HoopsHype.com Interviews

Nemanja Aleksandrov: "Maybe I should stay two or three years in Europe"
by Jorge Sierra / March 29, 2005

First of all, how's the injury?

Nemanja Aleksandrov: It's getting better. I have started walking. I'm working to recover soon and I think I will be OK by the second half of April.

What happened exactly? How did you get injured?

NA: I really don't know. I don't know for sure how the injury came. But it's not serious.

What has been the most positive thing this season for you?

NA: I was starting to play better the weeks before the injury. That was the best part. But then came the injury.

Have there been more positives or negatives for you this year?

NA: Hmmm... Half-half. Sometimes it was positive and sometimes it was negative. It was a positive experience being able to play with the senior team.

And the negatives?

NA: Sometimes I didn't play much. Some games I only played five minutes. And you can't do anything in five minutes, so my form was up and down.

How did you take the lack of playing time with your club?

NA: It was not good. I wanted to play more to improve. I just wanted to improve, but I didn't play a lot.

Were you angry at your coach at Reflex or anybody for the situation?

NA: No, not angry. It was his opinion that I shouldn't play more. What can you do?

You were expecting to play a lot more before the season...

NA: Yes. I have played like 30 minutes in some games... But yes, I was expecting to play more minutes when I started the season.

You are going to the United States soon, right?

NA: Yes, I'm going in April.

Are you finally going to play in the Nike Hoop Summit?

NA: No, I can't. I won't be ready because of the injury. I just started walking, so I don't think I'd be ready to play there.

But you are taking part in workouts with NBA teams, right?

NA: Yes, but that's at the end of May. And I don't know where yet.

Are you nervous about the workouts?

NA: Yes, I'm nervous. But I'm going to work out a lot before the workouts and I think I'll be fine.

Do you feel ready for the challenge of the NBA?

NA: We'll see. I don't know, I'm not sure. Maybe I should stay two or three years playing for an European club here to get ready. I don't know.

But your agent told me that you are pretty much a lock to stay in the draft this year.

NA: It's very possible, but we'll see. It depends on the position.

What would be a good position for you?

NA: Hmmm... I really can't tell you. I'm not sure.

What did you think when people started to say you were going to be a No. 1 pick after that tournament in Spain two seasons ago?

NA: I already said at the time that that was very hard. It is very hard to be a No. 1 pick. But you know, people start talking.

Nobody is questioning your talent as a basketball player, but many question your attitude or your character. What can you say about that?

NA: In many games, sometimes I'm not happy about something. Sometimes I'm angry at myself or somebody, but I want to keep it to myself... The passion... I don't want to show everybody that, to show my feelings. Maybe that's why they say that about my attitude.

What position would you like to play in the future?

NA: Small forward. Between the three and four. Small forward and power forward.

What type of forward? Something like Dirk Nowitzki...

NA: Yes, yes. Like Dirk Nowitzki. Something like that.

So you would rather play on the perimeter than near the basket, right?

NA: Yes, I like the perimeter a little better.

This is a question we almost always ask to draft prospects... Which player would you compare yourself to?

NA: Hmmmm... Some people say Dirk Nowitzki. Maybe Nowitzki.

And Toni Kukoc maybe?

NA: (Laughs) Yes, Toni Kukoc too. A little bit too.

Jorge Sierra is the editor of HoopsHype.com

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