Dario Šarić Opens Up About Fears in NBA, Failures of Croatia National Team

Daniela Rogulj

April 16, 2019 – In an exclusive interview for Dnevnik Nova TV on Monday, Croatian basketballer Dario Šarić spoke about the NBA season behind him and the collapse of the Croatia national team. 

Dario Šarić returned to Croatia after completing his third season in the NBA. In an interview with Dnevnik Nova TV, Šarić touched on many topics, from his season to the significant accomplishments of Bojan Bogdanović and Luka Dončić.

Šarić’s NBA season ended a month earlier than last year. Recall, last season with Philadelphia, Šarić played two rounds in the playoffs, though this season the Minnesota Timberwolves were never really close. Although his move to the Timberwolves didn’t start as well as planned, the 25-year-old Šibenik native does not want to despair.

“I can’t say I’m disappointed, I can’t say I’m too happy. It is certain that these first two seasons were better for me, but that’s part of the sport. Sometimes you play a worse season; sometimes you have worse games, bad times. But most importantly, I’m looking forward to the next season, and I hope it will be better.”

In mid-November, Šarić felt one of the greatest fears of the NBA league – an unwanted trade.

“I was surprised, but that’s part of the sport. Especially in the NBA, it’s a business decision, so I would not look at it as something personal, but as a new experience, a new team and I try to play as well as I can.“

A good example may be Bojan Bogdanović, who is playing the best basketball of his career in the jersey of his third NBA team.

“He is a great player, a great person, and the captain of the Croatia national team. He opened up after Oladipo’s injury, and more creations opened for him. Not only did he use it properly, but he also showed that he could play a much bigger role than he played before.”

At the end of the season, Marijo Hezonja’s playing time increased. 

“Especially in the last few matches, Hezonja has shown his talent for New York, which is not at all questionable, and I hope he will continue playing these games because he is a very talented player who can do much more.”

And how much can Luka Dončić do? The basketball world is delighted by the debut season of the Slovenian wonder kid, and Dario is on a similar track.

“I had a chance to play him in a friendly game in Opatija before I went to the NBA, and he really showed that he understood the game for his age. He correctly understood when it was time for a pass and when it was time for a shot. He is a fantastic player. He has had a great season, a rookie season and I hope he will not have an injury and only continues to grow.”

As far as the NBA playoffs are concerned, Šarić has no doubts about the new champion. 

“I have played with everyone; it’ll be Golden State again. It’s hard to figure out why it’s like that. We’re professionals; we think that we are all good at basketball, then we come up against their players and see that we’re actually small babies. I expect them to be the champions again.”

Croatia failed to qualify for the World Cup in China this year.

“Everyone is to blame. Everyone goes home hurting when there is a bad result. And I somehow live with the hope that it will happen, especially with this generation that is still there, that some sort of result will happen. I hope the Federation will choose, I do not know whether it is a coach or not, but choose the best option for the team and that is it,” concluded Šarić.

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