Ataman on bearded Obradovic: Maybe he’ll go to the NBA with his new look

2020-05-04T11:09:45+00:00 2020-05-04T11:15:06+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

04/May/20 11:09

Zeljko Obradovic + beard = NBA.

By Eurohoops Team /

A few weeks ago, a photo of Zeljko Obradovic having grown a beard during the hiatus became quite viral and sparked numerous reactions in social media. Some of the comments were about the resemblance that the “bearded Zoc” has with San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who is also of Yugoslavian origin.
Obradovic‘s new look and how it’s reminiscent of Pop didn’t go unnoticed by Anadolu Efes coach Ergin Ataman.

“[Gregg] Popovich also has such an image. It was very similar to him. You see, maybe he’ll go to NBA with his new look,” Ataman joked while interviewed by Socrates. “A coach who had already been so successful in the EuroLeague had to be called from the NBA and get a good offer from an NBA team. Maybe he thought he had no such offer because he had no beard and made an image change (laughs).”

Ataman doesn’t plan on making such… radical changes on his look. “I’m a little more conservative. I’m just trying not to gain weight. We want to end the season just as we started the season. Obradovic may have thought differently. It may be in the plan to enter the season with a new image and identity, which will start when it is at such a period.” Ataman mentioned.

Efes, the 2019 EuroLeague finalist, and reigning Turkish League champion, was at the top of the standings in both competitions when the seasons were shut down.

“In addition to the hard and smooth basketball we played, we increased our rotation to 10-11 players. I wish we would get such a call and go, we would play in the NBA one season and learn our lesson,” Ataman said with a laugh.

Photo: Getty Images