Nemanja Nedovic is tired. He got in Monday night after a 12 hour flight from Serbia, and was awakened at 5 a.m. by the excitement of finally joining training camp.
Nemanja Nedovic is amazed. It’s been such a long journey to the NBA, literally and figuratively. And it’s still a bit surreal to him to be on the team with the likes of Stephen Curry and David Lee.
But what Nedovic is not is shy. Dubbed the European Derrick Rose, and sporting Rose’s latest edition of adidas, Nedovic was asked if he’d planned to dunk on anyone.
“That’s what I do,” he said, holding off his smile as long as he could. “I’m going to try for sure. But I cannot tell you if I’m going to succeed.”
Nedovic is joking, but he’s not. The 6-foot-3, 192-pound guard out of Serbia is known for his athleticism. He said his game is getting in the paint and playing above the rim. He has every plan of making an impression on the NBA. And, in what is a testament to the growth of the NBA game internationally, he’s going to do it with some swag.
With that being said, Nedovic is under no illusions. He knows he is in “the best league in the world” and his success will depend on his progress.
“I want to earn my minutes,” Nedovic, 22, said. “I didn’t come here to sit on the bench, but I want to earn my minutes.”
Coach Mark Jackson acknowledged that minutes will be scarce. But the Warriors see something in Nedovic, which is why they drafted him. He will get time to develop without the pressure of having to produce right now. He could also see time in the NBA Development League.
Nedovic could play both guard positions because of his size, but Jackson identified him as a point guard. He said he needs to improve on his outside shot. Jackson said he’ll need to learn to defend at this left and improve his grasp on the pick-and-roll scheme.
“He’s a very good athlete with deceptive speed,” Jackson said. “We’re not asking him to come in and be lights out from Day 1. We’re a very good basketball team, and we’re going to be very patient with him. … Every day, he’s going against big-time talent. Every day, he’s watching Steph Curry. Every day, he’s watching Klay Thompson or Harrison Barnes or Andre Iguodala. Or he’s going against Kent Bazemore. He’s not going to find that anywhere else in the world. This is great for him, and it’s going to make him better.”