We all make mistakes. The point is to improve every time. And above all, do not make the same mistakes. What was my mistake? I had asked for an interview with the top European agent, Misko Raznatovic, at the beginning of the summer. Where was the mistake? But the time period, when I asked for the interview. That is, at the moment when Raznatovic (and every agent) was "burning" to settle his dozens of clients. The man did not deny me, but told me he would do it later.
I also let time pass and the time has come. A few days ago, we had our communication with the Serbian agent, who in the summer of 2010 led one of his top clients, Vassilis Spanoulis, to Olympiakos, and he had a lot to tell us. Of course, with Raznatovic, you normally want at least three hours to say what you have to say. Because we are talking about a man who has an endless client list, who has glittering clients, such as Nikola Jokic, Dario Saric and Vasilije Micić, who was the one who signed Dusan Ivkovic to CSKA many years ago.
We wanted to discuss with the Serbian agent for the additional reason that this summer he had something more than an intense Greek colour. How not, after all, from the moment when three foreign players of him went to Olympiakos and two to Panathinaikos.
The prologue went away a bit, so let's move on to the juice. In essence.
How did you expect the transfer period to evolve due to the pandemic and how did it turn out? Did you expect things to get better or worse?
«On the highest level, I mean EL, things did not develop bad, but on the middle and especially lower level situation is dramatic. I have never seen so many good players without the contract and with not big chances to get it. The situation could be even worst, if NBA announce that G league will not be played or will not start before winter 2021».
How many more years will Vassilis Spanoulis play? What has he told you about it?
«We did not speak about that. As long as he is one of the best guards in Europe, what he is now, he will play and there is no reason for retirement. Everything, what I saw from his practices this summer, assured me that he is in great shape again».
SDNA was the one that revealed that Kyle Hines is leaving CSKA to go to Armani. How did this surprise transfer happen?
«Lot of things come together. Some kind of the crisis in Russia, as well as strong desire of Italian team to have him, and on top of it Kyle desire for new challenge in his career. The last one was main reason at the end for him to leave probably the greatest club in European basketball».
Who is your new Nikola Jokic? And why do you think this new Nikola Jokic has great prospects?
«I always avoid talking and glorying young players. So, I believe I know who could be something special, but would not like to say. Also, I believe that Nikola is unique».
What is the story you have left most from your collaboration with the owners of Olympiacos, Panagiotis and George Angelopoulos?
«There is no doubt signing Billy in 2010. It was so complicated and hard to do it, that I could write book only about this transaction».
What is your opinion about Dimitris Giannakopoulos? What do you think? Will he return to Panathinaikos?
«I had very good communication and collaboration with him. Sometimes we had different opinions, but always at the end we found solution. I really don’t have answer on this question, especially that I have never expected to see everything what did happen this summer there».
What would you like to say about two people who wrote a huge history for Panathinaikos and the basket in general, Pavlos and Thanasis Giannakopoulos?
«I did not talk a lot of them in the past, because Manos Papadopoulos was the guy to communicate. One is for sure, European basketball it is no longer the same without them».
What do you think about the new Panathinaikos? And more specifically, what do you think about your clients, Nemanja Nedovic and Aaron White?
«Obviously, PAO with lower budget had to sign or players with upside, or already proved players who had bad seasons. That s the case with Nedovic and White, and I am sure that they will recover in Athens, and will show that they did not forget to play basketball last season.
I believe that team needs one more player to be really competitive, but key will be patience for the new management and especially new coach, who for the moment showed that has capacity to lead the Club in such a difficult moment».
Many friends of Olympiacos do not know much about your clients, Jean-Charles Livio and Hassan Martin. What kind of players are they? What can they give?
«Both are absolutely great and fit in Olympiacos old winning system, with athletic guys. I expect after few months of Hassan s playing that red fans will stop talking about Kyle Hines, because they will have their own younger version.
Livio supposed to be big time NBA player, but injuries at the time prevent him to shine in SA Spurs. He s great peace for winning team and will help in so many aspects. I don’t know how much fans will recognize it, but coaches and experts will understand that he s gold for any team».
And what do you have to say about another player you brought to Olympiacos this year, Charles Jenkins. Also, why didn't Anthony Gill, who you also represent, come to Olympiakos, even though this possibility was heard very loudly?
«Jenkins enjoyed working with coach Bartzokas in Khimki and wanted to reunion. He s also team player who give everything for team success.
Gill did not consider European options, wants to get NBA contract. I was against it, but I always respect players desire».
What do you think Olympiacos can achieve this year?
«When they have 4 BeoBasket players, they usually have great season, what means Final 4».
Finally, I want your opinion on Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic and Luka Doncic. Also, what do you think will be the next team of Zeljko Obradovic.
«Those 3 guys are in top 10 NBA players for the moment, and European basketball should be really proud on that, especially that they are very young and their time still did not come.
Obradovic new club? It is difficult to say. As I know he will rest this season, and next one is far away so its difficult to predict».