Credit: FIBA
Credit FIBA

Goran Dragic sat down with Spela Lenart of to talk about an upcoming chapter in his career and the Slovenian national team.

Luka Doncic

Luka  Doncic
Team: Dallas Mavericks
Position: SG
Age: 23
Height: 201 cm
Weight: 99 kg
Birth place: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Dragic is the latest Chicago Bulls addition, signing a one-year, $2.9M deal with the team.

As stated by the 36-year-old athlete, he was convinced to accept the offer by the great people of the Bulls franchise.

"Many factors played a role, two of which are certainly the excellent coach Billy Donovan and the club's vice president Arturas Karnisovas. I've worked with him in the past with the Houston Rockets," Dragic began.

"There is, of course, Nikola Vucevic. I already talked to Chicago last year, but then things, unfortunately, took a different direction. Well, not unfortunately, it just happened as it did and I chose Brooklyn.

Last year I played with some stars like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, and I have to admit that it was quite difficult because the focus was not on the team, but more on the individual performances," the player continued.

"Now I think it's time to give Chicago a chance. We know the Chicago Bulls have a rich history, so it's going to be an honor to wear the jersey and, hopefully, we will have a good season. Last year, I was positively surprised by their performances for most of the season, especially in the regular season, but then they had some injury problems."

Regarding his role in a new team, Dragic mentioned the second point guard position.

"I will be the second playmaker, playing 20-25 minutes per game, so the role will be quite large. That's what makes me most happy to still be able to play at a high level. Despite being 36 years old, I feel great and will try to compete as long as possible. I have two more seasons on the court in mind, and we'll see how things go along the way," a 14-season NBA veteran said.

Luka Doncic

Luka  Doncic
Luka  Doncic
MIN: 35.66
PTS: 29.03 (53.34%)
REB: 9.24
As: 8.3
ST: 1.28
BL: 0.56
TO: 4.38
GM: 80

Goran Dragic also opened up about the interest from Dallas Mavericks where his fellow countryman Luka Doncic is orchestrating the squad.

"I was in contact with quite a few clubs, Dallas was one of them. But in the end, they couldn't guarantee that I would play. They told me that I would be spending more time on the bench. I'm not interested in that, so such transfer was out of the question."

Then the conversation switched to international basketball. Dragic came back to the Slovenian national team after almost a 5-year break to say goodbye to all fans in World Cup Qualifiers games against Croatia and Sweden.

He performed really well and later admitted that he is tempted to participate in EuroBasket 2022.

"Honestly, I'm not close to a decision yet. I have to sort out some personal things first, so I have to go to Miami. Once that's behind me, I'll be able to decide whether I'll play in EuroBasket or not," the Slovenian captain responded to the question about his availability.

"If I am going to play in the tournament, I want to be with the team from the first day. Thus, we can develop chemistry both on and off the court in this way.

However, if my matters drag on and I can only join the team a few days before EuroBasket, I don't see the point in that. Without practices, it simply doesn't work," added the NBA All-Star (2018).

Dragic then went on to comparisons of this NT experience and the one from five years ago (EuroBasket 2017), where Dragic and the company won the gold medals.

"The team has changed. The coaching staff is different, the only one left is Aleksander Sekulic. There is no Anthony Randolph, Gasper Vidmar, or Sasa Zagorac. Some players are gone and we have new faces.

Luka [Doncic] is also in a completely different role now. Five years ago, I was kind of his mentor, now we all know that he is the main guy on the team. But what is most important, chemistry remains the same, we all get along really well. Perhaps, I could say that chemistry is even better if that's possible at all, because this time things were even more fluid."

Last but not least, Goran Dragic was asked about the expectations for the national team in EuroBasket 2022.

"I think the team can fight for the highest places and medals this year," he said. With or without me, I believe that a medal is realistically achievable. We must be aware that EuroBasket is really long and that many undesirable things can happen during this period, including some injuries.

But I think the national team has a quality team, all 12 players can play and I think that the goal cannot be anything other than a medal," concluded the veteran player.

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3-pointers this season

Points made: 10,6
Accuracy: 36,3%
Place in standings: 28
Record max: 18
Record min: 3
Most made 3FGs: Zach LaVine