Aleksandar Djordjevic compares Luka Doncic to Usain Bolt, talks about naturalized players

2023-07-30T21:51:59+00:00 2023-08-01T00:21:12+00:00.

Nikola Miloradovic

30/Jul/23 21:51

Head coach of China and Serbian basketball legend, Aleksandar Djordjevic, discusses interesting topics

By Eurohoops team /

Aleksandar Djordjevic took an exciting challenge with the Chinese national team, aiming to lead them to the Olympics in Paris, potentially by becoming the best Asian team in the upcoming 2023 FIBA World Cup.

He tested his team against Slovenia and narrowly lost 73:75 in a preparation game in Celje, but the 2017 Eurobasket champions didn’t have Luka Doncic in the team.

Djordjevic talked about Doncic during his stay in Slovenia and admited that even a star like him needs his teammates to achieve the highest goals.

Basketball is not an individual sport. Luka Doncic is not Usain Bolt, with all respect. Everyone needs the power of a team to achieve the results they deserve and are happiest with. None of us would win medals if we didn’t have fantastic people by our side. These are primarily teammates and coaches. Luka Doncic is a megastar, and he is becoming a world star. He is still young and has immense talent. I congratulate him on everything he has achieved and wish him much success on his further journey. Luka is unique, but he will face new challenges and goals,” Djordjevic said to Sport Klub.

The subject of naturalized players in national teams arose as Minnesota Timberwolves‘ Kyle Anderson will be joining China for the World Cup.

Kyle Anderson has Chinese and Jamaican blood, so his position is slightly different. FIBA allowed the naturalization of one foreign basketball player per team. Therefore many coaches and federation presidents often call me and ask for my opinion on certain American players. What can I say to that? Anthony Randolph is not Slovenian. This is my point of view as a Serbian coach and former national team player. But on the other hand, the rules are clear. They must be accepted. I would not comment further.”

Djordjevic was the key player in Partizan’s only winning European championship run, and now his former team is making strides again in the top continental competition. Both Partizan and Crvena Zvezda will represent Serbia once again in the EuroLeague, and they have shown big ambitions with quality moves in the market this summer.

This is good for the popularity of basketball. There is a lot of talk about both clubs. People support both of them en masse. Partizan and Crvena Zvezda have very competitive teams, and players are still coming. But I am surprised by the financial side of it. Above all, the fact that we have enough money in Serbia for all these enormous expenses. I didn’t grow up in that kind of environment. The level is different. It needs to be talked about. But we’ll see if it gives results,” Djordjevic concluded.