Sasa Obradovic talked about the hardships he had to face during Monaco's EuroLeague season and compared the older with the new generation of players. He also commented on the imminent rise of some teams that had a bad year and on the reasons he didn't win the COTY award in the French league.

Credit: AS Monaco/Direction de la Communication
Credit AS Monaco/Direction de la Communication

Following AS Monaco's historic EuroLeague run that brought the team from the Principality to its first-ever Final Four, coach Sasa Obradovic was hosted on the television show "Nova S" to talk about his squad's success, the LNB Pro A Coach Of The Year award that eluded him, the expectations, and the different thinking of the young players.

3-pointers this season

Points made: 6,6
Accuracy: 30,4%
Place in standings: 18
Record max: 12
Record min: 3
Most made 3FGs: Jordan Loyd

"Regarding the whole season, I can say that I am experiencing perhaps the most beautiful part of my career,' the Serbian tactician confided.

"It is not only about the result but also about the atmosphere, the euphoria that has never before been seen around basketball in Monaco.

Perhaps the right sentence that describes it came from Prince Albert, who said: 'If someone told me that Monaco would be third in Europe, I would start laughing'. We shouldn't be falsely modest," Obradovic said at the beginning of the conversation and added:

"The team does not have an army of fans. We have been playing in the EuroLeague for two years and many teams with greater history than ours are waiting for the moment to be among the top four." 

So far, Obradovic has had a very successful tenure in Monaco, while his contract runs through 2025. He's slated to stay with the team at least for one more season, but he's also aware that it won't be easy to repeat such results in an ever-stronger competition.

"Teams like us, like Zalgiris, like Partizan have raised the standards, but now there will be even bigger investments and fewer choices. Big teams like Efes, Milan, and Panathinaikos will invest big money," he argued.

The experienced coach also talked about the factors that influenced Monaco's historic season, like the spirit of cooperation. Sometimes, having players with big egos can be harmful to a team's inner balance. But Obradovic thinks he's done a good job, managing his star players' different needs and wishes. 

"I grew up in different times, with an older generation," he admitted. "Now, everything has changed. The new generation of players are egomaniacs, all of them!" he pointed out.

"On the one hand, you don't want to have such players. Normally, there should be a limit to that. But they make a difference - and that doesn't happen by chance," Obradovic continued. "All great athletes, including footballers, are like that. I made good decisions in relation to all those problems, and I think that helped us," he further claimed.

Laurent Vila, author of Cholet Basket's exceptional run in the French league and the FIBA ‚Äč‚ÄčEurope Cup, was crowned best coach of the 2022-2023 season in the LNB. Vincent Collet (Metropolitans 92) and Sasa Obradovic were also in contention but eventually lost out to the French-Catalan play-caller. 

The decision caused some uproar in the media, with Obradovic's former teammate Igor Rakocevic being one of those who vehemently opposed the result. 

The 54-year-old coach of Monaco thinks the explanation lies in a conversation he had with his former coach Vladislav Lucic.

Credit AS Monaco Direction de la Communication / Stephane Danna

"He told me, 'Boza Maljkovic said they did the same to him.' I then understood the fact that maybe the French coach should win. Being the best coach is not everything in my life, even though I have already been to three different countries.

The championship title itself would mean more to me, that would be a greater satisfaction. That's how work and coaching quality are valued," Obradovic concluded.

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