Former EuroLeague-winning head coach Dusan Ivkovic has hailed Fenerbahce coach Zeljko Obradovic as the best head coach in Europe by far.
Ivkovic, whose coaching career spanned five decades before he announced his retirement in July 2016 was full of praise for the nine-time EuroLeague champion, who has been at the helm of the Turkish side since 2013 and has taken them from perennial Turkish contender to European juggernaut.
“He’s is by far the best coach in Europe,” 74-year-old Ivkovic said on Greek TV show “Pick N’ Roll”, which was broadcast on Cosmote TV.
“Ι believe that no one else is close to his coaching level. I respect all coaches and I ask them to excuse me but I believe no one is close to Zoc. He is born for that.
“As for Fenerbahce, it’s extremely hard to cover Ekpe Udoh and Bogdan Bogdanovic. The first one was amazing on defence and the other is a big offensive player of the top level. But I’m sure Zeljko will find a way to prepare them (Fenerbahce) and they will be ready to go in spring for the big games.”
Since becoming head coach of Partizan in 1991, the 57-year-old Obradovic has been collecting honours by the truckload. As well as the nine EuroLeague titles, he also has won a total of 18 Greek titles, which includes 11 Greek A1 League crowns, three Turkish league championships and he is one of the 50 Greatest EuroLeague Contributors.
Ivkovic and Obradovic’s rivalry has always been well documented but they are also very close friends and are regularly seen at the summer’s international tournaments sat together. Both coaches have won Eurobasket gold medals.
Ivkovic, like Obradovic, has racked up an impressive haul of trophies during his illustrious career. He has won the EuroLeague twice, is a three-time Russian league champion and is also one of the 50 Greatest EuroLeague Contributors.
Last year, Ivkovic was awarded the EuroLeague Basketball Legend award in Piraeus.