By Antonis Stroggylakis / email@example.com
Bogdan Bogdanovic weighed in on the “Zeljko Obradovic in the NBA” discussion that emerged recently following certain comments by Anadolu Efes coach Ergin Ataman. The Atlanta Hawks guard and EuroLeague champion under Obradovic is positive that his former mentor would indeed be successful in an NBA job.
“Zeljko’s greatest quality is adaptation,” Obradovic said to Serbian media, via Maxbet Sports. “He would find his own system that would function in the NBA. A lot more games are played here. I think he would find his own new way and I’m confident he would find a way to have success.” Ataman said that he believes an NBA should definitely hire Obradovic and that this could pave the way to the league for other European coaches.
Obradovic, the most decorated coach in European basketball history with nine EuroLeague championships and dozens of titles in various domestic leagues, has taken the year off after he parted ways with Fenerbahce last summer. During his stint with the Turkish powerhouse, he led them to the EuroLeague championship in 2017, with Bogdanovic being one of the most prominent members of that team.
Bogdanovic left Fener after that year to embark on an NBA career. He, Nikola Jokic, Nemanja Bjelica, Boban Marjanovic, Aleksej Pokusevski, may get some extra Serbian company in the NBA next season and Bogdanovic already has a thought or two on which players he’d want to see in the league.
“I think that Filip [Petrusev] could play and have a good role. I would also like to see [Nikola] Milutinov. Vasha Micic is also there, he’s already physically ready, he just has to adapt to the large number of games.”
Petrusev, 21, completed the first year of his professional career by winning ABA League MVP and later declared for the NBA Draft. The San Antonio Spurs have owned Milutinov’s NBA rights since 2015 and have scouted him thoroughly over the years with many visits in Europe to see him up close, but haven’t called him to join the team. The 26-year-old big man is under a contract with CSKA Moscow through 2023.
As for Vasilije Micic? The recently named member of the 2021 All-EuroLeague First Team is likely NBA bound after finishing the season with Efes. The Oklahoma City Thunder acquired his right in December.