Monday, December 4 2023

The 2018 NBA Coach of the Year Dwane Casey, recently told the press how fundamental the Serbian influence has been on the league’s basketball court. Not only players like Nikola Jokic are revolutionizing the sport in the US, but the former Detroit trainer also believes they’ve been pioneers in coaching methods.

Casey went on an interview with Basketball Sphere to say that Serbian coaches in particular, have had an enormous influence on the way training, practices and games are prepared in the NBA.

“I would say that Serbian coaches were the first to use physical training, weight training, and today every team in the NBA does it,” he explained. “It started at Partizan. They paid attention to measurements of body weight and body fat percentage. They used different types of training. That’s what I noticed in the Serbian coaching culture.”

When asked to give specific examples, he placed Zeljko Obradovic as the main representant of the Serbian basketball school, who has even dissed the opportunity of coaching in the NBA in the past.

“I have to mention coach Obradovic,” Casey said. “He is the winner. Whether he is here in Partizan or earlier in Fenerbahce. He won trophies at all levels, so hats off to him. I have an interesting story…

“I was the coach of Japan, and my center was maybe about 190 centimeters tall. We played against Obradović and Yugoslavia and they beat us by about 30 points. Even then, it was noticeable how well-prepared his teams were. We had no chance. That was the first time I met him.”

At the beginning of the week it was rumored that the Partizan Belgrade star Kevin Punter was very close to signing with the Toronto Raptors, before he decided to renew his contract with the Serbian squad that’s coached by Obradovic.

Casey, who was the last to train the Pistons, confessed that the Detroit club was also following Punter’s footsteps after performing immensely last campaign in the EuroLeague.

“I watched a few games because we followed Kevin Punter,” the coach shared. “Partizan has some very good young players, like Tristan Vukčević. I like him. Everyone must have a lot of respect for all that Obradovic has done.”

Partizan coach Obradovic explains why he rejected to coach in the NBA back in 2002

Right after he won the EuroLeague with Panathinaikos in 2022, Obradovic admitted that the Detroit Pistons wanted to interview him.

“There was never any concrete contact. There was a time when an NBA executive called me because a team wanted to do an interview with me,” the coach recalled, as he rejected the opportunity because he would only work for a team who knows who he is.

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However, Obradovic believes his philosophy works better in European basketball.

“You have opinions from the best players in the NBA, which are three Europeans: (Giannis) Antetokounmpo, (Luka) Doncic and (Nikola) Jokic. They talk about this, it’s much easier to score there than it is here because here, they don’t let you play one on one and because of the rule of 3 seconds (on defense)”, he stated.

“I like European basketball for this: you can prepare the game with much more detail than there. I don’t have (NBA) experience either.”

Source: Basketball Insider


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