Mirza Teletovic spoke with Sportske Novosti, a Croatian sports site, about his new teammate and fellow Croatian speaker, Bojan Bogdanovic. He is excited about playing with a player he played against so often growing up. Many thanks for the translation provided by NetsDaily poster eunets. Bottom line: Bogdanovic will have a tough transition but Teletovic is prepared to help him and ultimately the two can make a "good tandem" for the Nets.
Here's the translated article, as written by Igor Marinovic...
Bogdanovic will start in the fall with NBA. The Nets waited for him for two years. The NBA will meet one of the best European scorers in Europe and Bogdanovic will learn, as Roko-Leni Ukic (the last Croatian to play in the NBA) has said numerous times, the NBA and Europe are two totally different worlds.
But Bojan will have in the Nets a man who will help him to acclimatize. For Nets play another God-given shooter, BIH national team player Mirza Teletovic. Bojan is happy because the Nets will have another "Hercegovac" (that is a native of Herzogvina, a Bosnian region), so Mirza is happy that compatriot will keep him company.
"I am happy that Bojan is coming to Nets, someone with whom I can speak our mother tongue. I have a lot friends in Nets team, I have great time on and off court but this is something different. We share same mentality. It is much better when there is somebody else with who you can make jokes, celebrate, share problems....... We played so many games against each other and finally we will now play together.I am excited for that.
"We had similar path in our careers.We have good careers in Europe and in the mature years for a basketball player, we went to NBA. The adjustment process will be hard for him. He must be patient and must be strong willed. But I am here. When I came in NBA, I had nobody and he will have me to help him."
When Mirza came in NBA he had hard time. Many European players do not have success in overcoming that. He stayed positive even when he was buried at the end of the bench . He worked hard and won a place in team. His PT raise from 13 minutes in November to 23 in April last season.
Teletovic predicts Bojan will have a similar battle:
"Bojan must be aware that in NBA there are 10 to 12 players who are almost on same level (There is no that big difference from first to that 10th player in quality like it is in Europe.) And all can play on high level but all cannot be in starting lineup. We all must fight for a place on team. Because I and Bojan know each other we can be exploit that in games, we can be good tandem in the NBA."
As experienced player in NBA he told us few things about NBA:
"There are a lot of small things that he must be aware of. For example three second calls in the paint. Also that 'slang' typical for American basketball can be problem. When I arrived I had big problem with that. You get instructiosn on that "slang" and there is nobody to ask what that means. It is much faster pace, many more games........Outside of game you must acclimate. I know Bojan lived in Istanbul but NY is something else. I live 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the training center and I travel two hours from home."
There are few changes in Nets team this season, too:
"Paul Pierce has left the Nets, there is no more Shaun Livingston, but team core is still here. Last season showed that DWill and JJ are our key players and the rest of us our rotation players. I haven't met yet with Lionel Hollins but he told me that he is counting on me, that he trusts me and that is enough for me."
The two players, both born in Mostar, Bosnia (as was ex-Net Zoran Planinic), are playing in FIBA competition this summer, Bogdanovic for Croatia in the FIBA World Cup and Teletovic for Bosnia in the FIBA Europe Qualifying Tournament.
Teletovic and Bogdanovic will be one of two pairings of mentor and protege from eastern Europe: Andrei Kirilenko has promised to help fellow Russian Sergey Karasev in this, his second NBA season.
Mirza: Bojan and I will make a great team - Brian Erni - SNY Nets