Mario Hezonja: “It’s amazing to represent the NBA in Europe and the entire world”

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16: The New York Knicks poses for a team portrait as part of the 2019 NBA London Global Game at Citysport on January 16, 2019 in London, England. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Randy Belice/NBAE via Getty Images)

Ahead of the NBA London Game 2019 against the New York Knicks at The O2 on January 17th Mario Hezonja spoke about the importance of the NBA coming to London saying, “it’s amazing to represent the NBA in Europe and the entire world.”

Q: Are you surprised that Europeans can come in and do it like that?

MH: I’m not, some of them need a little bit of time. Just adaptation to the speed and strength of the game but some of them they don’t.

Q: That was actually what they were talking about with Luka, he didn’t have the speed he might have been too slow but he’s proving everybody wrong.

MH: He doesn’t need it, when he has his head. He doesn’t need it, basketball you play with the brain and nothing else.

Q: The game in London is going out to 215 countries, growing up did you ever think about being this popular?

MH: I wasn’t thinking about that. I just wanted to play basketball, that’s it. All this stuff just comes with it. It’s amazing how the game’s growing, now the entire world is seeing. I was 16 when I was in London for the first time, I was like wow. NBA players, for some kids, it’s a dream to see the NBA players and the NBA here live so I think now with all these cameras and everything that’s going on, it’s amazing to represent the NBA in Europe and the entire world.

Q: Do you feel playing in Europe is the closest you’ll get to a home game in Croatia?

MH: We might have a game in Croatia soon, you never know.

Q: Have you got many family coming over for the game?

MH: Yeah definitely.

Q: You’re close to Enes, do you feel badly that he wasn’t able to come?

MH: I’m just extremely sad that he’s not with us. As you all know, he’s an amazing guy to have around so I’m just sad that he’s not with us and he’s not going to be on the court with us.

Q: Did you try to convince him at all?

MH: No, that’s not in my hands.