Q&A: Bogdan Bogdanovic

Posted by C.L. Anthony on Thursday, January 01, 2015 with No comments
Courtesy of Sasa Ozmo



On his first three months in Fenerbahce:

“The adaptation period is over. After all, this is the first time that I am playing for a foreign club and in such situation it is always difficult for everyone, not only me. I consider myself very lucky to have teammates and coaches who speak my language and who had warned me there would be ups and downs at the beginning. They said I should never give in, but keep working hard and everything would fall into place.”

On Top 16:

“According to what we have done so far, we are definitely among the favorites, alongside CSKA and Olympiakos. Unicaja is also one of the best teams in Endesa, they are a very serious and powerful team. They had several unfortunate defeats in the 1st stage. Top 16 phase consists from the best teams in Europe. Anyone can beat anyone, so every single opponent must be taken seriously. And when you add very strong Turkish league to all that, it is clear that the rhythm is going to be rough, but that is why we are here – to fight new challenges.”

On tough scheldule at the beginning of Top 16

The pressure is one them (CSKA), because they haven’t lost a game so far. We also have a great win-streak in Euroleague. The calendar is hard and complicated, because right after that we head for a tough away-game against Nizhny. Then, Olympiakos is coming to Istanbul. Just a tiny lack of concentration can turn the season around in a way I really would not fancy. We have to be serious from the start, because it is going to be very tough.

On Zeljko Obradovic:

“He is always honest and it is easy to see how good he understands the game. He pays so much attention to details. That is also new experience for me. I have never considered every single little thing to be so important – for instance, every second on the court is carefully pre-considered, because of fatigue etc. I like this dedication to details. As a person, it is safe to say that he acts like a player – “youngish”, he likes to make jokes. All things considered – Zeljko is amazing!”

Peja Stojakovic recently said that “Bogdan impressed him at the World Cup“:

“Peja was one of my childhood idols from the 2002 generation. I was 10 at the time, but I remember watching the games in Indianapolis with my dad. They never made me go to bed – my father has always been a sports fan, he likes all sports, so we watched the Indianapolis championship. I cannot remember the details from the games, but the entire atmosphere, cheering with my dad, those images are very clear in my memory. After that, we watched Sacramento, woke up at nights just to see Peja and Divac in action. That is another reason why his praises mean so much to me, but I have to stay humble and focused – that is the best path.”

On how playing at point guard at Partizan helped his game:

“That had helped and lot and had made thing easier – playing as a playmaker enabled me to cover three positions and that brings additional minutes on the court. If deserved, of course. Now I know which mistakes I must not make - the experience was valuable. It has helped me mostly in terms of technique, ball handling, and the control of the game rhythm – I have learnt to realize who to pass the ball to, who is “on a roll” etc. I feel I have always played pick-n-roll well and that I have “read” the game well, but playing as a playmaker has helped me improve those skills.”

On what he needs to do to became even better:

“I pay most attention to keeping my body as fit and as healthy as possible – gym, recovery, nutrition. Now I work with fitness coach Bata Zimonjic. He is one incredibly persistent and hard-working man. He is always ready to work, he is never tired and he always pushes us and motivates us to work even harder. Individual practices with him are of crucial importance to me. Besides that, right now I dedicate a lot of time to improving my dribble-shooting skills, after a quick ball transition and reception, generally on everything regarding the “one on one” game.”

On how he felt after his name was called at the NBA Draft:

“That is one of my biggest successes ever. At one point, I simply froze – I did not feel my legs. I have no idea how I actually climbed those stairs and it was even harder to get down. I was completely lost, I seemed to be a bit clumsy – total chaos in my entire body and head! Man, I almost collapsed!”

On Phoenix Suns:

“I am in touch with general manager and with several scouts. The conversation is normal. There is clause in my contract with Fenerbahce, that states that I can go to the NBA after two seasons, but it is still fairly early for all that. One step at a time.

On what he needs to improve for the NBA:

“In order to succeed in the NBA I must improve my individual and team defense. The other important point is psychological preparation – there are so many games to play over there, the others have shared their experiences with me, mostly Sasha Pavlovic, Pacman (Nikola Pekovic) and Radmanovic. They described it as being very difficult. They say that at times player get literally lost – they cannot even hit a free throw after traveling thousands of kilometers. It is not easy – 82 games at full pace, you have to be prepared for all that“.

On hil role models and players he now likes watching:

“My boyhood heroes were Peja, Sasha Djordjevic and Bodiroga. Danilovic had retired a bit earlier, so I did not get to watch him too much, but I have always enjoyed watching his videos on YouTube. Dule also gave me some tapes with his best moves. Mostly I have tried to copy Kobe. As a kid I used to shoot with both arms underneath my head but after seeing them, I realized I was strong enough to do it properly. Among current NBA players the first name that crosses my mind is Clay Thompson. I like his game. In Europe, that would be Teodosic, Weems…”