| Following the avalanche of Fan Mail he received last week, it would be quite an understatement to say that Partizan coach Dusko Vujosevic's accomplishments in recent Euroleague seasons have not gone unnoticed. In questions that ranged from how to forge a team's mental fortitude to his own reading habits, a general theme of appreciation for a job well done despite limitations pervaded the highest amount of Fan Mail received at Euroleague.net in a couple of seasons. In answering the best of those questions, Vujosevic rewarded his fans with insight, humor and intellect. "If I thought about it rationally, it would be better to change teams from time to time," Vujosevic said in one such answer. "But the problem is that I am not a rational man. And about a lifetime contract - I am afraid of that. It could be too short!"
Dear Mr Vujosevic, I have watched every single game Partizan played at home in last couple of years. I was always wondering how and where do you choose young players for BC Partizan? What is your secret for making those young players compete successfully with much more experienced and high-budgeted Euroleague teams? Thank you and best regards,
Milosp Cvetkovic - Serbia
"Being a big team, Partizan has big magnetism. We have tradition, and part of that tradition is that young players become major players at Partizan. Our name and brand makes scouting and selection easier because lots of highly talented players want to come to Partizan. About my secret, all that I can say is that I don't spare my own talent and energy."
Hi Coach. It is wonderful to see your team playing very good basketball and of course winning with local, young players. Congratulations. I believe that your situation is very inspiring for all youth coaches around Europe. I think that one of the major reasons for your success in recent seasons is that your team rediscovered the mental strength of the past successful Serbian and Yugoslavian teams. How do you achieve this mental strength with such young players? Thanks and Good Luck!
Savas Kaynak - Serbia
"In the process of thinking about, and later scouting and choosing, young players, we are not estimating only their basketball skill, but their character, too. And - why not say it? - genetics is an important part of somebody's personality. But they all know one thing well; that each practice at Partizan is extremely hard, but it is not some kind of punishment. It is a kind of opportunity."
Hi, Dusko. I'm very much a fan of Serbian basketball and Partizan for years. My question is how do you keep the chemistry in your team despite the players who left the club, like Pekovic, Kecman and others? Also, do you know something about Argentinean basketball, the players, the league? Any chance to see an Argentinean player in Partizan? Good luck with Partizan and Montenegro,
Diego Sebastian Garcia Romero - Argentina
"I am real happy to hear of people in Argentina who follow what Partizan is doing! We maintain chemistry in our team by trusting in domestic players. I always say that we can make mistakes estimating someone's basketball skills, but we don't have the right to make a mistake estimating who is the right person. There is lot of chemistry in a quality group of people. And Partizan is that kind of group. I personally appreciate a lot Argentinean basketball and culture. Argentina gave the world great players, but passion, too."
Coach Vujosevic, since you are known as a passionate reader, can you recommend a book that you have recently read or one of his favorite works, by author and title? Thank You!
Vladimir - Serbia
"Long Hot Autumn" by Tibor Dery.
Coach Vujosevic, Partizan's MVP for last season, Nikola Pekovic, joined Panathinaikos and quickly became an integral part of that team's complex offensive and defensive plays. Knowing him better than anybody, can you explain his remarkable adaptability? Which part of his game can further improve?
Nikos Birakis - Athens, Greece
"Nikola has to improve his game when he is in the paint and when facing the basket. He has a winner's mentality. He is not afraid of anything or of anyone. Pekovic is an extremely strong player with great skill and great sense for tactics."
Do you ever feel pressure by playing at home with such a crowd at Pionir Arena and its fans, the gravediggers, even though you are used to it now? Lot of thanks to Euroleague.net for such a privilege,
Vlado - France
"Before each game, I have stage fright. That fear of losing is always present."
Dusko, you are inevitably becoming a legend in European basketball, and no matter how humble and polite a man you are, you cannot deny that. Do you think would it be better for you to accomplish something big with some rich European team, or stay with Partizan in some form of a lifetime contract and be remembered as the first of a kind in basketball history?
Slaven Popovic - Serbia
"If I thought about it rationally, it would be better to change teams from time to time. But the problem is that I am not a rational man. And about a lifetime contract - I am afraid of that. It could be too short!"
Dear Mr. Vujosevic, Congratulations on a distinguished career. Your teams are always fun to watch and hard to beat, regardless of budget. Partizan
represents one extreme in Euroleague terms. At the opposite end are teams like Olympiacos. The challenges of being the coach of Partizan are obvious and
you deal with them incredibly well. What do you think are some of the challenges Giannakis, Obradovic or Messina face? Would you turn down an
offer to coach a star-studded team?
Alex - Barcelona, Spain
"I am sure that each distinguished coach, and those named are all distinguished coaches, is working for success and improvement, not for the money. A coach must have emotion. It's a bad situation when a coach understands his work as an obligation. Major coaches like Giannakis, Obradovic and Messina are doing their high-paid jobs with passion. I am doing the same, but for less money. I shall be loyal to Partizan as long as it has any meaning and sense."
After game with AJ Milano, Jobey Thomas said: I never in my life have seen such support for team losing a game by 20 points or more... Fans have such trust in you and your team, and you have unlimited support. Is that a key reason for you staying in Partizan for so many years?
Veljko Vujacic - Serbia
"I am one of them, a Partizan fan. Even though this is my profession, I am also a big Partizan fan."
Our dear Dule. First of all I would like to thank for all those great things that you have been doing for our beloved club, BC Partizan. Passion, knowledge and professionalism you have brought have raised our club to another level. Can you compare the golden generation you were coaching with Divac, Djordjevic, Danilovic, Grbovic, Savovic and the one you are managing today? What are the similarities between these two teams? I personally adore this new generation of 2008-2009 and think that with Pekovic we would be contenders for the Final Four in Berlin. Many thanks,
Aleksandar Pertrovic - Serbia
"The generation that I coached decades ago was the most talented generation in European clubs history. Unfortunately, they were together for only a short time. It is a pity, because they had the potential to reach the top, everything. Later, they all did great things in their careers, becoming legends. But I must say that circumstances have changed now. In that time, each team had no more than two foreign players, there were less games during the season, domestic players stayed in their native teams until 26 or 27 years of age... It was easier for teams with lower budgets to reach the top of the Euroleague. But Partizan's present generation is deeply talented, too. And I love them so much. I think there is no time and no space for comparing generations if a man is doing his job honestly. I am thinking of my players, not about history."