Bojan Bogdanović

Bojan started with basketball when he was 15. Is that to late.

-It's not if you are talented, but today there is not definitely that much player which start so late.

-I thought I will played football all my life. When I trained football, football was only thing on my mind. When I started practicing basketball, it was half and half, and I wondered whether to leave football. However, I have grown, and some friends of mine went to a basketball game, so I decided.

And he was not wrong because after a year of serious training he signed for Real Madrid.

- I stayed for one year on loan at my Zrinski and I went with 17 in Madrid.

When you look now at four-year adventure in the royal club would you recommend to young people to go so early abroad?

-For me it finished just like I planned, except that I did not stay at Real Madrid(he thinks that he didnt had good time in Real Madrid but because of that he did come back in Cibona.........and then everything lead to NBA). There's no rules. For Mario Hezonja (he just like Bojan went in Spain young and he did come from young team to the first Barcelona team) it was good that he left home for Barcelona, and for Saric it was good thing that he stayed. There is no defined route to success.

- It is very difficult to advance from youth teams(where he played when he arrived in Madrid) to the first team, especially in big clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona. They bring a lot of kids every year and also they each season sign four to five top senior players because they always go for result. There is no room for young players and errors. They will not let you play so you can make mistakes in the name of development.

After one season loan in Murcia(also Spannish team), Bojan decided to leave the "Royal Club".

- The arrival in Cibona was maybe the best move in my career. As much as I was mentioned as a talent, there was not a lot people in Croatia that knew me. I will not say that I revived my career in Cibona since I arrived when I was 20 years old, but from basketball perspective I started to breath. I got playing time, what every young player needs, began to play and show what I can do.

Did your later career (two years Cibona, three in Fenerbahce and the recent shift in the NBA) proof that the Real Madrid made mistake when they let you go?

- Real then had a lot of Spanish players, some of which play today at the club, and didnt got a chance even though I average more than 20 points in 2nd Real team. Since I did not saw a way how to get in first team, I decided to go in Cibona.

Three years after being drafted you decided to go in NBA

- Even during the season I spoke with people in Fener how I will stay, but when the call came from the NBA, when we started talking about my role in the team, about life in America....that was key moment and I decied I will go in NBA

So,you are looking forward to the American way of life and 40 trips a year.

- I'm used to traveling, not so much the quantity that players do in the NBA, but that's what I chose and I look forward to it. I look forward to a new lifestyle, a new beginning.

Will somebody from family come with you Brooklyn?

- No, I'm going alone. More or less the whole of my career I was alone.

And as a kid in Madrid?

- Yes, because dad is a lawyer and mother is headmistress in school so they could not leave work. They came to me in Madrid for the holidays.

Was it difficult as a child in a big city?

- Yes, especially the first four to five months, it was really hard. But it pehaps strengthened me.

Can it, in principle, out of sight, out of mind, NBA away from the Croatian national team?

- No, certainly not because I want to play. Especially now that we've done something. I hope we can at this World Cup to do something that everyone can feel an even greater commitment.


- I knew something like that can happen and I didnt worried. More or less everybody knew that Nets want me and that "moving around" was actually negotiation between two teams.

You can bring Nets a lot because he is not one dimensional player. While his long range shooting virtues has been well known, many were surprised last year at Eurobasket when they saw how well he plays in the racket, in situations when he received the ball with his back to the basket.

- Neven Spahija(good friend with Popovic. He just signed with Atlanta as as. coach I think) began using me in lower post when he was trainer of Fenerbache and how I used well body then Jasmin Repesa did same thing in national team

But Bojan continued to improve, and it will help him bih in NBA. In last season he improved play two on two (pick and roll), which is a lot of play in the conception of Fener coach Zeljko Obradovic.

- Coach Obradovic asked from team to play a lot of pick and he pushed me also. That's why I'm played more with the ball last season.