After the Warriors beat the Pistons I got a chance to talk with Nemanja Nedovic, the team’s rookie guard from Serbia. He had just come off his career-high scoring night: four points in six minutes. It’s still early for the 30th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, but the player who Mark Jackson said looked “scared” in his first game is starting to appear more relaxed on the court. Nedovic might get a nice bump in minutes over the next couple weeks or longer, as Toney Douglas suffered a stress reaction in his left tibia.
Nedovic and I talked for about three minutes, touching on serious subjects — like how the NBA and his head coach are both different from what he experienced playing basketball back home. Then we concluded with some boy band backpack banter.
Nedovic: It’s very different than in Europe. I needed some time to adapt, first of all, to the time zone, to my teammates, to the style of basketball. But every day I’m getting more comfortable on the court, especially in practice. My teammates help me a lot; I’m thankful for that. I’m just working hard, working every day with my assistant coaches and trying to use every minute the coach gives me. I think it’s getting better and better every day.
Q: With Toney Douglas out for a while, some minutes have opened up in the backcourt. How do you feel about your point guard skills at this point?
Nedovic: I’ve played point guard my whole career, so I’m pretty confident. With Toney out, we’ve got to be ready. Especially me, Kent and the younger guys. So whenever we get on the court we have to give 100% and use those chances.
Q: What do you think of Mark Jackson as a head coach?
Nedovic: He’s a great guy, first of all. He’s taking care of us (off) the court and on the court, so it’s very nice working with him. I’ve never met a coach like that, because coaches in Serbia and where I played had a relationship that was more player-coach. I think we all and (Jackson) have a relationship like friends, so it’s very nice working for him.
Q: You went up tonight (against Detroit) and it looked like you wanted to get your first real hard dunk. Is that something you’re looking forward to? We’ve seen on YouTube, you can throw it down.
Nedovic: Sure. I’m pretty athletic, so when I get the chance I will dunk the ball. It’s not what I’m thinking of when I get on the court, but I would like to get the chance.
Q: One last question … you’ve got the One Direction backpack there (in his locker).
Nedovic: Oh yeah. It’s terrible.
Q: Do you have to bring that thing with you all year long?
Nedovic: Yeah, yeah. On road trips, to the games. If not, I’m going to be fined by the veterans.
Q: Who’s the one who fines, is it Bogut?
Nedovic: Yeah, Bogut.