By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
“Being a coach means that every day you make important and often very difficult decisions. My final decision as a coach is to retire. A logical, rational and equally difficult as many others I have made in my career”. With these words Dusan Ivkovic, one of the most highly acclaimed coaches in the history of basketball announced that he decided to retire at age 72.
“Basketball and coaching were not simply part of my life. They were my life”, Ivkovic also mentioned in his announcement. “It was a constant relationship of mutual benefits.”
He also said that “I want to thank all my co-workers and especially the players for respect, trust and inspirations. It always found it strange when it was said that I created any players or coaches.”
Dusan “Duda” Ivkovic served as head coach of the Serbian national team from 2008 to 2013 and Yugoslavian national team from 1987 to 1995. He was named one of the 50 Greatest Euroleague Contributors.
Ivkovic played club basketball at the senior level, from 1958 to 1968 with Radnicki. He has coached Radnicki Belgrade, Partizan, Aris, Sibenka, Vojvodina, PAOK, Panionios, Olympiacos, AEK, CSKA Moscow, Dynamo Moscow and Anadolu Efes until this season.
He is a two time Euroleague winner with Olympiacos (1997, 2012), a three times Eurobasket champion with Yugoslavia (1989. 1991, 1995), a World champion in 1990 and an Olympic silver medal winner also with Yugoslavia in 1998. In 2002 he was in talks with the Denver Nuggets and he could have been the first non American coach in the NBA, but no deal was made.
He was born on the 29 October 1943 at the “Red Cross” neighborhood of Belgrade, his brother Slobodan “Piva” Ivkovic, was also a famous basketball player and coach. Ivkovic’s family is related to the famous scientist Nikola Telsa and Duda is a record holding pigeon racer, as pigeon breeding is also one of his passions.