pushing forward. We had him all the time [savstarpējā] fight when we were on the same team. He was a good defender. I was very good in attack. We always pulled each other up,” former Latvian national team player and coach Kristaps Valters says about Bluma.
But Blum himself, speaking about his career, must admit: “For me, the most important team in my career has always been the Latvian national team, where I have sweated a lot. I never liked not going to training. I have sweated a lot for the national team. Now I watch, I live for them.
I support and am glad that everything is coming together. It has finally happened that no one refuses and everyone is. It’s great.”
“To go out and play with him in his last game – it was just an honor and a pride. I’m not sure I’ll ever do it, but because that person is close to you and that game is close – there was no question. It had to be done simply, ” former national team player Kaspars Kambal also has something to say.
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