HoopsHype.com Interviews

Bostjan Nachbar: "Maybe it's better for me to play another year with Benetton"
by Jorge Sierra / June 14, 2002

Would you have taken part in workouts for any team in the NBA in case Benetton Treviso was out of the championship race in Italy?

Bostjan Nachbar: It's not an issue in fact. I'm not used to thinking about possibilities in the past. My only aim at the moment is to win with Benetton.

Do you feel like not taking part in those workouts is affecting your chances of being a lottery pick in the NBA Draft?

BN: I don't think so. I have some chances to get into the Draft and I think
that these chances were built through this last season on the floor, in Europe.

Are you going to play in the NBA next year no matter what is the position in which you are selected in draft day?

BN: Definitely, it's not an easy decision for me. Maybe I think I need to stay some more time in Europe to improve and become much more skilled. No matter what the position is, this is only a matter of experience and maybe it's better for me to play another year with Benetton.

When did you first feel you had a chance to play in the NBA? Was the Nike Hoops Summit an indication?

BN: I took part in that event two times in my career, and I was proud to be there with the best young players in the world. But, in my opinion, the last season I spent in Italy with Benetton Basket was a great indication.

A lot of people think you are the European player most likely to enter this year's draft and be a good contributor in your first season in the NBA. Do you share that view?

BN: Maybe. It's possible. But it can depend on many different things: fitting well with teammates, with the coach, with another style of playing basketball... I mean, it is really difficult to say such a thing. I hope I will be an important player when I go to the NBA.

What are your main strengths?

BN: Offense is the feature I like the most in my skills at the moment. This year I'm much more confident with my three point shots, fast breaks and physical impact on the game. And I am quite satisfied. But I know that I still have to walk a long way to be a top level player.

And your main weaknesses?

BN: I want to improve in defense, being much more aggressive in one-on-one solutions, being more quick and skilled in the paint.

Is there any NBA team where do you think you could fit in especially well?

BN: I don't know NBA teams really well at the moment. I know the names of coaches and players, but it's not enough to say where I could fit in well.

What can you say about your teammate Nikoloz Tskitishvili? Is he really that good?

BN: He is a fantastic player in my opinion. It's not so easy to see such young player in Europe. He is young, but he can play in several positions and he can go to the NBA soon. He didn't play much time with Benetton, but I see him everyday in practice, where he shows all his skills.

Which other European players do you see in a position to go to the NBA right now?

BN: There are many European players who can step on the floor in the NBA right now. Marko Jaric or Emanuel Ginobili, for example, are ready to go in my opinion.

We've heard you are a die-hard fan of the NBA... What do you think about this season?

BN: Oh, great surprises. But the Lakers finally won for the third time! I was surprised by the season made by Dallas Mavs and New Jersey Nets. Maybe it means that something is going to change in the NBA. And European players can make the difference now. This is so important for me...

What is the NBA player you admire the most?

BN: Michael Jordan was an example for me. He is the best player I've ever seen in my life, but Kobe Bryant is going to become another great star like MJ.

And the NBA player you resemble the most?

BN: There is not only one player I can resemble in fact. Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett are the players I like the most, but I know that I still have to work hard to reach their level.

Jorge Sierra is the editor of HoopsHype.com

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