By Stefan Djordjevic/ firstname.lastname@example.org
After three decades of coaching, at 72 years of age, Svetislav Pesic once again took on a challenge, this time as the Serbian national team head coach. The experienced expert is set on completely dedicating himself to the job without any distractions and he will have a full hands-on approach, trying to ‘fix’ the whole system.
That inevitably includes the work with young players who, in the coach’s opinion, have gotten too stunned by the NBA dream and that can often slow down or even ruin their careers. Pesic was asked about the new generation of Serbian players such as Aleksej Pokusevski but he had much more to say.
“He is a talented boy, nothing to say there. But there are also even more talented players than him in Serbia who are not in the NBA. And here we are not talking about the NBA league, there are different requirements in the national team. I repeat, he is talented, but that NBA pressure on all of us… As I like to say, the ocean has shrunk, America is right here. Earlier, the ocean was much wider. We always learned from them, but in Europe, and even in Serbia, the goal used to be the national team, and the NBA was but a thought, we didn’t even know it existed. Now everyone would want to be in the NBA. Even those who will never play in the NBA, would like to have a coach who has communication like in the NBA, to train like in the NBA, to have everything like there, so when I’m not there to have the feeling that I am. That’s how big that impact is. If it’s possible – charter, one training a day, three physiotherapists, immediately feet under the ice, alone in the room,” Pesic told Mozzart Sport and continued.
“A sea of players went to the NBA and they are nowhere to be found. From Europe, from Yugoslavia. They left very early and did not confirm that potential. They left too soon. They are not talked about. And there is much more of them than those who succeeded. The media should take a little look from the other side as well because you also influence public opinion. Parents should also understand that the NBA can be a goal, why not, but in Pirot (his hometown in Serbia) we say: it doesn’t light up before dawn. Everything has its order. And sometimes we skip some things.”
He’s got some prospects in mind but he would prefer to test them first before shining some light on them.
“I see such young players, but I like to feel them first, to get them through my hands. You know, we declare super talents very quickly, and they’re like reed. They grow fast and break easily.”