BROOKLYN, N.Y. — After being selected by the Nets as the 29th pick in 2018 NBA Draft, Dzanan Musa spoke with reporters, sniffling a bit after admittedly going through an emotional moment when he heard his name called. He called playing in Brooklyn a “dream come true.”
He even seemed a bit unsteady after leaving the podium at Barclays Center and headed to his media interview...
From Bosnia to Brooklyn, Dzanan Musa is more than happy to be here pic.twitter.com/rL2fkWsXXX— Anthony Puccio (@APOOCH) June 22, 2018
DZANAN MUSA: I can’t describe this feeling. I was very emotional when my name was called. I started crying. This is like the dream come true. I’m willing to work hard for every minute on the court.
Q. How does it feel to be drafted in your home now, Brooklyn?
DZANAN MUSA: I was just talking about it. I started to cry. When you get drafted to the home and in the building where you’re going to spend like most of the time of the year, I’m very happy. This is truly a blessing from God.
Q. What do you think you can bring to the Nets organization? Have you spoken to Kenny Atkinson? Have you spoken to Sean Marks?
DZANAN MUSA: First of all, I can bring confidence and energy on the court. Playing through offense to spread a lane and to play hard defense. Just be a great team player to the Nets.
Q. Was there any reason specifically you were set on coming to the NBA this year rather than doing another year in Europe like some teams may have wanted?
DZANAN MUSA: Yeah, most teams wanted for me to stay in Europe, but as I said, if you want to chase your dreams, you have to just listen to yourself. My heart told me that my place is here.
Q. Can you talk about the influence that Jusuf Nurkic has on you? You join him as the only other Bosnian playing in the NBA. Talk about that.
DZANAN MUSA: Yeah, he’s a really great guy. He’s a really good mentor. He’s a little bit older than me, but he knows how to manage the younger players and I get advice from him a lot. I’m very thankful that I have that man on my national team and in my country.
Q. What do you strive to achieve in the NBA to hopefully bring more light to the Bosnian players growing up like yourself a couple years back?
DZANAN MUSA: I want to have, first of all, work ethic, to show them how it’s done. Work hard every day, stay humble, not get obsessed with media, with social media. Stuff like that. I just want to be humble and show them how it’s done.
Q. I’m also a young player from Europe. I’m from Ireland. I came here three years ago in pursuit of my dreams. What advice would you give young players like me? I’m a recruit, also, and I’m here now in the States. What advice would you give 17-year-olds and 18-year-olds in the country that are chasing this big dream.
DZANAN MUSA: First of all, don’t listen to anybody. The social media and agents and parents and who you have, your siblings, will talk all the other stories. You have to stay in your lane. You stay in your path and anything is possible. When it comes to sports, anything is possible.
Q. The human body is obviously a huge thing playing this game of basketball. How important is your mindset? How important is the mental in this?
DZANAN MUSA: I think the most important thing is your mental strength and your basketball IQ. You have (Nikola) Jokic from Serbia in Denver, he doesn’t have a muscle in his body and he’s still one of the best centers in the NBA. You have to have it in your head.