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Thread: Interview with another Bird's favorite European

  1. #1

    Default Interview with another Bird's favorite European

    http://www.hoopshype.com/interviews/tomas_sierra.htm

    Marko Tomas: "The NBA is not my first option"
    by Jorge Sierra / January 21, 2006 - Photo: Emilio Cobos
    You played with the Croatian National Team last summer in the European Championship. Tell me a little bit about your experience there.
    Marko Tomas: It was good. I didn't play a lot of minutes the first few games, but I had a chance to play a lot in the quarter finals. And, you know, we had very bad luck there. Very bad luck (laughs). It was a big loss for us, but it was also a very good experience for me.
    That must have been sad for you because of the way it ended. You played well and then you had that strange game vs. Spain in the quarter finals... Do you still think the referees played a big role in your defeat?
    MT: Yes, yes, of course. But I watched the game again when I returned home, and had I scored one the free throws, there was nothing the referees could have done. Now you can't say anything about it. Just forget it and move on.
    Did you lose sleep over that game?
    MT: Yes, of course. Nobody could sleep after that game.
    How are you adjusting to life in Spain?
    MT: At the beginning, it was very difficult because this is my first time out of home. I was coming to a big team being still very young... Besides, I didn't speak Spanish. But coach Maljkovic has helped me. He has spent a lot of time with me and now I feel good and I hope I will play well.
    Is this what you were expecting or were you expecting to play a bigger role on the offensive end?
    MT: When I came here, the thing that I cared is to see if I played. That was the most important thing for me. Once I realized I was going to play, I was happy. Now I prefer to play more defense.
    Does it feel strange not having your brother Ivan on your team for the first time in many years?
    MT: It was strange. When we played together in Zagreb, he was the point guard there and he was always looking to find me. Here is a very different situation, but I have to get used to it. It doesn't matter.
    You had the chance to join another Spanish team, Tau Ceramica, last year. Why Real Madrid and not Tau?
    MT: They made an offer for me, but the officials in my club in Zagreb turned it down. I would have liked to play for Tau Ceramica because it's a great team too, but I'm more happy with Real Madrid now.
    You signed a five-year contract with Real Madrid last summer. Why such a long contract?
    MT: I don't know. For now, you know, the NBA is not my first option. Real Madrid is the biggest club in Europe, the biggest institution. And I'm happy with the five-year contract.
    So you will forget about the NBA for the next five years. No chance you go there.
    MT: Not yet. For now, not yet. But you never know. Maybe for two years. But I have to get experience here in Europe and, if I'm good enough, I would like to go to the NBA then.
    You declared for the draft the last two years. Were you serious about staying in the draft?
    MT: The last year was different. Last year, I pulled out of the draft, but it was because of a complicated situation. There was this big buyout in my club and, you know, because of that some teams wouldn't select me. They can only pay $350,000 for the buyout. In my club, they told me, "If you go to the NBA, the buyout is double the money compared to the buyout if you go to Madrid." I strongly consider staying, but anyway it's no big deal.
    Larry Bird was disappointed that you pulled out. Did you know that?
    MT: Yeah, I know that. But I can do nothing now (laughs).
    Any time a young Croatian player excels, they say he's the next Drazen Petrovic on the next Toni Kukoc. Do you have anything in common with any of those?
    MT: That's a big problem. To me, that's bull**** because no one can compare to Drazen Petrovic. Nobody can be like him, so that's it.
    Would you compare yourself with any NBA player in particular because of the way you play?
    MT: I don't know because I don't watch NBA games now. For me, Scottie Pippen was my idol. Michael Jordan was everybody's idol. But for me, Pippen was an idol. Right now, I can't compare with any NBA player really.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Interview with another Bird's favorite European

    Someone on this forum said that Pacers should forget about contending in the near future and start building for a run in 3-5 years. I don't really agree with that, but those who do might want to keep an eye on Tomas. Afterall, he will be available in 3-5 years and is favored by Larry Bird.

  3. #3
    LakerFan
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    Default Re: Interview with another Bird's favorite European

    I'm a Croatian and all I can tell you is that Tomas is not good.
    I know Bird has come to Croatia to watch him a few times but I really don't understand why.
    The guy just isn't that good.

    I really don't see what's the big hype about him.

  4. #4
    Member NPFII's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interview with another Bird's favorite European

    If Bird's interested in a Croatian, he's probably looking at Nikola Vujcic.
    Just 27 years old, the best Center in Europe at 2.15m. Can score in the post, shoot from the outside, has an exceptional passing game, and is finishing his contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv.

    For some unknown reason he's not signed an extension yet, with rumors saying he's on his way to the NBA.

    This is no "young prospect". This is a real Center in his prime who can instantaneously help a team.

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    All is full of Orange! Mourning's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interview with another Bird's favorite European

    Sort of like Oberto on the Spurs? I like what he does when I see games them.

    Sure, different skill set, but I mean the impact he makes on a team, some call it NBA-ready.

    Regards,

    Mourning
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  6. #6
    LakerFan
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    Default Re: Interview with another Bird's favorite European

    Don't get me wrong, I like Vujcic but I'm not sure his game would translate well to the NBA. He's terrific basketball player with unseen passing ability from a big man but he might be a bit unathletic for the NBA..

  7. #7
    LakerFan
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    Default Re: Interview with another Bird's favorite European

    Quote Originally Posted by Mourning
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    Sort of like Oberto on the Spurs? I like what he does when I see games them.

    Sure, different skill set, but I mean the impact he makes on a team, some call it NBA-ready.

    Regards,

    Mourning
    They're different players.

    Oberto is a god low post scorer. Vujcic is more of a high post player, has a deadly 15-20 foot jumper. Can hit the three.
    Think of Vujcic as a Chris Webber type but that's only from the fundamentals standpoint. Vujcic's a terrific passer with a great mid range shot.
    I'm not sure his range extends to the NBA's 3pt line but in Europe, he's deadly from the 3.
    Although not very athletic, Vujcic is by no means a soft player.

  8. #8
    Rytas_Jega
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    Default Re: Interview with another Bird's favorite European

    What I can say about Vujcic there are not many his talent centers in NBA.

    Oberto was solid respected hardworker in Europe, no superstar.

  9. #9
    Rytas_Jega
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    Default Re: Interview with another Bird's favorite European

    About Thomas. I haven't seen much of him playing (4 games in the last Eurochamp, 2 Euroleague games this season). He's just 21. He looks solid at Euroleague level for his age. Stats also look good: 23mpg 6.6ppg 3pt:46% 2.4rpg 1.7apg 1.1spg.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Interview with another Bird's favorite European

    Nikola Vujcic , has been considered by Larry Bird, Larry talked to his agent when he was watching Jasikevicius with Maccabi last spring. Vujcic , wants something in the neighborhood of 3 years 5 mil.

    He is a very good passer , has range on his shot but lacks speed and upper body strength. But Nikola can score and would be a good backup center.

  11. #11
    Member NPFII's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interview with another Bird's favorite European

    Quote Originally Posted by diamonddave00
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    Nikola Vujcic , has been considered by Larry Bird, Larry talked to his agent when he was watching Jasikevicius with Maccabi last spring. Vujcic , wants something in the neighborhood of 3 years 5 mil.

    He is a very good passer , has range on his shot but lacks speed and upper body strength. But Nikola can score and would be a good backup center.
    That's really interesting.

    From what I understand, that's about the same salary as he's getting from Maccabi. I can only guess that Maccabi's offer will improve as the season nears its end and Maccabi win their 3rd straight Euroleague title.

    IMO, Vujcic is not slower than Krstic, for example, or even Jeff Foster. He doesn't have a "hop", that's true, and he's no shotblocking presence. But he has the range on his shot, and the passing skills. He's an extremely smart player. Reminds me of Vlade Divac all the time...

    BTW, do you know if such "considerations" involved Anthony Parker as well?

  12. #12

    Default Re: Interview with another Bird's favorite European

    Are you serious about Maccabi repeating once more?

    Well, it would be interesting. Hmmm, probably I will even support them in the playoffs.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Interview with another Bird's favorite European

    Quote Originally Posted by SwissExpress
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    Are you serious about Maccabi repeating once more?

    Well, it would be interesting. Hmmm, probably I will even support them in the playoffs.
    Yes, I am.

    I don't see anyone who has a better team, coach, management, experience, time together, etc.

    Will Solomon has stepped up his game and he's starting to fill his role in Saras' place.
    Parker, Burstein, Baston & Vujcic are the same. Sharp & Green off the bench, along with the improving Sasson, and the experienced Arnold - it's a championship team.

    They took some time to gel, but now it's starting to look better and feel better. I just don't see who can stop them...

  14. #14

    Default Re: Interview with another Bird's favorite European

    Well, I hope you are right. I like nice stories Triple repeat would be one of those.

    Besides, European basketball needs some law and order these days... It's a mess both on the club and national teams level. Ulker and Unicaja can beat Madrid Real and Eglish national team thinks of bringing Olowokandi, Luol Deng and Ben Gordon to international championships... Europe is changing, and a bit of stability wouldn't hurt...

  15. #15
    Member skyfire's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interview with another Bird's favorite European

    If he was a capable post defender and a decent rebounder, I think Vujcic's skill set would fit pretty well alongside of JO.

  16. #16
    Rytas_Jega
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    Default Re: Interview with another Bird's favorite European

    Quote Originally Posted by NPFII
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    That's really interesting.

    From what I understand, that's about the same salary as he's getting from Maccabi.
    For me that's really interesting, too.

    American taxes are cruel. What is the situation with Israeli taxes?

    Btw, Hornets rookie Macijauskas gets 2.5 million per season...

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    Default Re: Interview with another Bird's favorite European

    Quote Originally Posted by skyfire
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    If he was a capable post defender and a decent rebounder, I think Vujcic's skill set would fit pretty well alongside of JO.
    I'd say that his post defending capabilities, in NBA standards is average. He's a decent rebounder, though not the tough-banger-feisty type. The best part of his rebounding is his outlet passing. He may not get many rebounds, but when he does they have a good chance of turning into fastbreaks.

    I'd say that IF he were playing Center on the current Pacers team he could've put up 15-20 mpg, and scored some 6-8 ppg, with 4-5 apg & 4-5 rpg. (In Europe he's averaging 30 mpg, 15 ppg, 6 apg, 7 rpg making him one of the leading candidates for Euroleague MVP).
    Of course, if you play him with Saras & have a moving offense - the numbers go up...

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Interview with another Bird's favorite European

    Quote Originally Posted by LakerFan
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    I'm a Croatian and all I can tell you is that Tomas is not good.
    I know Bird has come to Croatia to watch him a few times but I really don't understand why.
    The guy just isn't that good.

    I really don't see what's the big hype about him.
    Ja isto! Sta ima?

    Yes but i agree with you, ive seen him play aswell and he aint that good! Maybe Larry saw something in him and thought maybe he could develope his talents better.. god knows.

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