Hello, Euroleague fans out there. This is Marko Popovic of Unics, on my way to Kazan after a long, long day on the road. Right now I am in the Moscow airport, already took two flights to get here and waiting four more hours to fly to Kazan and finally - finally! - get home. The worst part is that, unfortunately, I will miss the UEFA Champions League game that Rubin Kazan plays against FC Barcelona. We will be flying back while the game is taking place and I will know the result when I land. I don't feel very well, quite honestly. We lost an important game to Spirou Basket in Charleroi, I live in Kazan and now that Barcelona is coming to town for a change, I am not able to attend the game. I wanted to cheer for Kazan because it is the city's football team and because I am a big Real Madrid fan!
We woke up in Belgium at 6 this morning to start our trip back to Kazan and we are supposed to arrive to Kazan at 10:30 tonighlocal time. I am really exhausted and we play a crucial, critical, key game on Friday. It will be really, really tough. The good news is that my teammate and fellow guard, Terrell Lyday, missed Game 1 due to a small injury, but I think he will be able to help us in Game 2. Let me say this about our travel adventure: I can't take people complaining when they travel to Kazan for a game. They just have to do it once a year, but we have to go through a very tough trip every single time we play on the road! Hopefully, if we make it to the Euroleague - and we WILL -, we will travel to much better destinations, with direct flights from Moscow or even Kazan.
We didn't play well on Tuesday, scoring just 7 points in the first quarter. We also had a blackout in the third quarter and Spirou took a lead of 18 points,...
Marko Popovic - Kazan, Russia
September 30, 2010
Hello, everybody! I am Marko Popovic of Unics Kazan. This is my first time doing a blog so I hope you really like it. I guess most of you know me already; my basketball career has been kind of good - even when it could have been better, but I have no regrets. I have played for five Euroleague teams - Zadar, Valencia, Cibona, Efes Pilsen and Zalgiris - so Unics could be the sixth if we survive the Qualifying Rounds. I especially enjoyed playing for Zalgiris in Kaunas, a great experience because of their fans. First, I enjoyed playing basketball for Zalgiris, I liked it a lot, but at the same time you can share your good work with their fans. Zadar and Zalgiris are my favorite teams so far in my career, but I am sure we are going to have a very good season in Unics, hopefully reach the Euroleague and have a great experience there, too.
Not all of you may know that I come from a basketball family. My father, Petar Popovic played for my hometown team Zadar for many years. He helped Zadar to win the Yugoslavian League in 1986, downing Cibona - with the Petrovic brothers - in the decisive game, in two overtimes. He had 36 points, all in the second half and both overtimes, and Zadar won 111-110. My mother was also a basketball player. My first cousin is Arijan Komazec, a former superstar who also played for Zadar. I have another cousin, Alan Gregov, who played the 1992 Olympic games with Croatia. As you see, we are a big basketball family. It is more than just a sport; it goes beyond that! This sport is in my blood!
I don't think many people have played for six different Euroleague teams, but I haven't thought too much about it. I would be the happiest person in the world if I could play...
MARKO POPOVIC - KAZAN, RUSSIA
September 17, 2010