Credit: AP - Scanpix
Credit AP - Scanpix

Zeljko Obradovic has been revered by his friends and coachees alike ever since he started his head coach career. One of the players Zeljko won the 2007 Euroleague with, Dejan Tomasevic, is no exception.

3-pointers this season

32%
8,6
Points made: 8,6
Accuracy: 32,2%
Place in standings: 12
Record max: 14
Record min: 4
Most made 3FGs: Gregor Glas

Tomasevic is one of the most well-known players in Yugoslavian basketball history. He belongs in the select group of individuals who have both won the Euroleague, become Euroleague Regular Season MVP, and been selected twice in the All-Euroleague First Team.

Together with Rudy Fernandez and Felipe Reyes, Tomasevic is one of the only 3 people who have won the Euroleague, Eurocup, World Cup, and Eurobasket.

The Yugoslavian center holds the Euroleague single-season PIR average record to this day, averaging 30.9 PIR in the 2000-2001 season playing for Buducnost. In a conversation in the Spanish esRadio's "Belgrade Memories" program, Tomasevic recalled some of the moments from his career.

Tomasevic transferred from Crvena Zvezda Belgrade to Partizan Belgrade early in his career. Asked about his transfer, he was blunt.

"I have always said that it was the most important transfer in my career. When I transferred from Crvena Zvezda to Partizan, it was strange in itself, but today it is much harder for the players. In today's situation and with everything I know, I would not do it again," Tomasevic noted.

Tomasevic was also a part of the powerful Obradovic-coached 2005 Serbia and Montenegro basketball national team that failed to meet the high expectations in the 2005 Eurobasket that was held in their home country.

"That summer of 2005, I promised my wife that I would rest. We went to the sea in Greece, and during the trip, I was invited by then-coach Zeljko Obradovic. I told him earlier that I could not come to the national team, and then he told me that they understood me," Tomasevic explained.

"But this time, he told me that I was necessary for him and the national team. I changed my mind and turned back. You simply cannot reject Zeljko Obradovic," the center recalled the moment.

The legendary player had a simple message for players that come to play for Zeljko: "Every player that Zeljko Obradovic brings to his club should immediately ask him for the number of the bank account and pay him 50 percent of his salary because they will improve so much with him."

Obradovic's Partizan currently sit tied-first in Group A of the 7DAYS Eurocup standings with 6 wins and losses so far.

Tomasevic has also played for the now-fired Baskonia head coach Dusko Ivanovic. The two men joined forces in the 2001-2002 season in the TAU Ceramica Vitoria team.

Remembering his time in Spain, the center admitted that it was difficult for him to start with Dusko Ivanovic. "It's tough, but when you accept him for who he is, you can endure it; you improve a lot. That was the best team of my career, without a doubt," Tomasevic expressed.

After finishing his time as a player, Tomasevic worked for the Serbian Federation for years, initially as vice president of competitions and then rising to the position of general secretary. He was even a candidate for the FIBA ​​presidency, making it clear that his first objective would have been to reach an agreement with the Euroleague.

"It bothers me that they do not speak. It is outrageous that national teams and the Euroleague coincide. When I started my candidacy, I said that I would talk to them every day until there was a solution," he said.

Tomasevic was very clear regarding the Euroleague-FIBA clash: "If this is not solved, basketball will not grow."

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2022-01-10
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