Miodrag “Miško” Ražnatović is probably the most successful basketball manager in Europe. His agency represents a number of high-profile EuroLeague players, although just one player could have been enough for that assertion to be a fact.
Nikola Jokić is definitely the most talked about guy these days.
Ražnatović speaks exclusively for Nedeljnik about his experiences with the All-Star center who has recently been named to the All-NBA First Team.
“From the very beginning of his professional career in Mega, Nikola has made all of his decisions in the family circle. His brothers, especially his older brother Strahinja who had lived with him, have a very significant role. Strahinja has had a crucial influence on Nikola becoming a mature adult and their whole family is really strong, stable and warm. All of them are in some way involved in decision making. Besides, he himself said he was going to talk the joining the Serbian selection for this summer’s World Cup through with his club, because the club is really important. Not in a sense they could have prevented him from going to (FIBA Basketball) World Cup, but the club’s suggestions are always respected”, Ražnatović said for Nedeljnik.
Asked about whether NBA clubs made a mistake overlooking Jokić – he was selected with 41st overall pick by the Denver Nuggets in the 2014 NBA draft – Ražnatović said it was due to the fact Jokić wasn’t in the best physical shape at the time.
“Jokić’s draft hadn’t been anything special at that moment. It was thought he was just another kid from Europe. The standards in NBA are really high and the player must be in great shape. And Jokić’s physical shape in Mega was… lacking, to say the least. That is the reason no one recognized his potential. Personally I believed in him and so did the whole club, but to be fair, no one ever dreamt about a career like this and his huge achievements in the first four years he has spent in NBA.”
Ražnatović stated that Denver didn’t expect that such a boom would occur, nor that Jokić would fit in so well.
“Such things rarely happen, like Ajax in football this year. Denver is now on a more serious level and with a few moves I believe it will make this summer, this team can definitely be even better”, Ražnatović said. “Nikola’s talent has played a huge role in their progress. I am proud of the way he plays basketball, but also when I see how great he is with the press, how much he has gotten into the American way of communicating. He participates equally in this great show called the NBA.”
Ražnatović also pointed out the marketing potential of the great centre.
“Jokić is currently in Serbia, he has had a remarkable season, he’s probably the best Serbian player of all times, and if I was to try and make an advertising contract for him in Serbia, there would be no chance. Not even for ridiculosly some small amount of money, 20 or 30 thousand euros”, Ražnatović said.
He also weighed his opinionon why Nikola Jokić doesn’t have a profile on any of the social media.
“He’s just not interested in that. He has a life of his own. He is just so unique.”