Nigel Hayes-Davis: about life in Barcelona, Djokovic story and Zalgirio Arena 0

Having spent the previous two seasons in Kaunas and keenly learning Lithuanian, Nigel Hayes-Davis took on a new challenge in life at the start of this season, as he not only joined one of the EuroLeague favorites FC Barcelona, but also started learning Spanish and Croatian languages.

The silver-tongued forward joined Rytis Kazlauskas for a conversation on the latest episode of #ZalgirisOnAir+.

“Coming to Barcelona, we have a fantastic opportunity to win. It’s great to be a part of it. I’m happy Sarunas Jasikevicius brought me with him, and I gave him an earful. When I first got here, we had a new guys-to-the-team speech, and I told him ‘It was crazy – you left and didn’t bring me the first time. But I guess I forgive you now.’”

Nigel also talked about an unfortunate birthday, as he had to spend it isolated in an Athens hotel room after testing positive after the game against Crvena Zvezda.

“I was so pissed, I wanted to play the game. I was finally in a groove – I had two really good games, it’s a game on my birthday. And then I get Covid, on my birthday, on gameday… I can’t play, I can’t do anything, and I’m not even home. I’m in a different country in a hotel in Europe.

And now it’s still coming back. Now everyone is talking about me having Covid, and Novak Djokovic got it. The dates align, as he tested positive on my birthday. People are coming and saying stuff on social media, tagging and saying “did you give him covid? Did he give you covid?”. But okay, that’s life sometimes.”

To end the conversation, Hayes-Davis reminisced about his time in Kaunas, remembering his favorite parts of life in Lithuania.

“Being able to go to the gym whenever I want. That’s tied with the Zalgiris fans, and the Viking clap at the beginning of games. Those two things I miss the most. Kaunas was so small, but homey. You get in the car, drive three minutes – you go to the gym, shoot. Now in Barcelona, you never know: you go to the gym and there’s a hockey or futsal game going on.”

The full conversation is available for MVP plan subscribers of Zalgiris Insider.