Credit: FIBA
Credit FIBA

The San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich paid his respects after the passing of legendary coach Dusan Ivkovic.

“Dusan Ivkovic was an iconic figure in the world of basketball,” Popovich said in the statement published by the Spurs. “He possessed a larger-than-life personality and was an exceptional master of the game.”

“My time with Duda, whether in Europe or the United States, was always filled with moments of wonder and an abiding knowledge that his presence was like no other. My heartfelt condolences to Nena and their family during this difficult time,” Popovich added.

As a player, Dusan Ivkovic played from 1958 to 1968 for Radnicki Belgrade. After his playing days, he became a coach and guided twelve basketball clubs throughout his career. He worked with Partizan, Aris, Radnicki, Sibenka, Vojvodina, PAOK, Panionios, Olympiacos, AEK Athens, CSKA Moscow, Dynamo Moscow, and Anadolu Efes. Ivkovic also coached Yugoslavia and Serbia national teams.

In the European club competition, Ivkovic won two EuroLeague titles (Olympiacos), one FIBA Korac Cup (Partizan), one FIBA Saporta Cup (AEK), and one ULEB Cup (Dynamo Moscow). He guided his teams to multiple national leagues and cups titles (15 trophies in total).

With the national team, Dusan Ivkovic won 8 medals. He won gold and silver medals in Summer Universiades (1983, 1987), silver in 1988 Summer Olympics, three gold medals in EuroBaskets (1989, 1991, 1995), gold in 1990 FIBA World Championship, and silver in EuroBasket 2009.

In 2008, Ivkovic was named one of the 50 Greatest EuroLeague Contributors. He was elected to the FIBA Hall of Fame and was also named the EuroLeague Basketball Legend in 2017.

On July 1, 2016, Ivkovic officially retired from professional coaching, after two seasons with Anadolu Efes Istanbul (2014-16).

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