By Bojan Brezovac/ email@example.com
It was a night to remember in Milan on Friday. Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan continued to win and a victory against the mighty Olympiakos turned heads around Europe. And as Vladimir Micov tells EuroHoops, he was the lucky charm for Ettore Messina’s team.
“I visited the team when they were in Belgrade against Zvezda and they won. Now against Olympiacos, I was in the hall and they won again. I told them to tell the Armani family to send a private plane to pick me up whenever necessary and the victory will come,” says a laughing Vladimir Micov, who was honored on Friday.
As the Italian club called it, it was Vladimir Micov’s night. The retired Serbian basketball player spent four successful years in Milan, which no one in the club has forgotten.
“I’ve always said, Olimpia Milano is a club on the NBA level. That’s how they treat the players, professionalism at the highest possible level. Everything a player wants from a club, he gets it. It’s really NBA level“, he admits.
Micov came to Milan in the summer of 2017. He was 32 years old. The perception about him was that of a player at the end of his career, coming from the two-year experience in Moscow and another stint at Galatasaray. But in his first two years in Milan, Micov was one of the most used players in the EuroLeague, and, in his last season at Olimpia, he found a way to play in his third EuroLeague Final Four.
So Friday night was a stroll down the memory lane: “It was really a beautiful evening. I was in the hall again, everyone welcomed me in the most beautiful way possible. I got presents, so today I’m going to see the people from the club again. An experience to remember, thanks to Olimpia, they just showed once again that they are a top organization“.
He won a championship in Milan, he won an Italian Cup, and he won the Super Cup three times. He played over 100 EuroLeague games with the club, the second ever after Kaleb Tarczewski to cross that milestone.
In the modern EuroLeague, no one has scored more than him while wearing proudly the Olimpia jersey. Counting the previous era, only Bob McAdoo remained in front of him. Just sixty points away. However, as he himself points out, four years have condensed into 1o seconds.
“The first thing I remember when thinking about Olimpia is that Final Four. One of the biggest successes of Olimpia Milano. We arrived as a team which was not expected to make it that far. We were on the verge of going to the finals. But we didn’t make it. I can still see that miss by Kevin Punter and the ball coming into the hands of Cory Higgins to score for Barcelona. After that I left the club, so you can say that everything stopped in those 10 seconds. ”
Today’s Olimpia Milano team with Ettore Messina on the bench entered the season with great ambitions, but not everything went according to plan. Completely unexpectedly, they opened the season below all expectations battling injury woes and underachieving on the court. Defeats followed them in the Euroleague, and the Italian Cup was not won either.
“There is no doubt that they played worse than expected for most of the season. I know there have been big problems with injuries, I even asked them last night how it was possible that so many injuries happened. It’s really been a season below expectations, now the team has woken up, they’ve won a few, and somewhat unexpectedly they’ve joined the fight for the playoffs“.
Just another confirmation that we are watching an incredible season in the Euroleague where a large number of teams are fighting for a place in the playoffs.
“To be honest, I haven’t followed that much since I’m retired, but I’m seeing the results and it’s really showing that the season is exciting. My favorite thing is that some other teams have appeared so that it won’t be boring like in previous years when you always know which teams are the best, now everyone can beat everyone. Even money is no guarantee. You can’t just come and buy the best players and expect success. No… a system must be built. I’m happy for Monacco. They are playing amazing basketball, Zalgiris too. There are of course Partizan, as well as Crvena Zvezda, although Partizan is in a better position. All in all, a good season in the Euroleague“, Micov adds.