Los Angeles Clippers veteran Nicolas Batum reveals how his father’s tragic death motivated him to have a successful basketball career.
The Los Angeles Clippers have had a pretty solid season by far. Backed by the All-Star duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, the Clippers are considered to be strong title contenders.
Frenchman Nicolas Batum has been the key factor in LAC’s results success this year. Even though the 6-foot-8 swingman has never made an All-Star appearance or even been an NBA champion, the 32-year-old has had a pretty successful career so far. Earning more than $155 million over his 13-year career, Batum’s story is what makes his career so inspiring.
Back when Nicolas was 2-years-old, his father, Richard Batum passed away, amidst a professional basketball league in northern France. Nic reveals that his father’s tragic death is what gave him the motivation to pursue professional basketball.
“I had to do something in basketball to finish it”: Nicolas Batum on continuing his father’s legacy
Back in September of 1991, Richard Batum collapsed on the court and passed away with an aneurysm. Despite being only 2-years young, Batum vividly remembers how he saw his father tragic pass away. The Clippers veteran said:
“I just remember he got fouled and went back to the free-throw line to shoot his free throws, and then he was falling down at the free-throw line. I can remember when my father went down, and I can remember later, when I wake up, all of the TV stations around and my mom crying and all the craziness going around. Here I was two years old, but I’ve got memories about it.”
Instead of giving up on the sport, Nic used his father’s death as motivation to continue Richard’s legacy.
“I started playing very early, I felt I had to do something in basketball to finish it. I had to do something for him, I think I have to continue his legacy. He was a basketball player, and so I have to do it too. I would talk about it when I was a kid.”
“At school, people would ask me, ‘What do you want to do when you become a grown man? I want to play basketball’. That’s it. That’s all I want to do. Because I knew he was a player, I just wanted to play basketball.”
“I didn’t know I was going to play in the NBA; I just wanted to be a basketball player somewhere. But now it’s good for me to be in the NBA, because I know he’s proud of me and watching down on me.”
Today, he is one of the most integral players on a strong title-contending team. Having a career average of 11.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists, there is no doubt that Nicolas Batum has made his father proud.