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Bojan Bogdanovic: Disappointed, but "I’m sure I’ll play more minutes again"

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Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Sportske Novosti, the big Croatian sports newspaper, published a long interview Thursday with Bojan Bogdanovic in which he talks about the disappointment of losing his starting spot on the Nets --after being surprised he had won it in the first place.

He also tells SN's Tvrtko Puljic that Mirza Teletovic, who like him is a native Mostar, Bosnia, has been a big help in giving him advice during his early difficulties. "Mirza said I should stay calm and wait for an opportunity. He came through same situations many times," said the 25-year-old rookie who admits he is now limited to "garbage time."

Asked by Puljic whether guarding LeBron James was his toughest moment so far, Bogdanovic says that sitting on the bench has been harder.  Still, he notes, "I’m sure I’ll play more minutes again and prove to anybody how good I am. I personally think I haven’t proved it yet."

Many thanks for the translation go to Igor Marinovic of SN, who wrote of Bogdanovic and Teletovic for us earlier this season.

On what's new...

-A lot of things changed since the start of the season, especially in my playing time. Now I play significantly less. I don’t know what to say on how I feel about that. We (players) all have our ambitions, we don’t like not to play, and I’m not different.

On whether he spoke with coach Hollins before he made the decision to bench him...

-Sincerely, no. It’s his decision and that’s it.

On what advice he's gotten from Mirza...


--Mirza said I should stay calm and wait for an opportunity. He came through same situations many times, especially during first season. He said that is a path every newcomer has to go through. But, it’s tough to me.

On what he's not used to in situations like this...

--It’s weird I don’t get to play and to come in garbage times. But, it’s how it is right now and all I have to do is find my way back in, to back in starting five and, more important, to regain minutes I had in the beginning of the season.

On his level of satisfaction with the first third of his season...


--I’m not satisfied and I couldn’t be satisfied with my contribution so far. I think I didn’t show even remotely what I could do and what kind of basketball player I am:

On criticism of his play in American news media, and what Hollins has told him...

--He’s been saying to me I should be aggressive. But I always find a way to get my five or six shots, even now when I have fewer minutes. Although, I have to say, I don’t read articles and comments.

On the atmosphere in the Nets locker room with the rumors about possible trades...

--Everyone minds his own business; Nobody talks about that. I repeat I don’t read American newspapers and I don’t know anything about trades. I find out something if Mirza, who reads everything, tells me.

On the hardest thing he's done during first three months, maybe guarding Lebron...

--It’s harder to be on a bench. To play or to guard anyone is not remotely as hard as is this situation, not to play. To be on bench and watch my teammates play, it’s very difficult.

On whether this setback will affect him in negative or positive ways in future...

--When I arrived in NBA I thought I wouldn’t play much in rookie season, because it’s unwritten rule for Euro players. I wanted to prove myself and I still think I could do that. I’m sure I’ll play more minutes again and prove to anybody how good I am. I personally think I haven’t proved it yet.

On his hopes of playing in the Rookie Challenge at All Star weekend and the Three-Point Shootout, both of which will be at Barclays Center...

--I hope I get to play at this game. Although, if I could choose I’ll rather play more for Nets. If someone gets to shoot 3-pointers from Nets, it has to be Mirza.

On the Nets chances in the playoffs...

--We’ll be in playoffs,  That’s for sure. We have very good team, but our chances depends on that what team we’ll get in first round as an opponent.