Olympiakos gets Aussie Matt Nielsen

Basketball title challenger Olympiakos is trying to beef up its roster after the departures of Josh Childress and Linas Kleiza for the NBA and, toward this end, has acquired Australian power forward Matt Nielsen. The 32-year-old arrived in Greece on Wednesday for his medical tests and to sign a two-year contract with the Reds. «I have not come here to replace Kleiza,» said Nielsen, distancing himself from the new Toronto Raptors player. «I am a different kind of player and I will keep doing what I know best,» he said upon arriving in Greece. Childress, on the other hand, fired a parting shot, suggesting in an interview that it was not refereeing that deprived Olympiakos of the title for the last couple of seasons he spent in Greece, but his team’s poor game. Champion Panathinaikos announced yesterday that it was renewing the contracts of its two US stars, Mike Batiste and Drew Nicholas, for the next two years. The Greens are also courting Spanish international Rudy Fernandez, whom NBA franchise the Portland Trail Blazers will let go. Fernandez told website yesterday that Panathinaikos had indeed contacted him and that he hopes there will be a happy end to the discussions.

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