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Bojan Bogdanovic: Brooklyn Nets "are counting on me"

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Brooklyn Nets

Bojan Bogdanovic spoke to SN.com, a Croatian sports site, over the weekend and said he's prepared to pay a big role with the Nets as long as he gets the chance.

"I spent one day with the GM, and another day with coach Hollins. They are counting on me to be in rotation of the team," he told Hrvoje Vujanic. "Now, is it going to be like that? I hope that it will. I hope I'll get a chance, and then
it's all on me. Worst thing that can happen is that I won't get a chance, but I believe that's not going to happen.

"From conversations, how they welcomed me, and eventually how they write about me in American newspapers, it seems that they respect me. OK, I know that it's not too important, but it means something."

The 6'8" Bogdanovic played this third friendly game in three days at Pau, the French training facility, scoring 10 points as Croatia beat Greece, led by Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks. Bogdanovic scored the first five points of the game but saved best for the end of the game.

With 2:33 left, Bogdanovic was on the wrong end of a post-up with Greek seven-footer Ioannis Bourousis. As Bourousis made his move, Bogdanovic blocked his shot.

Then, with Croatia up two with 22 seconds left, he calmly hit two foul shots and the Croatians won, 68-64.

Bogdanovic also spoke about Croatia's chances in the upcoming World Cup. He noted that Croatia finished fourth in last year's FIBA Eurobasket after eight straight wins.

"We made semifinals of Eurobasket last year, we did something, so we are now going to every championship knowing we can win a medal, we showed everybody that we can. I hope we will play against Spain in the semifinals, we need to be first in our group, and they need to be first in theirs, but I hope we can get to that semifinal."

If the Croatians do make it past Spain, they would likely play Team USA in the gold medal game. We can only hope.

Meanwhile, Switzerland upset Russia, 79-77, in the first game of the FIBA Europe Qualifying Tournament. Sergey Karasev played only seven minutes and scored only three points on 1-of-4 shooting. The Russian coach apparently thought he could ride Timofey Mozgov and Dmitri Sokolov, his two seven-footers, but Switzerland's Clint Capela, drafted by the Rockets, screwed up that plan.  Switzerland went up by 20 in the third. A Russian comeback failed and Switzerland won.

Jorge Gutierrez scored five points, again in limited minutes, as Brazil beat Mexico,68-56 in the last game of the Tres Naciones friendly tournament in Tecnopolis, Argentina. Leandro Barbosa and Anderson Varejao led Brazil with 13 and 12. Brazil plays Team USA next weekend in Chicago.

In London, Joe Prunty, the Nets assistant who moved with Jason Kidd to Milwaukee, talked about Mirza Teletovic, whose Bosnian squad will face off against Great Britain on Wednesday.

"Their best player, Mirza Teletovic, is very talented, very skilled and is a very good basketball player that I know really well from the time that we shared at the Brooklyn Nets last season. But they’re a very talented team and I know that it’s not just about one player."