HoopsHype Nikola Vucevic rumors

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April 6, 2015 Updates

"Defensively, he has gotten much better," says the Magic's interim coach, James Borrego. "He is challenging more shots. He's a little more physical inside than what we've seen in the past. His challenge is to do that more consistently throughout a game. Offensively, we're seeing a much more confident player. "One of the biggest strides that we saw in that Milwaukee game is when he's double-teamed or when a crowd is around him, he's kicking it, making the right play, and he produced a lot of those open 3s for us in Milwaukee by just making the right play." Orlando Sentinel

Mirotic, a 6-foot-10 forward, is the reigning Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month. In March, he averaged 20.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. "I know it is tough as a rookie when you come here," Vucevic says. "It's not always easy. He was on a good team with a lot of good players, so his playing time wasn't going to be consistent. I just told him to be patient. "They had some injuries and he got a lot of playing time and he took advantage of it and he's been playing great for a month or so. I'm really happy for him. He's a guy that really works hard, that's come a long way. So I'm very happy he's doing very well." Orlando Sentinel

April 4, 2015 Updates

A young center with All-Star potential, Nik Vucevic knows enough Magic history to realize the franchise's two best big men left town and broke hearts. Vucevic, 24, is determined not to follow the footsteps of Shaquille O'Neal and Dwight Howard out of Orlando. "Yeah, I'm here for the long haul. I hope to stay here my whole career," he told me. "I love it here. I really love the city. I've improved here a lot as a player. I'd love to stay for a long, long time and make something special happen. "If it takes years, it takes years … I ain't going anywhere." Orlando Sentinel

Vucevic is inspired by the loyalty displayed by Italian soccer superstar Francesco Totti. Totti, 38, has played his entire career for Roma. "Totti could have gone to bigger teams, made more money, do whatever he wanted. He didn't," he said. "He stayed with that team. He's pretty much a god to that team." Orlando Sentinel

The entire NBA has had a hard time slowing down Nikola Vucevic this season. Against the undermanned Minnesota Timberwolves who were missing their three best big men, he was unstoppable. Vucevic scored a career-high 37 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to power the Orlando Magic to a 97-84 victory over the Timberwolves on Friday night. "I wanted to be aggressive," Vucevic said. "We had a size advantage in the paint and I wanted to take advantage of it. We needed this win after a rough stretch." USA Today Sports

February 11, 2015 Updates

Magic center Nikola Vucevic had hoped to make the Eastern Conference team as an injury replacement, but those hopes were scuttled when Commissioner Adam Silver selected Kyle Korver to replace Dwyane Wade. Vucevic now is scrambling to find something to do over the break. "I honestly didn't plan anything because I was hoping to maybe make the All-Star [team], so I didn't want to jinx it," he said. "I was just kind of waiting, so I have to make some plans right now, I guess. The good thing is we live in Florida, so I can drive anywhere to the beach and just relax for two or three days and come back here." Orlando Sentinel

January 29, 2015 Updates

Should you make the All-Star team? [Agonizingly long pause.] I don’t like talking about myself in these situations. I’ve played well this whole year. I’ve been consistent. I’ve made huge improvements since last year. I wish my play helped the team get some more wins, and hopefully that will come with time. The most important thing is to be consistent. There are so many games, it’s hard to play at a high level consistently. Grantland

You have a good left hand. Are you one of those secret lefties, or did you just work at it? It’s a little bit of both. I was always using my left hand for some things, and my dad is a lefty. I’m righty when it comes to shooting, but I do a lot of stuff with my left. But I did really work at it. It’s very tough for defenders. What kind of stuff do you do lefty? Do you write lefty? I write right-handed. I play soccer with my left leg. When I hold stuff — like a bag or a plate or something — it’s better if I have it in my left hand. Grantland

What’s the best Orlando theme park? I’ve been to all of them. I love Gatorland. I assume alligators are involved? Yeah, I guess it’s not really a theme park. They don’t have rides. It’s like a zoo with only gators. But all of them are fun. Disney World is obviously fun. I really like Disney’s Animal Kingdom. And all the studios are really cool. I’m a huge Star Wars fan, so they have a lot of stuff from that. Grantland

Your preferred nickname: Vucci Mane, Vooch, or something else? Vucci Mane — I do not like that at all. Fans like it, and around Orlando, they always ask me about it. For some reason, I’m sorry, I don’t like it. It comes from Gucci Mane. I don’t know. I just don’t like it. And when the crowd here says “Vooch,” they extend the “oooo” — it sounds really nice, especially when they announce the starting five. That feels pretty good. So I guess it’s Vooch. Grantland

January 13, 2015 Updates

Nikola Vucevic dunked so hard on Paul Gasol, it looked like the Bulls center exploded. Gasol lost his balance coming down, or was shook from the experience, and collapsed backward. On your 3rd or 4th viewing, please take a look at the Orlando bench. Is that rookie Aaron Gordon holding everyone back? I’d love to be the designated holder-back guy on an NBA bench one night. The Big Lead

January 12, 2015 Updates
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December 26, 2014 Updates
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November 7, 2014 Updates
October 23, 2014 Updates

First, Vooch learned he will become a very, very rich man. Secondly, he later learned he didn't have to play against Dwight Howard. Your day doesn't get much better than that. "…I always wanted to stay here and be part of the Magic future, so I'm obviously very excited. I'm very happy," Vucevic said. Orlando Sentinel

October 22, 2014 Updates

“My agent and Rob [Hennigan, the Magic’s GM] are working on finalizing everything,” Vucevic said before the Magic began their shootaround minutes ago. “But like I said before, I always wanted to stay here and be a part of the Magic future, so I’m obviously very excited. I’m very happy. I can’t really put it into words, but I still have to wait for everything to be finalized and for me to officially sign it.” Orlando Sentinel

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