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Anzulovic on-line

This week head coach of Ural Great Drazen Anzulovic answered questions on www.prm.ru.

Question: Lithuanian basketball school is one of the strongest in Europe. This season there are no players from Lithuania in Ural Great. Did you consider players from this country during the signing campaign this summer?

Answer: I like players from Lithuania and I would like to see some of them in my team in future. As for this summer we did not receive good offers.

Q: Tell about your family. Will they come to see you in Perm?

A: I have a wife and three children. My older sons go to school, my wife is taking care of the youngest daughter. They have to stay in Zagreb. But we plan them come to visit me in Perm in December.

Q: Now Ural Great is not the same team as it was five years ago. Do you think you could change the situation in one or two seasons?

A: We plan to bring the team back to the leading positions in Russia but to do this we need more than two years.

Q: How do you estimate physical shape of your players? What is the atmosphere in the team?

A: We had preseason camp in Croatia and Slovenia and played eight friendly games. We have one problem: the team has been practicing for three weeks by now and did not play any serious game. This may affect our starting games in the beginning of the season.

Q: What will be the results of Ural Great this season? What are the goals of the team?

A: I did not see other teams but looking at their rosters I would suggest that CSKA is on the first place, then come Dynamo Moscow and Khimki, after them Uniks Kazan and Triumph Moscow region. Ural Great is in the next niche together with Lokomoiv Rostov and Spartak Vladivostok. However we still bear responsibility for our performance and will do our best to take the highest spot possible in the Russian championship qualifications.

Q: When did you realize that basketball is not mere sports for you but your lifestyle? Why do you like basketball?

A: My father was one of the chief executives in Cibona (which was called Lokomotiv before 1976). So basketball is our family tradition.

Q: What could be your other occupation in life if not basketball?

A: I could be a journalist. I learnt journalism and twenty years ago worked in Ljubljanski Dnevnik magazine in Slovenia.

Q: Do you consider coachs job to be a creative one and do you have a philosophical approach/attitude to it?

A: Every day we learn something new. Basketball is changing, it develops new rules and new tactics. Sports is becoming different from what it was before. Ten-fifteen years ago you could play basketball with 80% of talent and 20% of physical shape, nowadays it is completely vice versa. Yes, I do consider coaching job a creative one.

Q: How do you your knowledge of basketball?

A: I go to special coaching clinics, read basketball related books, magazines, communicate with other coaches.

Q: What is your maximum plan for life?

A: Every player, coach and team staff members should do their best in every practice and game. If everybody has such approach the result will come.

Q: Would you like to win Olympic games?

A: Of course, becoming Olympic champion is a dream for every athlete.

Q: What do you do when your players dont understand you?

A: I have never had such problems.

Q: What did you know about Russian mentality before you came to work in Russia?

A: I had some ideas but it wasnt full picture of course. In my job I learn every day. What I have learnt in the two months I spent in Russia is that I have very good talented players in my team.

Q: Why did you choose Ural Great? Did you have other job offers?

A: I had an opportunity to stay with Cibona Zagreb for one more season. But I came to such point in my life that I realized I needed to try something new. At this time I received the offer from Ural Great. I talked to Perm clubs top managers and their plans seemed interesting and serious to me. This is a new challenge, new opportunities for me.

Q: What do the fans should do in order to help their team during the games?

A: The fans should do the hot home court for their team. This is what I expect from them. Hot support adds the team ten more points.

Q: Ural Great roster this season misses powerful center. With all our respect to Bashminov and Rindin they are not strong and powerful enough, Wright will play position 4. Most often powerful centers such as Papadopoulos, Savrasenko and Wolkowiski determine game of the team. How do you plan to play in the paint in defense and offense without powerful player?

A: A good center is very expensive in Europe. We have to play with the players we have in the team. Ural Great will play aggressive quick defense.

Q: Why Ural Great signed Sergey Krasavtsev?

A: I answered this question before. Krasavtsev is a big player who can play in the paint.

Q: What basketball is more interesting to you: European or NBA?

A: I am more interested in European basketball. I like European teams, rules and tactics. It will be very soon that NBA clubs will learn from European ones. You can see high level of the latter in the national teams competitions.

Q: What are the strong sides of Ural Great and its players?

A: The regulations make us keep two Russian players on court. So domestic players become very important for the team and the quality of their performance directly influence game of the team.

Q: Do you have some professional secrets? Could you share them now?

A: Every coach has professional secrets but nobody wants to share them.

Q: What do you think about the role of money in basketball? What do you do in this situation?

A: Lately, especially in Russia basketball started to attract big money. Clubs with big budgets can sign any players they want. Rich clubs can buy best players and so they have better chances for win. This year Ural Great wanted to sign some players but could not afford them because of high salaries they asked. In this situation we have nothing to do but to give all of ourselves in every game. Only doing so we can compete rich clubs.

Q: What do you think about development of basketball in Russia?

A: In order to develop basketball you need to do a good quality work with young players.

Q: What is the role of a coach in teams success?

A: Coach is one of the main persons in the club. But teams success comes from hard work of all people having relation to the team.

Q: How do you think, what was the main success factor of the Russian national team in Eurobasket 2007?

A: I saw two friendly games of the Russian NT vs. Latvia and Lithuania before start of the Eurobasket. Frankly speaking, I was not impressed by its performance. Nobody could predict such big success of Russia. But later Holden joined the team and coach Blatt managed to create a really good united Team that could beat anybody.

Q: What is your style of the game?

A: I want my team play fast basketball with control all over the court.

Q: The first Russian Superleague game is played: Spartak Vladivostok lost CSKA 63-89. How do you comment on this result?

A: CSKA is a stronger team than Vladivostok. So this is a normal result for the game between these opponents. How many points did Miljkovic score? Thirteen? He is my former player.

Q: How strong is the Russian championship?

A: It is the second after Spanish championship.

Q: Did you change your mind after Russian NT beat Spain in the finals of the Eurobasket?

A: There are players in you team who dont play in domestic championship. Kirilenko and Khryapa are in NBA. On the whole I believe Spanish championship is stronger.
03--2007 Ural Great signed Sergey Krasavtsev
25--2007 VIP game
21--2007 Russian national team in Perm
18--2007 Anzulovic won Cibona
18--2007 Alexey Zozulin is the captain of the team
16--2007 Second win over Helios
15--2007 Big win
13--2007 Ural Great lost to KK Zagreb
09--2007 Anzulovic wins compatriots
08--2007 Ural Great won Slovenians
04--2007 Ural Great lost to Zlatorog
03--2007 First victory in the season
31--2007 S. Goryachev signed with Ural Great
28--2007 A.Zozulin: together with the team
27--2007 A.Agishev: We analysed our mistakes
25--2007 News from the Balkans
23--2007 Control is the matter
22--2007 Ural Great signed Ivan Koljevic
22--2007 From Ural Great to Berlin Thunder
22--2007 Pre-season camp

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