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Old 04-24-2009, 02:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Roko Ukic end season interview

source "Ako su ´trejdali´ Dra?ena, Tonija ili Shaqua, za?to ne bi i mene!" - Sport - Index.hr

When u draw a line, how much are u satisfied with your first season in the NBA?

I think i can be satisfied couse i didnt knew what to expect. There was good and bad moments as well as some good and bad games i played. I spend some time on the bench also. When the line is drawn i am satisfied for playing 73 games while averageing 13 minutes per game.

U averaged 13 minutes and scored a little more then 4 ppg, as a known analist, what those numbers represent to you?

The numbers arent key factors, but they certenly show u way of things. If we are gonna concentrate on them, then some factors dont go into my behalf. I played alot of times only 1 minute, and that goes into statistic too.U dont have alot to doo in that time. But i think that impresion is more relevant, to catch a status and get continuosy. Now they know what i can do, but so do i, so i can work on some thingsfor the next season to be able to get a status of a solid NBA player.

Is that what u expected as a kid when u dreamed of going to America?

Basicly it is. there werent any positive or negative suprises. I talked to alot of former NBA players, and i was watching it alot as a kid.

In which segments did u improved the most?

I got tougher. When the first contact comes i simply pass. I did not get any extra pounds or phisics, but i play more agresive. That is my only way out. There is no room for soft play, u have to play with alot of selfconfidence and agressivnes. I live there by those driveing, it is my bread. I have advanced in shooting also, but when u play little like i do, then u focus on things u do better. My shooting stats are bad now, but when i get continousy i recon that will improve too.

Are there things u could and should have done better?

I could have done better in many ways, there is always a space for progress. But i should be patient considering they way i came into the league. I didnt have the clasic way, did 2 years in Spain searching for myself and then after a solid year in Italy, went there. Things werent like i imagined.... Now i need to continue working, have a clean head and when oportunity arives react good.

U played in Europe , now u are in the NBA, what are the basic differences?

Differences are pretty big , in rules in the first place... those defencive 3 seconds change the game alot. And 3 of course , meter is in fact pretty big. Alot of work is needed to get continousy in shooting couse there is big difference in shooting from 7.25 and from 6.25. Positive is thet the season is shorter. It doesnt matter if the games are more dense, u have more time to regenerate for the national team aswell as next season.On the other hand fans are not as pasionate as in Europe. There is no atmosphere that can drive u to play better. All in all, for my taste positive.

Toronto had a bad season, more loses then wins... What are the reactions when the losses start comeing?

There is no drama around lose. Preasure is alot smaller then in Europe. GM has all the authority to get the best posible team. If it is a unsuccesfull season, u start to look towards next one, no pressure, no punishment. Players are treated better, and the pressure is more on the coach and managers. If there are no "earthquakes" players who started usually finish the season too.

You still have 2 years of contract with the Raptors, of course it is posible for u to be traded to the next club?

I would like to stay but u can not influence that. If i were to think about it i would go crazy. It is enough to think of all the players who were traded, From Drazen, Toni, Shaq, so it is posible taht will hapen to me also. My plans are tied to Toronto, and nothing gave me a glimpse i could go somewhere else. They stated they were satisfied with my game, but it doesnt mean anything. I wouldn`t wanna go just like that, just to close the financial part of the contract, i would like to go in a team that wants me.

We assume u watch playoffs, what are your favorites for the title?

It would be a big suprise if Cavs-Lakers finale wouldnt occur. Cavs are gonna walk there couse both Boston and Orlando have injury issues. West has a different story, but i dont see a team that can put Lakers in danger. It is hard to say who is gonny win, both are extra teams, with 2 extra individuals and the tiny things will decide.

On the end of the summer u are expected in national team, and thenin the Euro`s. What are your expectations?

National team was allways important to me, and now i have an extra motiv couse i have to be objective and say i didnt play spectacular so far, i ve always been better in season then in national team. there is 10 more years for me there and i have the time to show it. With the return of Vujcic and others who had a good season we have the right to hope. Final goal is to break the curse of quarterfinals which lasts for i dont know how long.

Do u watch croatian championship? Split lost to cibona on home court.

I was on the game and it wasnt spectacular, they have problems and i hope that privatisation is gonna help them to get bigger names and better team....

You write columnes for a basketball portal, how did u decide for that?

I dont mind as i like to write, alos for the popularity of the baskeball sport i decided to write those 10 columns. Critiques were positive, so it turned out good. It is convinient for me while season lasts as i have more time, and maybe i also continue it next season.

Apologies for the spelling
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