Dusan Alimpijevic recalls 2017-18 season: 'Crvena Zvezda and I had unrealistic ambitions'

2022-09-21 08:51

Dusan Alimpjevic, who was the coach of Crvena Zvezda during the 2017-18 season, recalled unreasonable expectations the club had back then.

Credit: BasketNews.lt/V.Mikaitis
Credit BasketNews.lt/V.Mikaitis

The new Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade head coach Vladimir Jovanovic's current position reminds of what Dusan Alimpijevic faced at one time.

This summer, Dejan Radonjic's second coaching stint on the Crvena Zvezda's bench ended. After the departure of the coach with the most trophies in the club's history, Jovanovic was brought in, a promising expert who was followed by unrealistic expectations from the fans to continue what his predecessor was doing.

Alimpjevic was brought in 2017 to replace Radonjic after the most successful period in Crvena Zvezda's history, but it all ended shortly after losing the regional title to Buducnost VOLI Podgorica.

Speaking for Novi Sad's Dnevnik, Alimpijevic, who is now the head coach of Frutti Extra Bursaspor, recalled the situation during the 2017-18 season when he was at the helm of Crvena Zvezda.

"We separated by agreement, not because I or Zvezda insisted on my departure. We sat down and decided together," Alimpijevic revealed. "To be honest, it was difficult for me that the Zvezda fans were not ready at all for what we did that year."

"The biggest problem was actually a big gap between wishes and expectations, in a situation where the budget was perhaps the smallest since the stabilization period," added the coach.

Frutti Extra Bursaspor's head coach says that the financial situation at Crvena Zvezda was the priority during his tenure.

"The Euroleague sent an internal auditor in that year, in which the priority was to settle all financial obligations and debts if we wanted to keep the EuroLeague status," Alimpijevic revealed.

"In the Euroleague, which at that time had four games less than today's format, we recorded 11 victories. It tarnished the image of the club," said the Serbian coach.

After the golden era with Dejan Radonjic at the helm, 11 wins in the EuroLeague season did not satisfy the fans.

"From this point of view, I should have devoted myself much more to presenting the real picture of the team to the public at that moment. If I had acted that way, maybe I would have remained the coach of Zvezda," Alimpijevic guessed.

"Then we had the smallest budget in the last 15 years, maybe in history. There was no ambition in front of us at the beginning, and that was the biggest problem," said Alimpjevic.

The 36-year-old notes that the bright start of the season also had an impact on the expectations of the team.

"We started playing well in the EuroLeague. In the first four rounds, we had a score of 2-2, after victories over Barcelona and Maccabi and close games with Zalgiris and Khimki", recalled Alimpijevic.

"That early result was a sign for the club to return all those ambitions, which were completely unrealistic," added Alimpijevic.

"Now, I would insist more on showing a realistic picture. It seems to me that I let it be normal that we won against Real Madrid in Spain or Barcelona or Olympiacos," said Alimpjevic.

"It's not realistic, at that moment, it was by no means realistic with that budget and with the players we had at our disposal," concluded the Serbian coach.

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