Dzanan Musa is finding his way in the NBA. He’s been alternately excited, overwhelmed, exhausted and, well, bemused by it all.
Tom Dowd of BrooklynNets.com tracked his first few days since being drafted (at Barclays Center) and was initiated into the Nets culture ... and Brooklyn.
“I cannot describe it, that feeling when the camera was on me for 10 or 15 seconds before they called my name,” Musa told Dowd. “I was starting to cry. That passion I have for basketball, I was good all night. I was good all night. And I thought I had some information that probably Brooklyn would pick me, but I didn’t realize until that moment, when they put the cameras on me, I was starting to cry. I saw my mother, next to me, and she also cried. That was a really emotional time for me and I think that’s the best night of my entire life.”
That’s saying something considering three years ago, he was a national hero in his native Bosnia after he brought his homeland its first championship trophy, the FIBA Europe U16 title and was greeted the next night by 50,000 of his countrymen in the nation’s capital. That’s him with the trophy.
Since Thursday, it’s been a whirlwind, charming the media at a press conference at HSS Training Center; posing for publicity photos; checking out neighborhoods in Brooklyn with his brother Dzennis ... who’ll stick with him this season; and since Sunday, work: Precor workouts, on-court basketball sessions, weight room work. He’s also met his teammates, taking D’Angelo Russell up on an invitation to get acquainted at his home.
“I’m the rookie,” said Musa of DLo’s invitation. “That was a really nice gesture from him.”
Musa, all of 19 years and one month old, has been impressed by much of what he’s seen. This is his first time in New York, first time in the U.S.
“I didn’t realize that Brooklyn is this big,” Musa told Dowd. “I thought Brooklyn is like a little small place around New York and that’s it, but this is huge.” 2.6 million people, kid. 71 square miles.
He’s also been quite impressed with his workplace, noting that he saw a few NBA training facilities during his workouts.
“Just when you go inside that court and you look at that view, that’s really, really impressive,” said Musa. “I think that this is one of the best, if not the best, facilities in the NBA because I went to five or six spots for workouts and this is really impressive.”
Musa will be headed to Las Vegas next week, yet another introduction to America. He won’t play, not after 75 games in three leagues and FIBA tournaments since last summer. Good for him, but for fans, it will be a long wait —until October— to see what he can do.
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