The Destruction of Bosnian International Basketball was swift and complete! The downfall of Bosnian basketball from what had been built up for years was faster than a lightning strike. The team, last fall was coming off a successful run by the U18 team, the senior team showed promise and the U16 created history by giving the country their first gold basketball medal. Fast forward to spring 2016 and Harun Mahmutovic resigns from basketball along with his close allies Igor Stojanovic and... [read more]
The Destruction of Bosnian International Basketball was swift and complete!
The downfall of Bosnian basketball from what had been built up for years was faster than a lightning strike. The team, last fall was coming off a successful run by the U18 team, the senior team showed promise and the U16 created history by giving the country their first gold basketball medal.
Fast forward to spring 2016 and Harun Mahmutovic resigns from basketball along with his close allies Igor Stojanovic and Dino Konakovic. The resignations were spearheaded by the threats and coercion of young precocious talent of Jusuf Nurkic and criticism from him and his agent. Harun had worked tirelessly building the youth squads of Bosnia, building the domestic leagues and constructing the base of talents that built the U16, U18, U20 and senior teams.
They were replaced by officials mostly consisting of people close to Igokea club in Aleksandar Fulurija and Dubravko Barbaric. One of Fulurija's first moves allegedly was to steer young Bosnian talent Dalibor Illic from Bosnia to Serbia once his immense talent became apparent to the Serbian Basketball Federation.
The destruction of what was built was swift and complete. The officials dragged their feet in naming coaches and organizing games and competitions. The coaching choices of all three selections senior, U20 and U16 were exceedingly questionable. The only thing that saved the U18 team was the cancellation of the games due to the coup attempt in Turkey where the games were to be played.
The U20 team was first up, Dino Muminovic who was massively outclassed as coach in their games. He had no answer tactically for what other teams imposed on the team. The team featured two likely NBA draft picks and at least 3 other high level European elite players. The team left off Enis Memic who didn't like what he had seen from the coaching staff or how he was used. They also failed to utilize Sandro Gacic and Nedim Djedovic two players that the team could have desperately have used. The results were disastrous and they will remain in division B for the foreseeable future.
Next up was the U17 which was lucky enough to be coached by Josip Pandza and led by Dzanan Musa once again. Considering the fact that Njegos Sikiras was missing due to injury the results were positive and promising.
Next up was the U16 team debacle. Another poor choice of coach in Dragan Micic who no one considers one of the elite of Bosnian coaches in the country. Again tactics and roster composition was poor and the team was miserable going from gold the previous year to relegated to division B the next, a stunning free fall for a team that with Dalibor Illic, Nikola Dakovic would have been much more competitive. Even without those two, with a good coach minimally should have remained in division A, even without the elite talents the team was missing from the previous season. The team has two of the elite young talents in Europe in Amar Mehic and Tarik Biberovic and failed to use either player properly. The team's strength was the center rotation and yet the team failed to adjust and utilize this strength to their full potential.
Up next was the debacle that was the Senior National Team qualifying campaign led by the disaster that was Damir Mulaomerovic. The ugly spectacle played out in front of fans eyes and in the stories that surrounded the team. From Renfroe betraying the team, to Teletovic's special treatment to the petulance of a young Nurkic and Musa the team clearly lacked leadership, vision and direction.
If it was just one team you could chalk it up to an extenuating circumstance that could be corrected. The complete collapse of the entire infrastructure built by the last regime in such a swift and decisive manner makes it clear that there is a serious lack of basketball understanding or care being put in by the leadership of KSBiH who have been completely silent during the monumental collapse of 2016. No one has spoken out about what has happened, no one has been accountable and claimed responsibility, it has been utter silence from the entire organization except when it comes to creating allegations about the previous administration. If an organization is responsible for the product it puts out, then KSBiH has been responsible for a continuous display for disintegration, rot and complete failure the likes of which even in Bosnia has not been seen for a very long time.
The hard work and dedication shown by the previous regime was obvious in the results and just as they can be proud of the work they did, the current administration needs to be held accountable for the complete dismantling of the Bosnian National Teams. The fans and the players deserve better than what they have been shown and given this summer. It was an absolute disgrace but sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before changes occur. The scary thing is, with the current administration it looks like the fall has just begun.
BiH Eurobasket Qualifying Recap! Two NBA players plus prospects aren't enough to save Bosnia from disaster! The team was in trouble before even stepping on the court against Russia. Alex Renfroe cancelled his participation at the last moment and still showed up in Tuzla to contest the conclusions that KSBiH had come to about his decision not to participate. It left the PG position exceedingly thin. Nihad Djedovic also hasn't returned to the National Team since Germany doesn't allow dual... [read more]
BiH Eurobasket Qualifying Recap! Two NBA players plus prospects aren't enough to save Bosnia from disaster!
The team was in trouble before even stepping on the court against Russia. Alex Renfroe cancelled his participation at the last moment and still showed up in Tuzla to contest the conclusions that KSBiH had come to about his decision not to participate. It left the PG position exceedingly thin. Nihad Djedovic also hasn't returned to the National Team since Germany doesn't allow dual citizenship and it appears he won't be back with the team anytime soon. Losing 2/5ths of your starting lineup in a country of 3.8million isn't a good start to an international campaign.
Mirza Teletovic and Jusuf Nurkic had a late reporting date because of the NBA season. Teletovic came in a week after he was supposed to report and according to the coach was 10lbs overweight, which may or may not be true considering Teletovic plays a more physical brand of basketball in the NBA than in international competition. When he did show up he wasn't impressed with the coaching style and tactics and warned of disaster if the coach didn't change his plans, which proved to be true.
The next issue arose when Teletovic's doctor showed up to state that he couldn't go on such a long flight to Russia. Allegedly he had problems showing up to practices on time or at all while with the team as well during the campaign.
Nurkic had his own issues with a birthday party that went viral amongst allegations of partying instead of focusing on basketball. It didn't seem like a big deal but when the results weren't there for the team it magnified the perception that the team lacked the focus needed to win. He was also criticized, unfairly for taking a separate flight from the team to the game in Sweden. To be honest I think it is ridiculous that the team would book a much longer flight from Sarajevo to Istanbul to Sweden, rather than the more direct flight of Sarajevo to Vienna to Sweden.
The team was missing players like Dedovic, Renfroe but also lost the participation of Andrija Stipanovic who claimed he had personal matters but rumors have it that he didn't like the direction of the team or his lack of playing time. It is alleged that players like Muhamed Pasalic and Kenan Karahodzic cancelled participation via text adding to the general malaise amongst the team. Players like Diego Kapelan, Nemanja Mitrovic, Filip Adamovic didn't receive invites and young players like Dejan Todorovic, Aleksandar Lazic and Njegos Sikiras weren't given serious consideration.
The team was very late in announcing the new coach Damir Mulaomerovic and hardly played any friendly matches. When they did play the concerns shown gave a preview of the likely struggle the team would face in the qualifying matches.
Once the games began for real it was as bad as I can remember. The games weren't that competitive against Russia who massively outplayed the team and the team was clearly outcoached in all four matches. The roster configuration and lineup choices were poor the team had too many young players but at the same time the coach didn't use them, shorting the bench to Kikanovic, Zahiragic and Gajic.
BiH 54-Russia 83: Bosnia did a good job in the first half even with being undermanned as Mirza Teletovic didn't make the long trip to Russia for the game. The team went up 35-34 going into half time, a result they had to be satisfied with. The game completely turned in the second half however as Russia came out running and aggressive and BiH never had an answer for them. Russia outscored them 49-19 in the second half and left no doubt as to who was the better team. Bosnia's bench was outscored by 35 points, the team had an almost 1-4 assist to turnover ratio (5 assists 19 turnovers) and Russia had almost the complete opposite numbers only 6 turnovers and 23 assists. Bosnia only shot 3-11 from three and 17-30 from the FT line compared to 10-31 from three for Russia and 13-13 from the FT line. Jusuf Nurkic had a strong game with 19pts 15rbs 2ass 1stl 1blk but shot only 5-16 from the field. Milan Milosevic chipped in with 10pts 6rbs 1stl while shooting 4-9 from the field.
BiH 63-Sweden 54: Bosnia played a different game in Sarajevo and raced out to a 25-16 lead at the end of the first period as the Swedes had no answer for Nurkic. Sweden bounced back in the second half but it wasn't enough to overcome the first half deficit. With Teletovic back in the lineup the bench was stronger and outscored the Swedes 25-12. BiH was able to normalize their assist to turnover ratio at 12-11. The team still struggled from the three going 4-21 but improved the FT shooting with 17-25. The team was once again led by Nurkic with 19pts 15rbs 2ass 1blk. It was a coming out party for Dzanan Musa with 17pts 9rbs 2ass while shooting 6-10fgs and 4-4 from the FT line. Teletovic struggled with shooting, going 2-14 but open up the court for his teammates and ended up scoring 10pts 4rbs 2ass 2stls in his return to the BiH National Team.
BiH 67- Russia78: Bosnia came out strong before the home crowd racing out to a 22-12 lead at the end of the first period. Teletovic's return to Medjan went well with him hitting three three pointers in the first quarter. The team didn't look strong defensively or active but they were hitting enough of their shots to cover for these deficiencies early on. When Nurkic was matched up with Semen Antovov early on he dominated him. Mirza in the first half launched six ill-advised threes early in the shot clock leaving his coach exasperated. The team tended to stand around on defense offering no help when there was ball penetration or Russia were running screen and roll. The team lacked ball handling to create off the dribble and the offenses became reliant on long threes or dumping it into the post and have Nurkic battle double teams. Gajic came in the first half and offered active defense, something the coach must have liked since he decided to start him in the second half. Near the end of the first half Mirza misses another ill-advised three and begins to argue with his coach as he comes back down the floor. He then hits another three on the teams next possession, again early in the shot clock. BiH led at the half 39-31 but soon everything would change for the team. Mozgov came out dominate in the second half; the Russians were strong and disciplined in offense and created wide open three after wide open three. Mirza goes the first 8 minutes of the second half without even touching the ball. The next time he does touch the ball he dribbles into a defender and a double team and turns the ball over, the frustration between him and the coach starts to boil over. With just under five minutes left in the game Nurkic takes an ill-advised long two and then doesn't get back on defense giving up an easy layup in what can be called the beginning of the end for the team. Mulaomerovic starts to lose the huddle, complaining and focusing his attention on Teletovic instead of refocusing the team on the task at hand. With 1:41 left in the game Musa takes a terrible three point shot and from there the game is lost. Musa starts to lose focus, plays to the crowd, jaws at Mozgov and then commits one of the worst flops I have ever seen in my life. He and Teletovic have words and the shove comes and the world collapses for the team. The team came up with 6pts off the bench in 37 minutes all from Kikanovic. Teletovic had 23pts but on 7-21 shooting, Nurkic had 18pts and 13rbs.
BiH 78-Sweden 76: Teletovic gets his participation with the National Team cancelled and three minutes into the game disaster strikes for BiH. Nedim Buza gets the start in place of Teletovic and gets stepped on and suffers a gruesome leg injury in the process. The team plays much better and more active than the last game in Tuzla and pull out the close win. They are led once again by Nurkic with 21pts 10rbs and Miralem Halilovic who saved the team with 18pts 10rbs.
Jusuf Nurkic: Nurkic's return to the National Team was a successful one individually. He has slimmed down and become more mobile since the last time he was with the team. He displayed his dominant offensive repertoire in all four games. He has excellent timing in rebounding even if he lacks great explosiveness around the rim. He did sometimes force the action around the basket and try to plow through two and three defenders. He also had a tendency to take long two's at inopportune times. The Russians went straight at him, attacking off the dribble and his lack of shot blocking made him vulnerable in point guard penetration situations. He also failed at times to cover out in space defensively. The team struggled to defend and he was a big part of the problem. That said his scoring, passing and rebounding inside couldn't be matched by any of their opponents. He was a part of the problem with the team disunity during the tournament and sent out a cryptic message about retiring before the end of the tournament, adding fuel to an already existing fire. His lack of experience on the international senior level led him to misunderstand what it takes to play winning basketball. The fact that his regular club, the Denver Nuggets also struggle to play winning basketball didn't help him adjust to a different, team brand of basketball. He played all four games and averaged 30mpg 19.3ppg 13.3rbpg 1.8aspg 1stl 1blk per contest. He did struggle with his shooting hitting only 42.1% from the field which was mostly due to his lack of elevation and long two's he often settled for. He did get to the FT line a lot and shot 69% from the FT line.
Mirza Teletovic: It was an absolute disaster for Mirza in this tournament. From using his doctor to get out of playing in Russia to the meltdown in Medjan, his image in Bosnia suffered severely and it is questionable if he will be able to fully recover from this ugly episode. Going forward it is uncertain if he will play again for the National Team or even be asked to. He came into the tournament in poor shape and didn't get enough practice time with the team and his teammates and it showed on the court. In his first game against Sweden in Sarajevo he looked lethargic and out of sync. He played 36min and scored 10pts with 5rbs 2ass 2stls and shot 5-6fts in the game. He struggled with his shot however hitting only 2-16fgs including 1-7 from three. In the now infamous meltdown game against Russia in Tuzla he didn't fare much better. He played all 40min in Tuzla and shot 7-21fgs including 5-16 from three. He added 3rbs 1ass and shot 4-6 from the FT line. Overall in the two games he played he averaged 38mpg 17.5ppg 4rbpg 1.5aspg. He shot an abysmal 21.4% from two, 26.1% from three but shot 9-12 from the FT line for a 75%. His actions on and off the court in this tournament were unconscionable but he is also a legend of Bosnian basketball arguably the best player in BiH history. His presence on the court can't be overestimated, his ability to stretch floor and create mismatches can be matched by few players in Europe. He is also correct that he was poorly used by the coaching staff and had a legitimate gripe with how the coaching staff ran the team. He also didn't do anything away from the court that he wasn't allowed to or was accepted by the team and coaching staff. The power vacuum created by the lack of leadership led the players to decide for themselves too much what they would and would not do.
Adi Zahiragic: Adi was a surprise in making the team and likely helped by the fallout of the Alex Renfroe saga. He did a serviceable job playing against such quality opposition, which he had never faced before. He backed up Gordic in the tournament and played in every game for the team. He averaged 11mpg in the tournament and did his best to run offense, get teammates involved and knock down an open shot. Considering the monumental task he faced he did as well as you could have hoped for. His is limited athletically and doesn't have tremendous upside but made the most of his opportunities with the team. He played in 43 minutes in the tournament scoring 10pts 6rbs 3ass 2stls. He shot 3-7 from 3pts which was an impressive 42.9%. Given the circumstances he did quite well for the team and should be commended for avoiding all the controversy surrounding the team in the tournament.
Nedim Buza: He got into 15 minutes in the blowout against Russia, going 0-3 from the field and 0-2 from the FT line, he added 3 rebounds. He played in four minutes against Sweden going 0-1 from the field, with 1rb 1ass. He suffered a devastating broken leg in the last game against Sweden, right when it appeared he was finally going to be given a chance to play significant minutes. It was a horrific injury that shocked his teammates and spectators at the game. It's an unfortunate injury that will prove to be a major setback in the young player's development as the recovery time will be long considering the extent and timing of the injury.
Adin Vrabac: Adin got into three games in the tournament playing significant minutes against Sweden. He played 29 minutes and had a spectacular run down block in the game. He scored 4pts on 2-6 shooting in the game. He added 6 rebounds and had the memorable block as well. Overall he shot 2-9 in the tournament and went 0-2 from the FT line. Even though he didn't shoot well or play a major role in the tournament he did display his ability to be a lockdown defender if he continues to work and develop that aspect of his game.
Milan Milosevic: Milan played ok for Bosnia, he is a role player who was one of the more solid players on the team. You have to give him credit; he has really built himself into a solid player in Europe the last 2-3 years and has now earned his place on the team. That said he is also a poor defender due to being not very athletic. He didn't shoot well from outside hitting only 27.3% from three and struggled at the FT line at 41.2% two of the biggest weaknesses on the team in general. His assist to turnover ratio wasn't good either at 3/8 in the four games. He did play 27mpg and averaged 8ppg 6.8rbpg and 1.5stls per contest. He wasn't a difference maker for the team but also wasn't responsible for the bad results of the team.
Amar Gegic: Amar less than a minute in the tournament, a curious outcome considering that they lost to Russia by a combined total of 40 points. He has plenty of upside and likely will be playing for the team for a long time into the future.
Nemanja Gordic: He would have been perfect coming off the bench for the team as a 2nd PG on the roster. Alex Renfroe's betrayal of the Bosnian National Team at the last moment thrusted Gordic into an expanded role that he struggle to fulfill even given his full effort to do so. Russia pounded him on the outside in the two games they lost. He shot a combined 3-18 from the field and only shot 1-2 FTs against the Russians despite him playing 68 minutes total in those two contests. His plus minus while on the court was a combined -50 against the Russians. He was one of many reasons why they couldn't match up with them in the tournament. The real problem was the team didn't have any viable options to take him off the court due to the lack of PG depth. He played better in the two wins against Sweden however and offered stability and leadership on a team severely lacking in both qualities. Overall he averaged 32mpg 6.8ppg 4.5rbpg 4.2aspg 1stl while shooting a miserable 17.6% from two, 27.8% from three and 85.7% from the FT line. He had the unfortunate luck of getting injured in his last game and will miss two months of the regular season.
Elmedin Kikanovic: A very smart and experienced player who has been nothing but a professional for the team for many years, he took a backup role with the coming out party for Nurkic. He still played an important role and is an important piece for the team as a player who can create mismatches with his mobility and shooting. He has always been an anchor of stability for the team since first appearing with them about 10 years ago. He played in all four games and averaged 13mpg 6.2ppg but struggled rebounding the ball averaging 1rbpg along with astonishingly low passing numbers at .2aspg and had zero steals or blocks in four games. He did shoot a solid 45% from two and 63.6% from the FT line.
Dzanan Musa: Musa had the embarrassing episode with Teletovic in Tuzla and struggled severely to defend in the four games. He wasn't an easy player to play with in the tournament as he pounded his dribble too much and didn't move the ball quickly. He was destroyed by the guards of Russia in both games and had a tendency to dribble down the timeclock and only move the ball with a few seconds left on the timeclock. He struggled to adjust from being the man expected to carry the load on every play and have the ball in his hands to playing a more rounded team game. The frustration with him obviously boiled over in the game in Tuzla but was proven to be difficult for him and his teammates well before this time. His length and talent makes him a matchup problem, but it was obvious he would have been more valuable coming off the bench and exploiting mismatches as a 6th man than as a regular starter. The less exposure would have benefited him and the transition from star to role player would have been eased when coming off the bench with the second unit as an instant offense player. His best game was the one against Sweden in Sarajevo when he played 31min and scored 19pts with 11rbs 3ass. Overall he averaged 24mpg 8.2ppg 5.5rpg 1.2apg, he shot an excellent 64.3% from two, 23.1% from three and 60% from the FT line. He wasn't nearly as effective as usual at getting to the FT line shooting only 10 in four games well below his normal average. As the competition gets better for him his lack of elite athleticism and strength will become more of a concern.
Emir Sulejmanovic: Emir had an injury before the tournament putting his participation into question. He only played in one game, against Russia for a total of two minutes. He took two shots, missing both and added one rebound. He didn't get a chance to show much after finally getting clearance from FIBA to join BiH.
Nikola Gajic: It was nice to see a good guy in basketball finally earn his chance to represent Bosnia internationally. Nikola had paid his dues as a player and all his hard work and commitment finally paid off for him when he made the team. He was able to get himself into the rotation in all four games even if it was for limited minutes. His biggest showing was in the last game against Sweden when he started and played very well for the team in the road win in Sweden. In the last game he played 22min he had 7pts 4rbs 1ass 1stl while shooting 2-6 from the field and 2-2 from the FT line. The team had a +11 point differential with him on the floor in the win. Overall in four games he averaged 1.8ppg while shooting 33.3% from two and 11.1% from three while averaging 1.8rbpg .8aspg .8stls while averaging 14mpg.
Miralem Halilovic: Miralem is another solid professional who worked hard to make the team. He was a matchup disaster in the first game in Russia when in 20 minutes he had 5pts 6rbs 1ass 4fls and suffered a -19 when he was on the court. The guard penetration proved too much and he was unable to help off his man in the game and took a pounding. He didn't play in the rematch but was a key player in the final game in Sweden. He started the game and played 39 minutes, he shot 7-9fg 4-6 FT and scored 18pts with 10rbs 3ass 2blks. It was a better matchup for him and he took advantage of the opportunity presented to him. Overall in three games he averaged 21mpg 7.7ppg 5.3rbpg 1.3aspg while shooting 64.3% from the field and 62.5% from the FT line.
Coach Damir Mulaomerovic: I forgot how bad a coach the team can have after a successful run of coaches of Dusko Ivanovic, Aco Petrovic and Nenad Markovic coach Mula was the worse coach the team has had since the days of Sabit Hadzic and Mensur Bajramovic who both were clearly over their heads at the helm of the team. Mula's choice of players for the team was weak; he didn't have command of the team and was a poor planner and organizer. The team was ill prepared for games, struggled to counter other teams in game adjustments and failed to gain the faith of the players on the team. He reminds me of the Bosnian version of Vinny Del Negro, he looks the part, and he has the resume as a player but fails in every way the eye test of an actual leader of men. The team was crushed in the second half against Russia twice, first in Russia by 49-19 which speaks volumes about the lack of tactics of the club coming out of half time. The lack of quality PGs could be claimed to not to be his fault but the fact that he failed to use Amar Gegic in a limited role as a defender off the bench could be concluded to be his mistake. The roster composition leaving off outside shooters is unquestionably his mistake. The lack of tactics and off the ball movement on offense also forced the team into many terrible shots with the shot clock winding down. The team's offense basically was a composition of Nemanja Gordic dribble drive penetration (not very effective considering he was the only ball handler on the team) dumping it inside to Nurkic (even if he is getting double and triple teamed) and long contested outside three's and two's. If you go back and look at the off the ball movement, weak side cuts of the team, it was players running through the motion without being considered for viable offensive options. Rarely did the team make the extra pass to shift a defense and to get a player an open look on the outside. If you look at the coaching job done by Vedran Bosnic of Sweden and Serge Bazarevich, Mula was completely outclassed in all four contests. No team had more talent than BiH but when you saw the product on the court no team looked worse and more disjointed. The fact that when all appeared lost the coach decided to call out Teletovic publicly also didn't reflect well on him. Instead of taking responsibility for creating the culture around the team he decided his best option was to blame its star. He doesn't deserve the personal insults and threats that have come with this disaster but clearly he needs to own the fact that he presided over one of the most talented teams in Bosnian history that produced one of the worst results.
Bosna Royal 16/17 Roster! KK Bosna-Royal roster is almost finalized and the roster currently features the fallowing players. PG :Sasa Vasiljevic, Miljan Saric, Asmer Halilovic SG:Edin ResIdovic Atif Durak, Elmin Dzafic SF:Vladimir Dordjevic, Goran Ikonic PF:Strahinja Dragicevic, Kerim Dragolj C:Maksim Sturanovic, Ljubomir Campara Head Coach: Dusan Gvozdic Assistant: Aleksandar Damjanovic Fitness coach: Osman Handzic Physiotherapists: Amer Salihagic, Emir Bukva The team has a n... [read more]
Bosna Royal 16/17 Roster! KK Bosna-Royal roster is almost finalized and the roster currently features the fallowing players.
The team has a nice mix of young players and some familiar faces to fans of the team as Goran Ikonic and Sasa Vasiljevic have returned to the team. Sasa was instrumental in the teams resurgence at the end of last season. It will also be a return for Edin Residovic and Srahina Dragicevic who both have played for the team previously as well. Good luck to the team as they try to reclaim the glory of the past for the famous club KK Bosna.
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