Zeljko Obradovic Rumors

You are still young… Zeljko Obradovic: “The most important thing is that I feel young. After my experience, which was good for my and for (former assistant) Dimitris Itoudis with the Detroit Pistons (ed. note: they attended their training camp last year), I said that I am ready to coach there. Before that, it would be very difficult for me to say something like that. Experience always helps in any decision. Now, I know that I don’t have any problem to coach there and I believe that not only me, but many European coaches have the quality to be there. The question is if those NBA people decide one day to get a coach…
Coach, did you had a serious chance last summer to go to the NBA? Zeljko Obradovic: “No, sincerely no. There were some rumors about it and two NBA teams contacted some agents and not me personally. Some of them were considering some kind of interview, to go there and be interviewed by them. I said that I give interviews to journalists, not… you know. If you want to speak with me, first of all you have to come here. Secondly, if someone wants me, he knows everything about me. So, what else is there to speak of? If I am ready, if I know my job? This is really strange. In any case I was ready to meet their people and talk, but no one contacted me directly. They said to the agents that I should be ready (for contacts), etc. But I never gave to this any serious though, not until someone contacts me directly”.
Next week Zeljko Obradovic will be also on board on the plane heading to the USA. It’s a first for him, since many times he has stated his indifference towards the NBA, even when he was there on the fall of 2007 in order to face San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets on the bench of Panathinaikos. Things this time are different, as Itoudis explains: “It’s the perfect timing for us. We don’t have any contractual obligations right now, we accepted the invitation of Joe Dumars and decided to travel together to Detroit, to attend the training camp and exchange ideas and views about basketball. It’s a very good chance for Zeljko and me”.
Detroit Pistons were collaborating with Panathinaikos for the past seven seasons through Dimitris Itoudis and now it’s the right time for the next step. Legendery Serbian coach Zeljko Obradovic and his longtime assistant, after taking a year off from coaching a team, will travel to USA in order to attend the training camp of the NBA team, seven exhibition games and the first official match of the new season. The most successful coaching duo in Europe for the last decade will spend almost a month in Detroit and Dimitris Itoudis talked to Eurohoops.net about this new experience. “I have been in three summer leagues, but for the first time I will take part in the training camp. Together with coach Obradovic we will participate in the coaching stuff of the team and it will be a great experience for us, a chance to see different things. The Americans want to have ties with Europe and want also to learn from us”, he said and elaborated on his personal relation with the NBA team: “I feel at home in Detroit. We have created a very special relationship, specially with GM Joe Dumars and we have a very fruitful collaborations”.