By Antonis Stroggylakis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
While the world of European basketball is waiting for Zeljko Obradovic‘s own version of “The Decision,” the most decorated coach ever in the continent ruled out the – quite slim already – possibility that the next season will find him in the NBA.
“Certainly not in the NBA,” Obradovic said regarding where he’ll coach next season in an interview with Serbian magazine Nin, per Mozzart Sport. “I think it’s a vicious circle that will be very difficult to break. They don’t trust coaches from Europe, that’s obvious. Even coaches who are actually Americans like David Blatt, who began and worked as a coach in Israel.” Blatt coached the Cleveland Cavaliers from a year and a half before he was fired midway through 2015-2016 despite having a 30-11 record that season and 83 – 40 overall.
Obradovic’s comments echo what Toronto Raptors assistant coach Sergio Scariolo recently said about his impression of European coaches having a certain “ceiling” in the NBA and that clubs are not ready to bet on them enough to completely hand them the reins of a team.
“The only European, but a European who worked there all his life was our (editor’s note: Serbian) Igor Kokoskov,” Obradovic mentioned. Kokoskov actually succeeded Obradovic on Fenerbahce Beko to make his EuroLeague debut, after Zoc parted ways with the club last summer. “Quin Snyder, the current coach of the Utah Jazz, was an assistant to Ettore Messina a few years ago on CSKA. He got the opportunity and his work is really great. But Ettore was an assistant coach in the USA for seven years, he tried, they called him for ‘interviews’ and never got the opportunity.”
“I never had a serious offer from there, except from the Detroit Pistons in 2013,” Obradovic added.