Aleksandar Đorđević: “The fun is only on the court”

Dragana Stjepanović/Partizan/EuroCup

The head coach of Virtus Bologna, Aleksandar Đorđević, after his team’s defeat in Belgrade, said the fun is only on the court.

Partizan NIS, in the first round of the Top 16 in the EuroCup, in an excellent atmosphere, celebrated against the Italian club with a score of 99:81.

Aleksandar Đorđević started his press conference by congratulating Partizan on an excellent game.

“First of all, congratulations to the winning team, I believe that Partizan was much better tonight. This was due to different reasons, objective and subjective. Yesterday, I made a question to my players. I was asking ‘who from you guys have ever come to Belgrade,’ and I just had three hands up. So this is a process of a team, of a club. We are trying to get to this level, and are trying to understand with these experiences what is needed to be played on this level of basketball to be competitive in the EuroCup. The words are not enough, or wishes, or commitments, or whatever. You have to play basketball, and definitely Partizan today was a better basketball team. Not in all 40 minutes, but in the second quarter, the key part of the game, where they hit 4 or 5 threes in a row and completely destroyed our confidence”, said Đorđević at the beginning of the press conference in Štark Arena.

One of the main teams for winning the EuroCup, according to fans and journalists, is Virtus Bologna, but their head coach thinks that Partizan is also the team that could win it.

“One of the teams that can win EuroCup is definitely Partizan. They play pretty well, they attacked the market like a storm, created a strong athletic squad. They have an excellent coach, management, they president Ostoja (Mijailović) is doing an amazing job. The sports director Lončar (Nikola), is proving himself in this field. With this crowd and this atmosphere. It is hard to play here. I told my players that I want to come back here. They have a task in front of them. We have to come back this year, in this competition, this year, on this court. And we can only do that in Finals,” explained Đorđević about his wishes.

Before the beginning of the game, when Đorđević entered the court, the crowd in packed Štark Arena welcomed him with a standing ovation. It was obvious that Virtus Bologna’s coach is still an enormous legend for all people in Partizan.

“I have barely managed to suppress my tears. I didn’t expect this, I am very grateful for the relationship that lasts, with fans, with the club, and all people that came to greet me. I was really surprised, thank you very much. We, from kids that started playing sports, became grownups because of the work ethic in Partizan, because of the principles we adopted here. I am still using those principles in sports and in life. I know that we, as players, received a lot from Partizan, and tonight I received much more that I gave”, said Đorđević, who is advising his players to play as many years as they can.

“I am telling my players to play as long as they can walk. After that nothing is important, all we others are spoilers of the big fun. And that big fun is only on the court. And today, I didn’t have fun at all.”

It is well-known that one of the main goals of Virtus Bologna is the participation in the EuroLeague, and this year the team from Italy has two ways to reach the goal, but Đorđević always thinks of the next step, and not about wishes.

“I can’t make plans for it. I can plan what is tomorrow’s practice, where is the next trip, what we will eat, how we will prepare, etc. That far I can’t go, because we lost ourselves in all those talks. There are a lot of aspects that lead one team to the winning team. There are even more aspects that create a championship team. One team, one club can win, but it can’t be a champion if it doesn’t have a leader. We brought our leaders this summer, and we created a plan and a program of all team with some famous names on the court. And that is the only thing that we can plan. Yes, it is our goal to reach the EuroLeague, both short-term and long-term goals. My opinion is that Virtus Bologna must put in front of itself, and we talk about it all the time, the task to be a constant member of the EuroLeague in the future. This is the only way to progress. For all of it, we need better infrastructure, the new arena, 18000 fantastic fans that exist here in Belgarde and in some other squads. These are our role-models, goals for which we are working every day. And what we wish, what we would love… curls, blond hair, but it doesn’t work like that,” finished Đorđević in his manner.