Kosovo on the Minds of Some NBA Players

Kosovo recently declared independence from Serbia (and some fascinating background).

Upon hearing the news, some gathered in Times Square to have a party. Meanwhile some in the NBA cried.

Kent Youngblood of the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

Talking to Marko Jaric, you could feel the intensity. It was after Timberwolves practice Monday, and Jaric still was covered in sweat. But he was filled with frustration. "This is so upsetting," he said, leaning forward. "It's just so ... upsetting."

The subject: independence for Kosovo. As an ethnic Serb, it's not hard to guess where Jaric stands on the issue. "First of all, I don't want to get involved too politically in this," Jaric began. "But I'm just thinking that it's very unfair what is happening in my country right now. How powerful Western nations are making decisions on what needs to be done over there."

David Waldstein of The Star-Ledger:

[Nenad] Krstic read the reports on Serbian websites that day, as yet another piece of his homeland melted away, and he wept. "In Serbia, we are really proud of Kosovo," a melancholy Krstic said on Saturday. "Kosovo's independence makes me feel really bad. When I heard it five or six days ago I was crying. It was very emotional. It means a lot. It really means a lot."

... So on Thursday when a mob of angry nationalists stormed and burned the United States Embassy just one block from Krstic's apartment in Belgrade leaving one alleged rioter dead, he was appalled, but he understood why it happened.

UPDATE: Insight from Christopher Hitchens, and a highly recommended book. And, a state department account of the dreadful goings on in 1999.