Marko Guduric to use EuroBasket hard lessons in long Fenerbahce season

2022-09-30T10:28:55+00:00 2022-09-30T11:20:02+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

30/Sep/22 10:28

It has been a long summer for Marko Guduric and also a quick turnaround into the new season with Fenerbahce Beko

By Bugra Uzar/

Serbia was labeled as a solid favorite to win the 2022 EuroBasket but that was not the case. Fenerbahce Beko’s Marko Guduric plans to bounce back in style reshifting from the international to the club level.

“Physically, I am OK. But mentally and emotionally, it was not an easy summer with the national team. We had a lot of expectations,” he said in an exclusive interview with Eurohoops, “At the end of the day, that is life, that’s sports.  One day you win and another day you lose, especially in those types of tournaments with one single game deciding everything. But I am here now, happy to be here. I couldn’t wait to come and start working out.”

Certainly a demanding stretch for everyone involved with the Serbia senior national team. The early exit was met with an unfavorable reaction from fans and local media. “Honestly, I did not read much. I tried to stay off social media. I don’t watch TV. I don’t read the news. Of course, you hear things, we are in 2022,” noted Guduric, “This can happen in sports.”

Up next is the new season for Fenerbahce, from the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague to domestic competitions. Experienced tactician Dimitris Itoudis took over as the new head coach.

“We had a talk after the coach signed his contract in the summer. He told me he wants me to be one of the leaders. After Melih [Mahmutoglu], I think I am the player with the most years in Fener. He wants me to play as I played in the Finals against Efes. To be a leader, to create for others and be aggressive,” described Guduric, “I think we are going to have a good relationship. I like to practice, I like to work, I am familiar with his approach and style.”

“I feel we have a lot of talent. That’s for sure,” he told Eurohoops about the 2022-23 squad, “This summer taught me a good lesson. We had a good team and a lot of talent as well. Everyone expected us to win the gold medals. But then, we don’t know what happened. This is a game. This is a long season, not a tournament.”

The list of newcomers is highlighted by Nemanja Bjelica coming back to the team based in Istanbul after seven years in the NBA culminating with the 2022 NBA championship with the Golden State Warriors. Except for a few international games together, Guduric has not been a teammate with Bjelica.

“Honestly, I am excited,” said the former player of the Memphis Grizzlies, “He is a great player, very smart, reads the game well, he is unselfish, also he can shoot and stretch the floor, experienced. I think he is a great addition to this group and our locker room. I can’t wait to start playing with him and winning games together.”

Apart from new teammates, new teams enter the EuroLeague, including Partizan NIS. “This is going to be interesting,” he said on facing the Belgrade rival of his former team, Crvena Zvezda, “We played against Partizan one time, but it was a friendly game. It is going to be very fun. I can’t wait for this game.”

“When I think about May, I focus on health first. I say this every season. And every season we deal with so many injuries and so many problems,” he went into previewing the conclusion of the next EuroLeague season, “This is the most important, to stay healthy. If we stay healthy, I am sure we will work hard and improve. I think we can do good things. Due to my experience this summer, I don’t want to say too much. Let’s go day-by-day.”

Finally, Guduric explained to Eurohoops the feeling of being a teammate of Nikola Jokic.

“He is an amazing guy. So normal, so natural, spontaneous. I tell my friends asking about him the same and they don’t believe me. They think I am joking,” he mentioned, “He is really just a normal guy, perfect teammate, a family guy, and really funny. It’s good to be around him. And on the court, as everyone following basketball knows, his IQ is on another level. He makes everyone better and the game so much easier for you.”