Nikola Mirotic 13 Points Full Highlights (12/25/2014)

Nikola Mirotic stared blankly at the flickering, flashing TV in front of him. His eyes saw the pointless images on the screen, but his brain did not comprehend them. Instead, his mind dwelled, as it had for the entire preceding week, on loneliness and homesickness.

Yes, the Bulls had won the Christmas game in front of a national TV audience. But what Nikola had lost was so much greater than what he had won.

He thought about all the Montenegrin traditions that he had been left out of this year. At home, his friends and relatives would eat the traditional Česnica, say the traditional prayers, hang the traditional decorations, and enjoy kinship in the bosom of their family. Meanwhile, Nikola had eaten a microwaved TV dinner for supper and the only decoration in his house was a pile of beer cans in front of the sofa. There were no presents; as his parents had explained, shipping from Europe was too expensive for their modest means.

A drunken tear slipped down his face. The Americans were paying him a lot of money, but there was no amount of dollars that could replace the Montenegro-shaped hole in his heart. Playing in Spain had allowed him to visit every few weeks, but he had not seen his wonderful parents in months, and every day he woke up separated from the comforts of home just ripped his heart even wider.

Curling up in the soft blanket, the one thing he had left from his childhood, he wept.

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