Mario Hezonja: 'I haven't seen Real Madrid-level organization even in the NBA'

2022-10-05 15:32

Mario Hezonja says Real is very different from his earlier career stops, as everyone in the Royal club is on the same page with the sole objective of winning.

Credit: Real Madrid
Credit Real Madrid

Mario Hezonja was a marquee Real Madrid's signing this past summer, in addition to Dzanan Musa.

The Croatian star is coming off an unfinished 2021-22 EuroLeague season with UNICS Kazan and a double stint with the national team. The latter tenure was marked by two unsuccessful appearances from the team's standpoint.

At the start of July, Croatia was eliminated from the FIBA World Cup European Qualifiers, while at EuroBasket 2022, they finished their journey in the Round of 16 losing against underdog Finnish NT.

"I'm coming from a very tough summer with the national team. Moreover, I was late for Real's training camp. It's fine because I'm prepared, but I found a new coach, new teammates, and a new system. It's not my first time, though. With time, I'll get to where I want to be," Hezonja commented on his adaption to the new team, via Mundo Deportivo.

"I have no pressure, I just know what I and my team can do," he continued. "Madrid is a great club, the best of all time in Europe. What I like the most is that we are all on the same page and we want to win. As a player, this winning mentality makes me happy. It's easier to work and get to where we want to go in such a way."

Hezonja was also asked about the differences he had found at Real Madrid.

"Madrid is very different. Everyone in the club is on the same page with the sole objective of winning. The football organization, residence, and facilities – it's something I've never seen, not even in the NBA," the 27-year-old pointed out.

Before returning to Europe (Panathinaikos Athens) in 2021, Hezonja spent five seasons in the NBA with the Orlando Magic, New York Knicks, and Portland Trail Blazers.

Hezonja says he arrives in Madrid at his best moment as a player.

"I think it's my best moment because of maturity. It's very difficult to explain to a 20-year-old guy that he has to do a lot of things to win. After many seasons, after coming back to Europe from the NBA, I learned a lot at UNICS and Panathinaikos. Everyone helped me to reach the point where I am now," he declared.

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