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Serbian basketball player and from recently the highest paid Serbian athlete, Nikola Jokic, discovered how he took the insults and criticism he received after his decision not to play on the European Championship for Serbia, but to dedicate to the training for a new season in Nuggets.
A lot of things were going through the head of this man from Sombor, and one of them was to stop playing for the national team...
He spoke freely about those days for the news issue of Nedeljnik.
- The boys that were on Eurobasket deserved to represent Serbia. They played the finals of the European championship, and the atmosphere was as if I was to blame for not playing. I got a lot of negative messages. I presumed that not a lot of people are against me, but I felt bad. We won silver in the last Olympic games, which was the greatest success in my career, and it was different by the next summer. It was all hard for me, I told myself: "Nah, I won't play anymore!" All kind of stupid thoughts crossed my mind, and then I shut myself off from everything, so I don't listen to all of that - Jokic said.
His dream was, as he said, to play for the national team while he was little...
- I represent, first of all, my family, my city, and my country. I would like everybody who meets me to think that Serbia is a happy country, that my family is happy, that there are no negative things. Americans are robotized, there is not much empathy, so I am trying to be different.
He will always remember the welcome after the Mundobasket in Sombor, he didn't even dream that his fellow citizens will go out to the streets just for him.
- There were a lot of emotions and wishes. That welcome in Sombor after winning the medal in front of 5 thousand people was amazing. That is my city, the best in the world. I didn't believe that so many people will welcome me. I didn't even know that there will be a welcome. They made me proud in those half an hour - Jokic said.
VIDEO: Listen to the Nuggets coach, what he said about Jokic in Serbian: