Paspalj: “We could be an equal opponent to the Dream Team”

2018-01-03T17:13:42+00:00 2018-01-03T17:17:38+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

03/Jan/18 17:13

Serbian basketball legend Zarko Paspalj believes that his country could’ve been more than a worthy rival to the Dream Team back in 1992.

By Eurohoops team/

Zarko Paspalj celebrated many titles and individual distinctions throughout his career but still can’t forget how he and his teammates in the Serbian national team back in 1992 weren’t given the opportunity to fight for one more distinction.

Serbia was banned from participating in the Olympic Games of Barcelona due to the ongoing war and that put an obstacle to the national team in more ways than one according to Paspalj.

“Surely we weren’t, but that’s not the question,” Paspalj said when asked if Serbia could beat the Dream Team, in an interview with Sputnik. “We lost three or four years of continuity, we lost one generation, a generation which was the best in Europe. Our players started playing in the NBA back in 1989, and probably after a few years, we could be an equal opponent (to the Dream Team). It is sad when you know they took something from you, something you earned it. I think we suffered a great injustice, but later we compensated that and we became the heroes of the nation.”

Paspalj talks about the gold medal that Serbia won in the 1995 EuroBasket Final after beating Arvydas Sabonis’ Lithuania in the Final. “You do not feel comfortable while it’s happening. That’s how it was before. We definitely did something great. We thought it was something completely natural and normal and we deserve to happen to us.”

Not longer than two months ago, Paspalj faced some health issues when suffering a stroke while in the USA. He recovered with the help of his good friend Gregg Popovich and now he says he feels significantly better.

“I’m fine now. I couldn’t say the same a month ago. It was an unpleasant experience but I am a lot better now. I was lucky. I got many people near me worried.”