Bosnian basketball star Mirza Teletovic received his big break last summer when he was plucked out of the Euro League by the National Basketball Associationâ€™s Brooklyn Nets. The 6 foot 9 inch forward signed a 3 year 9 million dollar deal last July. But while Teletovic was used to being the main man in Europe, most recently with Saski Baskonia of the Spanish League. But with the Nets heâ€™s had to play second fiddle.
â€œIâ€™ve been working hard, like every day,â€ Teletovic said, â€œtrying to stay in shape and once my name gets called, be ready and to start playing. Sometimes itâ€™s tough. Most of the time not playing and then getting in the game . . . You can do whatever you want, but game shape is a different thing. It takes a little bit of time to get into it.â€
â€œItâ€™s been tough on him,â€ teammate Deron Williams said. â€œHeâ€™s been a pro for a while and heâ€™s used to being the guy on the team that plays 35 minutes a game and gets the majority of their shots, to go to a team where now heâ€™s thrown out there for two minutes. Heâ€™s not used to coming off the bench and has to take shots. Itâ€™s a transition, so everybody is patient with him. We know what he is capable of doing. We see it in practice how he can shoot the ball. Itâ€™s just a matter of gaining his confidence and how he plays on the defensive end.â€
â€œItâ€™s good,â€ Teletovic said. â€œOnce you come into the NBA, thereâ€™s a lot of defensive rulesâ€¦For me, itâ€™s very important to come in the game and just watch and see how they just defend. You see what they are doing and you just repeat it.â€
â€œIâ€™ve never been in that position, but I can imagine,â€ Williams said. â€œI can imagine it being hard to get into a rhythm. So you definitely feel for the guy and what he is going through right now. His first time in the NBA, heâ€™s a rookie. So heâ€™s struggling a little bit, but itâ€™s warranted.â€
Teletovic showed signs of coming alive recently, pouring in 10 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals, a block, and a steal in leading Brooklyn to their seventh straight victory.