Mirotic addresses pressure on winning his first EuroLeague title: 'It's something I'm used to'

Edvinas Jablonskis
Daily Editor
2022-05-18 12:00

Just before the upcoming Final Four in Belgrade, FC Barcelona star Nikola Mirotic received his first EuroLeague MVP award.

"It's been a great pleasure for me to receive this award from our greatest coach Zeljko Obradovic," Mirotic said after receiving the award. "I would like to thank my team FC Barcelona, an entire organization, coaching staff, and all the players."

"In the end, this is a team job. A couple of weeks ago, my dear friend Nick Calathes said: 'In case you win MVP, please remember me in your speech.' I said to him I will. I want to thank Nick because he makes my life way easier on the court.

3-pointers this season

Points made: 9,1
Accuracy: 40,1%
Place in standings: 6
Record max: 16
Record min: 3
Most made 3FGs: Nikola Mirotic

He's been an amazing teammate and friend. In the end, I want to say a couple of words about who's here today. My personal coach Vujacic, who was my first coach since I started to play basketball. He really pushed me very hard to get to this point, working hard all summers together. He was the person who believed in me. This trophy also goes to him," Mirotic told in his acceptance speech.

However, Mirotic is still missing one trophy: the EuroLeague one. He's also at the bad end of the numbers as he's the only player in the Top 15 by minutes played in the Final Four, who hasn't won the EuroLeague.

Does it put extra pressure?

"Pressure? When I put this jersey [for the first time], I knew what kind of pressure and expectations I'll have from the club and fans," Mirotic said. "It's something I'm used to, but at the same time, it's pushing me to get better as a player."

Although it's expected that Olympiacos fans will take over Belgrade, Mirotic has close ties with the hosting Serbia. He expressed his warm feelings and remained hopeful that everything will be marked by winning the championship.

"People who know me closely, they know how much I love and care about this country and people," Mirotic noted. "There are no doubts, it will be very special because it's basically my home. But not because just it's in Belgrade, but because it would be my first title."

"We will be humble and think about that semifinal game against Real Madrid. I believe the whole team is doing great. We're hungry and got time to prepare [for the semifinal].

The most important thing is that team is healthy, knowing all the difficulties. Hopefully, we'll meet our expectations," concluded Mirotic.

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