By Kostas Giataganas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Less than a week after the EuroBasket final where Slovenia won the first gold medal ever in the country’s history, Edo Muric is already putting up hard preseason work with his new team, Anadolu Efes.
“Maybe I am a little tired from EuroBasket, but I’m young so I can’t complain,” Muric told Eurohoops. “I am very happy for what we achieved, which personally gave me great confidence”
It’s going to be an interesting challenge for the Slovenian forward that he’s not only EuroLeague bound for the first time in his career but joins the competition as part of an organization with Final Four aspirations.
“We will go forward game by game without setting long-term goals,” Muric commented. “There is pressure in all matches. Personally, I want to show that I deserve to play for a team with very good players and high goals in EuroLeague. We need to construct as quickly as possible the team’s chemistry because we know teams win EuroLeague games, not players individually. EuroLeague will be even more difficult this year with everyone playing everybody and with the best teams realizing their goals in the end”.
Muric talked to us in the aftermath of the friendly game of Efes against Panathinaikos, in Athens. It was a 50-minute…. epic that often looked like a crucial EuroLeague clash and not just a scrimmage match.
“I don’t know about Panathinaikos, but we are all together only for a few days after the end of EuroBasket. We are not in perfect shape yet, but we have time to prepare as we want for the new season. Today’s match certainly looked like a EuroLeague game. There was tension and good basketball was played. I hope we have a good season, us and Panathinaikos”.
Looking back to Slovenia’s triumph in the European Championship, Muric points out the strong bonds, on and off the court, that led to success.
“We showed we could defeat anyone as a team. Slovenia had chemistry. All the players knew their role and what to do. Not everyone scored, nor rebounded. We knew who had to score, who had to play defense and who came from the bench. This brought the results, everyone putting himself under the needs of the team and everyone playing for the team. It’s a one-way street for success. The whole team was a family, brothers”.
One of his “brothers” is Goran Dragic. Muric praised the captain of the Slovenian national team not only for his qualities as a player but also a human being.
“Goran Dragic is a great player and an even better person,” Muric said “You probably don’t know him personally like me. I can inform you that in his life outside the court he isn’t a star. I admire him incredibly. Now in, Slovenia he can do anything he wants. He can even become the president. He is a hard-working man who lives for his family, which is his priority. I admire him for that. He is a great player and he will remain our leader. We wrote history with him and he will always be my brother”
And what about wunderkind Luka Doncic?
“Luca is only 18 but has proved that he is more mature than that. When he gets the ball he gives the impression that he’s been playing in the EuroLeague for ten years. He is calm and the sky is his limit. I hope he remains healthy, so he could achieve even more”.