By Antonis Stroggylakis/ email@example.com
Cologne – Bosnia star center Jusuf Nurkic talked about how he and the rest of the national team players want to play for “the people” of their entire nation over the world, amid political unrest and crisis in their country.
He also called Bosnians to vote in the upcoming elections (October 2) and recalled the difficulties that the national team faced before the EuroBasket when its participation in the tournament was more than doubtful.
Nurkic said the following, the morning after the big win of national team over EuroBasket defending champion Slovenia, during a lengthy session with reporters:
“I’m tired for real. I’m really tired. Our nation has a difficulty with the governments and the regular people just don’t want to suffer. We represent the real country, whoever loves Bosnia. I really do believes that everyone plays as one. The journey before was insane. Imagine if France, doesn’t have a hotel to sleep or food for the players… or something like that. I don’t have the right word to put it in… it’s stupid, at least. We are dealing with that. We are here.
It’s really a difficult situation to be in for most players. It’s kind of normal for us to go into these situations of ups and downs. For me that I play in the NBA for so many years it’s not normal. And that’s what I want to say to the people That’s what I want to say to people. It’s not normal. people shouldn’t be dealing with that. But I think hopefully one day it’s going to change.”
We play to have a better chance and better gym obviously but we play for the people. We don’t play for the politicans and noone like that. I don’t give too much credit about it but the nation, as you saw last night, means so much. When we see that we really try to put our pride and egos aside and just be the best team we could. And it’s really super hard to focus when you are dealing with something.
The war didn’t change their [government] mind. The pandemic didn’t change their mind. I don’t think whatever we do will change their minds. Even we win gold medal, I don’t think it’ll change. That’s how they’re dealing for 30 years. I don’t believe them. Most of the people don’t believe them. I think the people who are living in the country and really love the country have to go and vote. It’s election year and we have to understand that after 30 years we have to change something. We just can’t let it slide. Same government, same regime for so many years. We got to get to something that is younger.
I see our people keep leaving. Our population is still leaving. The young people are still leaving for education and to go somewhere else where’s there a better chance for them. People don’t want to hear about the war 30 years later. You have the government and some politicans coming out and saying there’s a possible chance to be a war. You don’t want to hear that. I don’t want to hear that. 90 percent of the people in our country don’t want to hear that.
So that’s our mentality to give our country something so that they can relax with. Have a day of rest, of sorts, for them.
Every game for us is more than basketball. We didn’t come here to earn money. I didn’t. The other 11 guys didn’t. For us, it’s more about how we are going to represent people. I told the guys in the first day, even if we lose we want to look as a team. We don’t want people to say ‘they didn’t fight. They didn’t play hard’. I think all our games we played from the first game until now and also in the World Cup Qualifiers, I think noone can say we didn’t fight. That’s our goal.”