By Aris Barkas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
If you love the game of basketball and you don’t admire the abilities of Milos Teodosic, then you simply contradict yourself. Sure, you might not like Teodosic for whatever reason, but you can’t deny his talent.
Basketball enters an era in which athleticism dominates and the keyword in everything is efficiency. That’s why Teodosic is also a living contradiction. Without any real athleticism by modern standards, he is more than efficient and of course, that’s evident in the numbers.
Teodosic celebrated his 35th birthday one month ago, on March 19, and he is leading the EuroCup in assists with a mindboggling 9.3 per game average. He is second in all-time average with 5.9 assists per game; retired guard Mike Green is the leader per average with 6.2 (minimum 50 games played). Τeodosic is also second in the EuroCup in accumulated numbers with 364 career assists.
Meanwhile, Teodosic is also eighth all-time in average assists per game in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague with 4.8 and eight in that competition in accumulated assists with 1,126 assists.
If you combine his total assists in both competitions, then Teodosic has 1,490 assists. Only Nick Calathes (1,660), Vassilis Spanoulis (1,607), and Sergio Rodriguez (1,547) have more.
Of course, Teodosic’s greatness is about more than numbers. The keyword is efficiency.
That tends to lead to a situation where things are done in the simplest and safest way. That’s not Milos’s way.
In the summer of 2009, when Olympiacos Piraeus was thinking about sending him on loan, the late Dusan Ivkovic himself talked with the owners of the team. They said that Teodosic was slow on defense and especially in sidesteps. Ivkovic’s answer was an instant classic: “He is slow in sidestepping because he has big balls.”
That’s true, but it’s also true that Milos has a special gift. He sees things on the court that very few others can see before they happen and he makes them happen.
Why throw a simple pass when you can do something unique? Why spend a game without surprising everyone, in some cases even your teammates? Why leave the crowd unsatisfied without giving them something to talk about, maybe for the rest of their lives?
There are few players with this gift in the history of the sport. And with a contract that expires in the summer of 2023, Milos Teodosic is looking to lead Virtus back to the EuroLeague.
And one thing is for sure. He will do it with style like a true artist.