HoopsHype.com Interviews

Nenad Krstic: "I feel very well now"
by Jorge Sierra / November 3, 2003

After a breakout year with Serbian champion Partizan Belgrade, Nenad Krstic was ready to establish himself as one of the top centers in Europe this season. That will have to wait. A foot injury first thought to be a tendinitis has sidelined him for three months already.

Krstic first experienced pain in the leg at the end of last season, but kept playing till a small fracture in the foot was revealed this summer. The injury – described as "very unusual" – will keep him away from the courts for another five weeks, but everybody expects him to be play close to his potential once he returns in December.

Through an interpreter, Krstic answered a few questions for HoopsHype.

How do you feel now physically?

Nenad Krstic: I feel very well now. I'm obviously not in basketball shape right now, but I feel really good.

Can you walk well?

NK: Yes, I can walk well. I can drive and all. I have not been able to run for now, but I will start doing that right away.

Mentally, how are you handling the situation? Are you frustrated?

NK: I have already passed the crisis. There were some tough moments in the past, but I feel very happy now with what the doctors have told me. [Nenad Krstic apparently has just arrived from Athens, where he visited one of the best experts in Europe. The doctor was optimistic about Krstic's recovery].

Did anybody from the Nets organization call you to find out about the injury?

NK: The GM. Anyway, I had spent seven days in New Jersey in July and the Nets were fully aware of the physical problem I was going through.

Have you watched the Nets play this season?

NK: No, I didn't have the chance to watch them play.

You know they signed Alonzo Mourning, who plays the same position you play. That could affect your situation once you join the Nets. Are you worried about that?

NK: Absolutely not. I will be happy just to practice there and have the experience of being in the NBA with one of the best centers and players in the game, which is what Alonzo Mourning is.

Some months ago you said your desire was to play in the NBA as soon as possible. Has anything changed?

NK: No, I still want to go as soon as I can. That's my mindset. [Aside from the Nets interest in bringing Krstic as soon as possible, many top European teams have expressed great interest in the 7-0 center, we are told. It's not likely he follows Milos Vujanic's example and stays in Europe for long, though.]

On your team, you have a young big players like Kosta Perovic or Predrag Samardziski who are considered NBA material. Can you give us your opinion about them?

NK: They are very talented. I think they are going to have the chance to go to the NBA as long as they develop their talent.

Jorge Sierra is the editor of HoopsHype.com

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