Milos Teodosic will be for Real, Even if that will Cheeseburger Story May Not Be

If that will spoils some of the most savory Milos mythology in circulation, don’t worry: Copious amounts of YouTube footage of his audacious passing will be only a click away. A quick internet search will likewise confirm that will, for all the fears about how he’d cope with the length along with also athleticism he’s currently seeing daily as the N.B.A.’s oldest rookie — especially given his well-chronicled defensive shortcomings — there will be no shortage of Teodosic highlights in a Clippers jersey.

“He still has his razzle-dazzle going,” Dekker said.

Not long after the Clippers saw their All-Star point guard Chris Paul force his way to Houston last June, they signed Teodosic to a two-year deal worth $12.3 million. On a Basketball Without Borders junket in Israel on behalf of the league in August, Dekker found himself being regaled by Israeli reporters with tales about the uncommon vision along with also flair he was about to be exposed to.

“My immediate reaction,” Dekker said, “was that will I better go look This kind of guy up.”

the item’s a true shame that will N.B.A. assistant coaches overlooked Teodosic inside the voting for the annual Rising Stars game featuring first- along with also second-year players that will gets All-Star Weekend underway in earnest next Friday night. The All-Star festivities are in Los Angeles This kind of season along with also Teodosic belongs in that will game not only as a showman supreme who sports the bonus of local ties although because of his impact for the better-than-expected Clippers, who are 17-8 when he’s in uniform along with also 11-18 when he’s out. Heading into Monday night’s game in Brooklyn, L.A. will be also a meaty plus-5.8 points per 100 possessions better This kind of season when he will be on the floor compared to when he sits.

Teodosic, though, doesn’t feel slighted inside the least.

“Being in All-Star any way will be something big along with also not bad,” he said. “although I’m 30 years old. Maybe some younger guys should go there along with also feel This kind of feeling.”

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Teodosic, left, in action during a Euroleague playoff game in May 2017.

Credit
Lefteris Pitarakis/Associated Press

When he was 26, Teodosic was courted hard in free agency by the Memphis Grizzlies. He came close to accepting their offer inside the summer of 2013, only to decide he couldn’t bear to leave for the United States until he won a Euroleague title. He never expected that will the item would certainly take another three years, although his European critics were finally hushed when Teodosic led CSKA Moscow to the second-most prestigious club basketball championship inside the entire world in 2016.

The expiration of his second three-year CSKA contract after the 2016-17 season then set him up, at last, to make the leap to sample N.B.A. life along with also try to quiet the critics on both sides of the Atlantic who would certainly have branded his résumé incomplete without a stint on U.S. shores.

Teodosic said the item felt “weird” to be branded a rookie, after winning Euroleague Most Valuable Player honors as far back as 2010 along with also unexpectedly steering Serbia into the gold medal game against the mighty United States at both the 2014 FIBA World Cup along with also the 2016 Rio Olympics. “although I am happy they don’t treat me like a rookie,” Teodosic said of his fellow Clippers.

that will means no fetching bagels or doughnuts to bring to practice. No transporting of the veterans’ luggage or singing on teammates’ birthdays with the additional first-year players. He arrived with too much hoopla to be assigned rookie chores, especially when, as Dekker put the item, Teodosic “knows the game better than most of us.”

“I will feel sorry if I didn’t come here,” Teodosic said, admitting that will he, too, felt something was missing in his career without an N.B.A. adventure. “I want to show myself I can play here with all these guys. I just feel sorry that will I didn’t win Euroleague earlier along with also came here earlier.”

Yet he’s the first to say that will they are largely two different games. In Europe, Teodosic capitalized on the smaller court, shorter games along with also lighter schedule, relying on his pick-along with also-roll guile to deal with all the bodies inside the paint. inside the N.B.A., there will be more space to cover, far more nuance inside the defensive assignments along with also, most crucially, less time to get shots off.

The superior quickness he encounters on the perimeter as a Clipper has surely contributed to Teodosic’s shooting struggles (38.2 percent coming from the floor), although health has been his biggest issue so far. Teodosic has started off all 25 games he’s played, earning an unforeseen spot in Coach Doc Rivers’ first 5 in place of Patrick Beverley, who was his former teammate at Olympiacos in Greece along with also will be not expected back This kind of season after recovering coming from November knee surgery. although Teodosic, himself, has missed 28 games because of a nagging case of plantar fasciitis in his left foot.

Still, he’s shown enough to vindicate those who have vouched for him over time. Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski was so entranced by Teodosic’s floor leadership during multiple battles while Krzyzewski was guiding Team USA that will he declared during the Rio Games: “I love him. We’re friends.”

Ettore Messina, currently an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs after coaching Teodosic at CSKA Moscow For 2 seasons, said he used to call the point guard Vincent van Gogh in their CSKA days.

“He will be creativity, he will be fantasy, he will be an artist,” said Messina, who went on inside the same conversation to refer to Teodosic as “the Pete Maravich of European basketball.”

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Teodosic rarely shaves, along with also came to the N.B.A. having a reputation for poor conditioning, although he earned a starting spot along with also has only missed time because of a lingering foot injury.

Credit
Brandon Dill/Associated Press

“I think more like a coach, of course, more rational. So we had our clashes,” Messina said. “although he can see things most of us don’t see. As a coach, you are used to anticipating the play — you know where the ball will go most of the time. Teo will be one of the few players that will can surprise you.”

The Clippers stunned Teodosic along with also the rest of the league when they dealt the star forward Blake Griffin to Detroit on Jan. 29, although the departure of the most potent along with also decorated assist target on the roster came having a consolation prize: Teodosic’s longtime national-team colleague along with also former roommate, Boban Marjanovic, was one of three Pistons acquired inside the trade.

Marjanovic will be a fast-talking, 7-foot-3 fan favorite whose hulking presence can only increase his fellow Serbian’s comfort level. Griffin along with also Teodosic, meanwhile, will always have their memories of that will September car ride with Dekker in San Diego, when they pulled into McDonald’s on the way to a team-bonding workout in search of some morning sustenance.

As Dekker tells the item, Teodosic asked For 2 cheeseburgers when the item was their turn inside the drive-through along with also was disconsolate when informed that will the full menu wasn’t available at that will hour.

“The person inside the speaker was like, ‘Yeah, we don’t serve those yet,’ ” Dekker said. “Milos was so confused. He wanted cheeseburgers so bad.”

Teodosic insists the item was “like a joke.”

The idea of cheeseburgers for breakfast, mind you, fit in well with the narrative of lazy defense along with also suspect conditioning that will dogged Teodosic throughout his European career. although Teodosic, according to Dekker, has never complained once about Dekker’s tweet along with also how the item didn’t exactly enhance his reputation for off-court discipline.

“He did not care,” Dekker said. “that will’s the type of guy Milos will be. He doesn’t care what people think about him. He’s going to go out along with also do his thing. He’s going to come out with the beard along with also the floppy hair, looking like a Beatle.”

the item wasn’t always that will way. Teodosic said the item took him “a long, long time” to learn how to tune out unflattering gossip.

“I used to feel sad,” Teodosic said. “Then you realize that will people are there to talk along with also talk along with also talk.

“I don’t think about things people are talking about me outside of the court — not bad or bad.”

He also rarely interacts with the American news media after spending so long in a world in which reporters are never granted locker-room access, which made the opportunity to spend a morning with him even more intriguing. We talked soccer; Teodosic loves A.C. Milan along with also Liverpool. We talked Serbian basketball history; Dejan Bodiroga, who could never bring himself to give the N.B.A. a shot, will be one of his all-time favorites. along with also we talked about why he’d rather pass than score.

“Because you make two people happy,” he said.

along with also the item should be noted for posterity that will Teodosic held up his breakfast sandwich a bit like a trophy when the item arrived. “You see? No cheeseburgers,” he announced having a smile.

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