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From Serbia to Miami, Nikola Jovic acclimatizes to his new life

From Serbia to Miami, Nikola Jovic acclimatizes to his new life

Invited to the “Green Room” during the Draft, Nikola Jovic was finally selected at the end of the first round, by the Heat in 27th position. Still very young, only 19 years old, the Serb will continue his individual development within one of the most stable clubs in the NBA, whose reputation for in-house training is second to none.

An ideal context in the eyes of the young player from abroad, who must now acclimatize to a new environment from all points of view.

I was one of the youngest players in the Draft, I come from Europe, and I fully understand that I went down to 27th place admitted Jovic. ” I am very happy that Miami is my new club. I didn’t think I would land there at all, I didn’t think the club would choose me. They have an established and reputable culture, so I think I will progress quickly. In addition, they play the title, so it is the ideal context to judge my abilities. »

Exploding popularity

Relatively unknown to the American public before the Draft, Nikola Jovic immediately gained popularity upon his arrival in Florida. A sudden change in status that somewhat disconcerts the Serb.

I don’t really realize that I’m gone [de Serbie], it’s like my mind is still in Belgrade. I’m getting used to it, at my own pace, since everything has changed in my daily life. he explained, as if struck by this new status. ” Lots of people recognize me, in hotels, on the street. I walk around Miami and Las Vegas, and fans ask me for autographs and photos. I really became popular overnight. »

Among the reasons that contribute to the recent craze that surrounds him, there is also the resemblance of his surname to that of another Serbian player, double MVP in title.

In Serbia it is hard to imagine that he is so popular here [aux Etats-Unis] “Said Nikola Jovic about Nikola Jokic. ” Social networks are not very popular, so it’s impossible to understand the enthusiasm for him. But I get it now. All the players I have met talk to me about him, they tell me how sensational he is. I can’t wait to meet him and see him in action. »

No preferential treatment from the Heat

Despite his status as a rookie from abroad, Nikola Jovic will not be spared by his new leaders. Like any other player who arrives in the demanding Heat system, he will have to live up to expectations.

In half an hour they explained everything to me he added, referring to his discussion with Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra after the Draft. ” First of all, the most important thing is to work hard, to contribute. But the club is fighting to win a title, so it’s unlikely that I will have any impact on the team right now. But in the future, I can become one of the major players. »

In summary, both sides are on the same page, and that’s all that matters for the 19-year-old winger. ” It was important for me that they tell me that they believe in me for the future. It was very clear, I understood everything very quickly. […] I will train with them for sure. There will be a little NBA, a little G-League, both options are satisfactory. The most important thing for me is to play. he concluded.

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