Few players have been as dominant at this level. Vasilije Micic was the first player to start the Final Four as that season's MVP. Micic received the award on Wednesday, in a surprise announcement disguised as a team meeting. The MVP award raised the expectations around him and Micic delivered, leading Anadolu Efes Istanbul to its first EuroLeague crown.
Just like 10 of his teammates, Micic lost the 2019 championship game against CSKA Moscow. He was fired up for the semifinal rematch. Micic showed his best self, finishing the game with 25 points, 6 assists and 10 fouls drawn for a PIR of 26. However, he fouled out with over 3 minutes remaining and his teammates, especially Shane Larkin and Rodrigue Beaubois, took care of business in crunch time.
Come the championship game against FC Barcelona, Micic was at his best again. He had 25 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, and 8 fouls drawn for a PIR of 28. With the game tied at 69-69 midway through the fourth quarter, Micic buried a critical shot from downtown and scored twice in penetration to put Efes ahead for good, 76-81, with 1:22 left. And as they say, the rest was history.
When the dust settled, Micic stood at the center of Lanxess Arena with the Final Four MVP trophy. He led all Final Four players in scoring (50), assists (11), fouls drawn (18) and PIR (54). At age 27, Micic has just entered the prime of his career and successfully transitioned from an up-and-coming prospect to one of the best playmakers in the game. And of course, he can tell everyone now that he is a EuroLeague champion.