Nenad Krstic: "I don't know if I'll play in the NBA next year"
What was your reaction when you knew you had been selected [24th overall pick] by the Nets in the NBA Draft?
Nenad Krstic: I was very pleased by their choice. They are one of the best organizations in the NBA and they have a great team. I like that part of the States, and I really like their patience and willingness to wait for me.
Why did you stay in Yugoslavia?
NK: (Laughs) Same question every day. I think I'm not prepared enough. I've stayed in Partizan because I want to improve my game. I need experience, I need minutes on the court and I want to work on individual aspects of my game. I want to become mature, mentally and physically, for everything I'll face in the future.
Do you feel you have progressed notably in any aspect of your game ever since you were drafted?
NK: Well, I always wanted to play as a team player. And I want to become one. I'm prepared to do whatever is necessary for my team to be successful. And this is not about numbers, it is about attitude. And I think I've learned that.
What do you have to improve?
NK: I'm a seven-footer, so, first of all, my low post game. I want to become a point guard playing with my back to basket. Then, my defense can be better. And of course, I need more muscles if I want to play the real game.
What will be the toughest adjustment going to the NBA?
NK: I came to Belgrade from Kraljevo and I had no major problems with adjustments. But going to States is something different. Different culture, different way of life and different basketball. But I'll make it.
Do you plan on playing there next year?
NK: I don’t know that. It is too early for that answer. I have so much things to do till the end of the season...
How did you play when facing Darko Milicic this year?
NK: I'm one of the players on my team, and my team beat his team twice.
Is he good enough for # 2 pick in the next draft?
NK: I cannot answer because I don’t know the rest of the candidates. He has talent. I guess NBA guys know what they are doing.
Did you ever consider playing college basketball in the States?
NK: No, never.
More top young European players came to play in American colleges in the past? From your point of view, why do you think that has changed?
NK: As far as I know, one cannot play in the NCAA if he made some money in Europe playing basketball. And the best players are all under contracts with their clubs. If you put that on the side, there are some advantages you get from playing in Europe. We have more games, more practice hours... Young players are competing and practicing with much older and more experienced guys. For example, I have already played two seasons in the Euroleague -- and that’s top level competition.
Finally, which NBA player do you think you resemble the most?
NK: Well, I don’t know. I hope I'll become the player kids want me to become.
Tell us what you think about this interview. E-mail us at HoopsHype@HoopsHype.com