Hello again CHers. Having read through some of the recent fanposts on the upcoming draft and 2012 off-season in which I spotted a few mentions of Nemanja Bjelica, I thought you all might be interested in an interview Bjelica gave to a Serbian newspaper, “Novosti” a couple of days ago.
Following Caja Laboral’s 67-66 victory over Real Madrid in the Spanish basketball league, in which Bjelica played 25 mins and scored 10 points and grabbed 6 rebounds, Novosti took the opportunity to interview Bjelica.
I have extracted and translated those parts of the interview I believe CHers would be most interested in. Again, as with the translation I did for the Pek interview, all mistakes are my own.
The key part for CHers is when Bjelica says he is enjoying life in Spain and isn’t thinking about leaving for anywhere else.
Bjelica: “I’ve deserved my chance in Vitoriia
Serbian national team member, Nemanja Bjelica, recently played at a high level in a historic moment for Spanish club basketball. In the game between Caha Laboral and Real Madrid in the Fernando Buesa Arena in Vitoria, where a record was broken for the highest number of spectators in a single ACB League match (15,504), the starter for the Basque club was one of the best players in the big victory over the “Kings” by 67 – 66.
With 10 points in 25 minutes of playing time in the unforgettable spectacle, this demonstrates that the sun is coming out for this talented basketball player, who in the second half of the season in the Basque region has won greater belief from his coach Dusko Ivanovic.
- "It wasn’t easy waiting that long for a chance, although I believed it would come sooner or later, and I think that I deserved it" said Bjelica.
Are your plans for next season connected to Caha?
- I have a contract for 3 more years. Vitoria is the right place for a family life. I would not want to change my location, I’m not even thinking about that – but you never know. I want to show why I was brought to Caha.
The other questions, which I have not translated, asked Bjelica for his thoughts on Serbian basketball, the arrival of Andres Nocioni to Caha, and the Euroleague Final Four in Istanbul. But based on his statement above I think its safe to say Bjelica will not be coming over to MN for at least two more years and in all likelihood, not until his contract with Caja expires after 3 years.
This is probably a good thing – I would suggest he needs a couple more years to develop his game and prove he can perform consistently in the Spanish league before he comes over to the NBA. Having said that, Rubio’s stats in Europe were never that amazing but I think most people saw his game was well-suited to the NBA. One could say the same with Bjelica.