I thought you guys might be interested to read an interview Pekovic gave to a Serbian newspaper which was printed online this morning.
Based on all the love CHers have been showing towards Pek this season, and as a frequent follower of this site I thought you all might be interested to read a short interview Nikola Pekovic gave to a Serbian Newspaper called "Blitz" which was published online this morning (7th March.) The translation from Serbian to English is mine so all errors are purely my own fault.
Hope you enjoy!
Headline - Pekovic for Blitz: “I’m Playing Like I did for Partizan, it’s just that the NBA has only just noticed”
Pekovic for Blitz: “I’m Playing Like I did for Partizan,it’s just that the NBA has only just noticed”
Americans have only just now seen what kind of basketball player Nikola Pekovic is. The main attraction of the first half of this lock-out shortened season has, indeed, been the former Partizan centre who has been brilliant for Minnesota.
His outstanding contributions have carried the team from Minneapolis into contention for a play-off spot in the Western Conference. The Montenegrin national team player, behind Kevin Love the best player on the team, spoke to Blitz about the Basketball euphoria which has erupted in one of the coldest cities in the USA.
“The NBA is truly a mad house of brutal professionalism. Sometimes even I don’t know where I am. They just tell me, ‘Today you’re flying here, tomorrow we play, then we are flying somewhere else’, and like that it goes around” states Pekovic.
Based on how you are playing this season, it seems like they [in the NBA] have only just now started taking you seriously?
Well, I’m playing like I did at Partizan, its just that only now have they noticed it. Joking aside, nobody here has gifted me anything, I honestly fight for every minute I get on court and take maximum advantage of it.
Following the game with Cleveland you already achieved 19 wins from 38 games, while last season you only achieved 17 wins after 82 games.
Everybody here is delighted – we are a step away from the play-offs and our appetite is growing. I think we can achieve that success.
You have managed to squeeze your friend Darko Milicic out of the starting five.
We are like brothers, we are inseparable – we are not rivals. Often in the dressing room we play national folk music for our team mates, but there’s also other genres of music so that those who don’t like one type of music don’t feel neglected.
You have been following Partizan and noticed that they successfully defended the first of three trophies?
I didn’t watch it but I’m happy for the team winning the Korac Cup. I’m disappointed that we dropped out of the Euroleague. However I’m convinced it won’t be a problem defending the domestic titles and, hopefully, the Adriatic League even if the Final Four is being played in Tel Aviv. In the Final against Maccabi the "black and whites" (nickname for Partizan based on their uniforms) won’t be without a chance and even during my time we would return from Israel in triumph – even in the Euroleague.
You’re not excluding the possibility of putting on the black and white uniform for a third time in your career?
I don’t believe there will be another lock-out, but if there is, I will be back in Humskoj (district in Belgrade where Partizan play). Partizan is my great love and I love Belgrade. The “gravediggers” (nickname for the Partizan fans) are the best fans in the world and I really miss the atmosphere they create during a game. Here it’s different. All is advertising – people come with their families, they just applaud, there’s no temperamentality. At the end of the season I will be going to “Pionir” (stadium where Partizan play) to support my former team mates when the new Champions of Serbia will be decided.
In the Qualifiers for the European Championships to be held in Slovenia, Serbia will be playing against Montenegro
Our matches will be interesting – I will be playing for the national team.