Monday, July 28, 2014
Bojan Bogdanovic introduced
By Mike Mazzeo
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Making the transition from Europe to the NBA has proven to be a difficult adjustment for some players.
Bojan Bogdanovic fully understands that.
Still, the rookie forward feels like he can come in and contribute right away for the Brooklyn Nets in 2014-15.
“It’s not gonna be easy,” Bogdanovic told reporters Monday during his introductory news conference at the team’s practice facility. “I have to make some adjustments -- especially because there’s a lot of games, a lot more than in Europe. But I am ready, and I think I can help the team immediately.
The Nets think highly of Bogdanovic, 25, whom they acquired in a draft-day trade three years ago. They finally signed him to a three-year, $10 million contract last week.
The Nets hope Bogdanovic, who will wear jersey No. 44, can help fill the void created when Paul Pierce inked a free-agent deal with the Washington Wizards.
“I am glad and very proud to come over and play for Brooklyn,” he said.
Bogdanovic ate dinner with his coach, Lionel Hollins, on Saturday. Hollins talked to him about what his expectations were. The two didn’t talk much about what his role would be. “I will fight for my minutes, but like I told him, I think I can help immediately,” Bogdanovic said.
Bogdanovic had lunch with Nets GM Billy King on Friday, while also receiving a tour of Barclays Center. “I was so impressed because it’s one of the best gyms in the world, and I was very excited,” Bogdanovic said.
Bogdanovic had been playing with Fenerbahce Ulker in the Turkish League. In 24 Euroleague games last season, he averaged 14.8 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 30.6 minutes. He is best known for his ability to stretch the floor with his long-range marksmanship.
Bogdanovic obviously admitted that he’s a shooter, but also pointed out that he feels like he’s improved in the physical part of his game, as well as his ability to play in the pick-and-roll.
Bogdanovic considered re-signing with Fenerbahce before ultimately joining the Nets. “I spent three years there, so I was planning to stay, but then Brooklyn called and now I’m finally here,” he said.
Bogdanovic looks forward to playing with the likes of Deron Williams, Kevin Garnett and the rest of his Nets teammates. Bogdanovic and Mirza Teletovic are both from Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bogdanovic knows Williams because the point guard played in Turkey during the most recent NBA lockout. Bogdanovic has been following the team for as long as they’ve held his rights.
“I can’t wait to meet them and I can’t wait to start playing for the Nets,” he said.