In a message to Croatian basketball fans on Instagram, Bojan Bogdanovic apologized deeply for the team's loss over the weekend to the Czech Republic. The loss ended not only the country's dream of winning a European championship but any chance for an invitation to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero.
Calling the 80-59 loss to the Czechs "two hours of terror" for Croatian fans, Bogdanovic laid the blame mostly on himself, saying, "I should have been able to carry the team to victory." Bogdanovic suffered both an ankle sprain and concussion during Eurobasket, neither of which he mentioned in the apology.
Here's a rough, Google translation, from the Croatian...
All my life I dreamt of a medal and major achievement for the Croatian basketball team. I dreamt that i would make all of Croatia happy and proud. I sacrificed everything in order to make the big score and I was sure 2015 was going to a great success.
For Croatia, I'm ready always to give my heart, head and body. You gave great support on the eve of the championship and during the championship and for that you deserve congratulations and the greatest thanks. The obligation and duty of all of us was to die for the national jersey and exceed all your expectations.
On Sunday, everything was done exactly the opposite. Of the thousand ways to lose, this was certainly the hardest and worst ... impermissibly.
I want to use this opportunity to apologize to all the true fans and anyone who wants good for our basketball team for the two hours of terror that you experienced against the Czech Republic. I do not have enough words to describe my disappointment with regard to the way we dropped the championship dream. I assume the greatest responsibility for this failure. I should have been able to carry the team to victory.
My expectations were set very high. This was supposed to be the year of Croatian basketball, and eventually it became the year that I would prefer to have never occurred. I'm so disappointed.
But turning to the future. No matter how ridiculous the moment, frivolous and stupid it may sound, I still firmly believe in Croatia and great results in the near future!
Croatia is seen as having one of the most promising programs in European basketball, with young players like Bogdanovic, the Magic's Mario Hezonja, Sixer Euro-Stash Dario Saric and 17-year-old seven-footer Dragan Bender. But as Bogdanovic noted, this was supposed to be the year ... and it wasn't.