By Antonis Stroggylakis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Not a personal decision by Milos Teodosic. Not the L.A. Clippers insisting on their new player laying low and recovering ahead of the new season.
In a recent interview with Serbian magazine Nin, Sasa Djordjevic revealed that he was the one who took the initiative and told Milos Teodosic to not participate in the 2017 EuroBasket.
“The decision was mine! I’m saying this for the first time in public. I don’t want to hide behind him [Milos Teodosic] and he was not ready enough. We have to take care of the health of the players. We will need them. I told him to skip this competition and I’ll take responsibility for myself. He agreed and was grateful. We understand each other,” Djordjevic said per MozzartSport.
Despite a massive – perhaps unprecedented in the history of the tournament – plague of absences (take a deep breath: Nikola Jokic, Nemanja Bjelica Nikola Kalinic, Stefan Markovic, Nemanja Nedovic, Marko Simonovic, Nikola Milutinov, Miroslav Raduljica apart from Milos Teodosic) the “Orlovi” managed to advance to the Final. They lost to Goran Dragic’s Slovenia in the gold medal game but that silver is an impressive achievement, especially given the above circumstances.
For coach Djordjevic, one more key player or a precious day off could’ve made a difference large enough to impact the outcome of the title game.
“We missed several things for the title. First of all, an extra day of rest that the Slovenians had. Many will not understand this but the players’ recovery is crucial in this tournament. And that one day means a lot. Secondly, if we had at least Stefan Markovic or Nikola Kalinic, I believe that it would’ve been another story.”