CroatianSports.com, A Croatian-American sports news blog. interviewed Bojan Bogdanovic after last weekend's Clippers game in LA. He spoke about a lot of things, adjusting to the US and the NBA, Drazen Petrovic, and his coach's desire for him to be more aggressive.
On that subject, the rookie was asked what he's doing to be more aggressive. His response: "Well right now (smiles), very little. I know I have to be more aggressive, but its not always easy to be aggressive when you don’t have the ball too much in your hands, but I will do what ever the coach wants from me."
Asked about his relationship with Lionel Hollins, Bogdanovic described it as "more or less good."
Here's the full interview, as translated by Draz3n, a member of the NetsDaily community. Many thanks to him for finding the interview and translating it.
Q: Mr. Bogdanovic is this your first time in LA?
A: Yes this is my first time in LA. Yesterday late after the game we flew from Sacramento, and already tomorrow we are going to Salt Lake City. Like you know in the NBA there are a lot of games, therefore we won’t be able to really enjoy our stay.
Q: How have you gone around adapting to the American lifestyle?
A: Well its not too hard to adapt, when everything is going so fast, especially in the NBA where there is a lot of flying, and we’re constantly changing cities, but I think I’ve accustomed myself to the life pretty well.
Q: Other than your friends and family, what do you miss from back home?
A: Well I left very early from my home in Mostar, so I’ve already been accustomed to living on my own, and being far from my family, but friends and family are always the two main things that I miss.
Q: How did you start playing basketball?
A: Well I started playing basketball pretty late. For a long time, I was interested in soccer like most kids in Croatia, but then through some school tournaments, and playing with friends, I switched to basketball.
Q: Since you were born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, what did you have to do to be able to play for the Croatian National Basketball team?
A: Well like its known by most, most of Herzegovina is made up of Croatian citizens. Many Croatian coaches come to Herzegovina, looking for Croatian talents, since its rich with talent, and that’s when they were watching me in basketball training program, and that’s when they called me up to play for the younger Croatian national teams.
Q: What’s the difference between basketball in Europe, and basketball in the NBA?
A: Well there are a lot of differences. I don’t want to say, but its like they aren’t even the same sport, but really there are a lot of difference, so much that I couldn’t even believe when I came over, but the main difference is the amount of games being played here, than in Europe.
Q: What do you have to do here, that you didn’t in Europe?
A: Well there are many things that I have to change, and start doing better to make it here in America.
Q: Who were your idols when you were younger?
A: When I was younger I followed everything when it came to soccer, and when I started playing basketball, I didn’t really know anything, but my father enjoyed basketball, and like everyone in Croatia, Drazen Petrovic was an idol. I watched videos of Drazen, but I can’t say I watched a lot of him live, unfortunately.
Q: You mentioned Drazen Petrovic, any chance you watched the 30 for 30: Once Brothers?
A: Yea I watched it, and it’s really a great film, and a very sad story.
Q: Some people have told me that it isn’t really a true story of Petrovic, that it was more about Hollywood, and that Vrankovic (Croatian Teammate, played for the Celtics) was Drazen's best friend (Not Vlade Divac). Have you heard any of this? Or is that a fake story.
A: Well from what I know, by talking to people, that he and Vrankovic were best friends, but he definitely was friendly with Vlade, but in that time they couldn’t talk and they made a movie about it.
Q: Your coach Lionel Hollins says that you have to play more aggressive. What are you doing to be more aggressive?
A: Well right now (smiles), very little. I know I have to be more aggressive, but its not always easy to be aggressive when you don’t have the ball too much in your hands, but I will do what ever the coach wants from me.
Q: What’s your relationship with the coach?
A: Well I think it’s more or less good. I’m playing a lot of minutes so I think the coach believes in me, and I think over the next games I will try to do my best to justify the minutes.
Q: Did you get the chance to meet Andrew Bogut (Australian-Croatian)?
A: We met each other on the court, but we didn’t hang out afterwards. But from meeting him, I can tell he’s a really good guy.
Q: Did you guys talk in Croatian or English?
A: We were talking in Croatian. He probably recognized I was from Croatia, so we were talking in our language.
Q: Any chance you saw (Damjan) Rudez? (Indiana Pacer Forward)
A: Unfortunately, when we played against Indiana in NY, he was sick, so I didn’t get to see him, but I’m sure that since the NBA has so many games we will meet again later.
Q: Do you get any rookie hazing here?
A: Honestly, I have nothing. I don’t have any rookie problems.
Q: You played against Cleveland, and LeBron James. Is LeBron James the best player in the world?
A: He’s defiantly one of the best, but is he the best? I think it goes by taste, from person to person.
Q: If it’s not LeBron, whose been the toughest person to cover so far?
A: Well the other day, we played against Houston, and it was very hard to cover Harden, so that would be my choice.
Q: Would you rather win a NBA title, or a Gold medal with Croatia?
A: No matter where I’m playing, NBA or Europe, I would always choose Croatia.
Q: Do people recognize you when you are walking around NY?
A: We’ve had very little time in NY. We are always on the road, so I don’t go around NY too much, so I haven’t come to that situation.
*The reporter didn't know about the Mirza Teletovic situation when interviewing Bogdanovic.
Bojan Bogdanovic Wishes He Could Be More Aggressive - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game