Philadelphia 76ers Dario Saric couldn’t get away from the football related questions, but he still managed to talk his way through it.
“I was guessing all the scores for the weekend games but I kind of expected it, Saric joked after he gave his weekend Premier League predictions to an English broadcaster on Wednesday during media availability, predictions that included an emphatic 4-2 win for Manchester City against Liverpool.
Other questions to the Croatian, which varied from if he had been sightseeing to being asked how many languages he spoke were also laid out with Saric jokingly saying afterwards, “I forgot I was here for a game”.
Saric’s brief time with the media during a late-running session where coach Brett Brown wanted to focus on getting his guys loose was hardly about basketball but the 23-year-old finally got around to answering questions about the season and his own ‘process’ that has seen him better the majority of his averages from last season, as, in the blink of an eye, the NBA campaign heads to the half-way point on Thursday.
The rapid improvement and resurging level of confidence has been unmistakable and the transition for Saric has come from reuniting with players that he competed with in the EuroLeague, when he was with Anadolu Efes.
“It’s important for every player to have someone you know from international and Europe, it doesn’t matter who had the same experience,” Saric said.
“Last year I had Sergio (Rodriguez), I had Ersan (Ilyasova) in the middle and that was a really big experience for me and it makes it a lot easier.”
And up until last summer, Saric had been keeping tabs on his former colleagues over in Istanbul. Maybe it’s a good thing he has been occupied with his responsibilities so far with the Sixers as Anadolu Efes are in unfamiliar territory this season, struggling with a 4-12 record and rock bottom of the standings as they prepare to host Crvena Zvezda on Friday.
“I followed them more last year than this year and I know that they are struggling this year,” Saric revealed. “They signed some players, they cut some players they cur the Croatian coach but it’s hard to talk as I don’t know the situation.
“When I was there we had a good team, a very, very good coach, when we were on the court we were very calm, we didn’t lack chemistry but we didn’t do anything special in the two years. But what’s happening with Efes right now is hard to talk about as I don’t know the situation but I hope they will improve their game and maybe they will start to play better.”
One thing is for sure, Saric’s tenure in the NBA is proving to be a successful one. He is averaging 13.6 points a game, shooting 37.2 percent from three-point land, both vast improvements from last season.
All that needs improving now is his English Premiership football knowledge.