Excerpts: Zoran Planinic Interview with El Correo de Alava

"In the NBA, I only played ten minutes per game. This summer, the Nets drafted another player in my position and it was clear that he was not going to be limited in his play. So I spoke with general manager regarding my situation and he assured me that they were willing to facilitate my exit. There were no difficulties. We reached an agreement with the Nets so that I was free to go. It was not even necessary that I buy out my exit clause."

"But the main problem is that I was with a great player like Jason Kidd in my position. Perhaps if it had gone to another team, things might have been different. In any case, I have had the opportunity to learn many things from someone like Kidd. He is the best NBA point guard of the last decade, so those three years at his side have helped me much. "

"When I landed in NBA I was too young, very undisciplined on the court. Now everything has changed. I have learned much with respect to the tactics, knowledge and understanding of the game and to find the most advisable tempo of the game. Now I am a much more mature player. In this sense, my stay in NBA has helped me try to be most professional possible. "

[On returning to the NBA] "Every player always looks to improve and to play at the highest level. Nevertheless, now returning to the NBA is secondary."

"It should be clear that seeing the retired uniform of Petrovic at the top of the Nets arena was something very special for me. There nobody has forgotten him, although people always understood clearly that it was impossible to compare him with me or with anybody. As it happens with many other Croatian players, I grew up with the myth of Drazen Petrovic and know that he is an untouchable figure. He was number one and the rest of us, we tried to make our work the best thing that we can do. "

"In the first place, in the Maccabi there is Neven Spahija, my previous coach on the Croatia national team. With him under his orders I have always played very well. Nevertheless, Israel is living through a military situation. After speaking with my family, the most agreed it was right to join TAU. I did not want my parents in the Croatia not being able to sleep thinking that I was in Tel Aviv."

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