Nikola Vucevic jumping back in Montenegro NT with ‘desire to play,’ in World Cup

2023-03-20T18:23:45+00:00 2023-03-20T18:29:00+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

20/Mar/23 18:23

After missing the 2022 EuroBasket, Chicago Bulls center Nikola Vucevic hopes to play in the 2023 World Cup

By Johnny Askounis/

Montenegro is back for a second straight appearance in the FIBA World Cup and Nikola Vucevic wants to help his country in Asia, from 25 August to 10 September 2023.

“As far as I’m concerned, I have the desire to play at the World Cup. I would like to be a participant in the championship, just like four years ago in China,” he confirmed intentions to represent Montenegro in an interview with the country’s national news agency, MINA.

“I would like to, but I have not yet discussed this with coach Bosko Radovic and the president of the Basketball Association Nikola Pekovic,” he referred to future conversations with the Basketball Federation of Montenegro, KSCG.

“I expect that we will hear from each other soon and discuss plans for preparations and the World Cup,” he added, “So far we have not heard from each other on that subject, I just congratulated the coach on the spot at the World Cup.”

Vucevic, 32, did not play in the 2022 EuroBasket last summer. However, previous experience at the international level extends through three editions of EuroBasket, 2011, 2013, and 2017, beyond the 2019 World Cup.

“Marko Simonovic has an opportunity to stay in the NBA”

Bulls teammate Marko Simonovic instead participated in the 2022 EuroBasket and is also a candidate for the World Cup squad. The young big averaged 8.7 points per game in his first major international tournament. After reaching the Round of 16 with his country, he has been focused on a G League assignment and the Windy City Bulls for most of the 2022-23 season.

“I think he has an opportunity to stay in the NBA, get the right opportunity and show his talents,” Vucevic told MINA, “The problem is Chicago has a lot of players in the center position, so there aren’t many minutes for Simonovic. He works hard and tries to improve. You must be patient and wait for the right opportunity. I am sure it will come.”

Vucevic has posted 17.7 points, 11.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 0.8 blocks, and 0.7 steals per contest over 70 appearances in his 12th NBA campaign. Simonovic has been limited to three brief appearances this season after making his way to nine games during his rookie NBA season, one year after being selected with the 44th overall pick of the 2020 draft.


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