Pianetabasket.com got the honour to interview Serbian legend Igor Rakocevic who is currently vice-president of the Serbian Federation. Inside this interview Rakocevic has talked us about his career and his impression about the World Championship.
After the retirement is there something about the basketball routine as a player do you miss the most?
I miss everything about basketball. The only thing I don’t miss is long travels, buses/ airplanes and hotels. I miss the arena, the ball, the teammates, the fans and coaches. I miss the game not the logistic around the game.
How do you feel to be considered a legend in your native country?
I feel really good about it. Actually I’m using this status as one of the most important ex player to influence as many people as I can to help them to do right things and to do sports.
You played 42 NBA games with the Timberwolves between 2002-2003. How this experience, to face another type of basketball, has helped you to improve your way of playing?
NBA was an incredible experience for me. First of all I accomplished my first, and only, dream to become an NBA player so I’m completely satisfied. Unfortunately I didn’t have to much chance to show my quality but this helped me a lot to grow as a player and as a person. I improved a lot with my ball-handling and shooting skills during this experience.
Back to Europe you decided to move to Spain where you played 5 years between Valencia, Real Madrid and Vitoria. Those 5 years were full of trophies and individual awards
When I came back to Europe for me it was really important to be part of something big, as Baskonia was. I manage to win a lot of trophies with this team and to enter the history of a club, to feel connected with the club. I’m really satisfied and very proud to myself to accomplish so much with this team.
In 2011 you signed with Siena, Why did you choose Siena and what you remember the most about that Italian experience?
When I signed for Siena it was already very serious and maybe little bit old years for my career. I was 34 years old and I just want to play with a team with lots of good players. It was a great season. We won Italian Cup and Italian League. It was a really good experience. I really liked the Italian League and especially I liked the fans in Siena and the people from the club.
With the National Team you won EuroBasket and the World Championship. Now that you are vice-president of the Serbian Federation which are you thoughts about the World Championship that Serbia will play this summer? How do you feel to play against Italy?
We are confident about this World Championship. We have big question about who will show up for this preparation. We have top NBA players like Jokic. We hope that all of them will come to play. I believe we have an advantage over Italy in quality but you never know. We have to move through to the all preparation process to find the right chemistry. As I said it depends on how many players will come to play with the National Team. If we are complete and with a little bit of luck we can even attack USA Team to try to win the gold.