Trinchieri's assistant: 'He has the communication power of Ivkovic'

2022-07-31 07:39
Credit: AFP - Scanpix; BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit AFP - Scanpix; BasketNews/Begum Unal

Djordje Adzic has been the assistant coach to FC Bayern Munich's head coach Andrea Trinchieri for the last two years.

Years before coming to work in Germany, he was the assistant coach to the legendary Serbian specialist Dusan Ivkovic at the 2013 EuroBasket in Slovenia. Having had the opportunity to work with the late icon, Adzic can now compare the two head coaches and their styles.

"First of all, coach Andrea, as well as unfortunately, the late coach Ivkovic, has a fantastic power of communication," he said to Serbian news outlet Srbija Danas. "Duda possessed all the characteristics of a leader, enormous experience, he paid attention to every player both in training and outside of training."

"Their basketball knowledge, attention to detail, and game management are proof of their results," Adzic continued. "Trinchieri, considering his age, knows the modern technologies and their application better, so maybe cooperation with him is a bit faster. In particular, my job has not changed much, I am very satisfied that I can learn and progress with Andrea, as I had the opportunity to do that with Ivkovic."

During Adzic's tenure in Bayern, the club has reached the EuroLeague quarterfinal stage twice, both times getting eliminated in Game 5 - first against AX Armani Exchange Milan, and this season against FC Barcelona.

"This is proof of the serious organization of the club, first of all, the work of coach Andrea, along with sports director Bajezi and general manager Pesic," the coach explained. "In the last two years, they managed to build competent teams, with players who recognized this."

Bayern were able to achieve such feats with a mixture of local players, the leadership of team captain Vladimir Lucic, several key foreigners, and the guidance of coach Trinchieri, who is often regarded as one of the very best in Europe.

"We brought in players who were not stars, they were carefully selected based on psychological profiles as well as playing characteristics, and they were all put in their roles," Adzic revealed the process of player selection. "[Wade] Baldwin and [Jalen] Reynolds a season ago, as well as [Darrun] Hilliard and [Deshaun] Thomas this year, are players who have improved a lot and their departure to bigger clubs in Europe is only proof of the quality work and success of the team."

"Of course, Lucic is the first star of the team, he has the quality of a leader that the club has recognized, and his help is certainly great if not the most important for Bayern's success," the assistant coach stated. "Both seasons in the EuroLeague were very good, unfortunately, losing the fifth game two years in a row is not very pleasant but Bayern is now a team that everyone respects and all this gives a signal that we are on the right track."

Bayern are in the middle of the pack in the EuroLeague regarding the budget for players and their salaries, as revealed by Donatas Urbonas earlier this year. The principle is fundamentally simple - retain the main core of the team, and build around it by signing several new players each year.

The same applied during the 2022 offseason as well. Bayern did not make any huge splashes in the players' market but managed to keep the team largely intact.

"What is important for us is that we managed to keep a large number of players," Adzic noted. "The contracts were extended by Lucic, Weiler-Babb, Rubit, Sisko, and Hunter - these are the players that are our core. We managed to refresh the roster with a couple of German players who, I hope, will help us a lot in the German championship and cup."

"As far as I know, I think the plan is to bring in two more players," he commented on the future during the offseason. "It is difficult to talk about the possibilities of this team now as Valencia, Partizan, Virtus are back. Maccabi and Monaco have shown that they have big ambitions with their involvement in the pre-season."

As a Serbian, Adzic is happy that two national clubs - Partizan NIS Belgrade and Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade - will both be competing in the EuroLeague after a long break.

Both teams made headlines this summer with several notable signings. Partizan brought in Dante Exum and Ioannis Papapetrou while Crvena Zvezda overhauled the roster with 6 notable transfers, among which are the names of Nemanja Nedovic, John Holland, Filip Petrusev, and Hassan Martin.

"For me, the arrival of foreigners is perfectly ok if they recognize the ambitions of the club and if they can help. After all, Bayern is also forced to bring in foreign players due to the weaker domestic player market," Adzic explained. "The EuroLeague requires quality, the season is very long, and therefore it requires the rosters to be large."

"Unfortunately, in my opinion, that says more about the state of domestic basketball and the league. The market is such that, obviously, there are not enough quality or interested players to play in our two best clubs," he commented on Partizan and Zvezda. "During the last ten years, many players have gone abroad, they have their own market price or they simply don't want to play in Serbia, therefore, the teams are forced to bring in foreign players."

Adzic has worked in the Serbian national team before together with the late great Dusan Ivkovic. This year, the team is led by another EuroLeague legend - Svetislav Pesic, one of only a select bunch of people who have won the EuroLeague both as a player and as a coach.

At least in the FIBA 2023 World Cup Qualifiers, the path has been rough for the Pesic-led team. Although they advanced to the Second Roud of the qualification, Serbia possesses only a 1-3 win-loss balance heading to the next stage of the competition.

However, all focus is on EuroBasket 2022 now as all the brightest Serbian stars should compete in the tournament.

"As a fan, I would like the national team to be as good as possible at the upcoming EuroBasket. I am glad that all the players who can have responded, there is a good base, they are players who know how to win titles and win important matches," Adzic explained. "Every success of the national team is linked to the further progress of basketball in Serbia, and the recognition of those values ​​will attract some new kids in the future."

Serbia will play in Group D in EuroBasket together with the Netherlands, Finland, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Israel.

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