It was already known and awaited by a lot of people. Now it is official, Dusan Ivkovic will coach the Serbian NT until the London Olympics in 2012. He will earn 250k per year for this 4 year contract.
The Serbian website BlicOnline asked a few legendary Plavi members about their opinion on this deal. Former PG legend Aleksandr Djordjevic had this to say:
Ivkovic is one of the most authoritative people in our basketball, the right man for the job, but it’s only a beginning, a good start of returning to the old glory days. It is up to Ivkovic to set things straight, to organize a lot of it, impose firm discipline and I honestly believe he can do it. He’s well aware of the players’ mentality, he knows how to approach them and awake in them the desire to play for the national team again. We can only wait and see what the results will be.
We have the quality, leaders but we need to keep on creating new ones. I’d like to see them want to play for Serbia and be eager to compete for their place on the team, not be just grateful they agreed to play in the first place. I believe Ivkovic will be able to change the attitude towards the national team with some players.
Djordjevic is right when saying about bringing back discipline to the Serbian squad. It was a big problem in the past with players being more interested in showing off their new wealth in the Belgrade Clubs on the Danube river than putting up great moves on the court or talking about the referees mothers and kids.
To help Ivkovic out, two young coaches are rumored to join the team: Aco Petrovic – coach of Russian team Unics, who has already worked with the national team, and Vlada Vukoicic – the actual FMP coach and close to all the young talent that is actually growing in Serbia.
And the amount of work to be done by Ivkovic is huge, as huge that Borislav Stankovic comes up with the following comparisons:
The cleaning up of Augean stables, according to a Greek mythology tale, was a labour only a true hero could live up to – namely Hercules. Well, that’s the kind of labour Dusan Ivkovic is in for.
A huge task lies ahead of Duda [Ivkovic] and the entire organization needs to back him on this, while he is energetic and capable of seeing the whole project through in the best possible way. I wouldn’t say the current situation is a crisis, but as the first steps of a new country and a new basketball association. We can’t expect overnight success and be over-optimistic about it, though – it all needs to be done cautiously. We must also realise one thing: this isn’t Yugoslavia any more, but a fresh start of Serbia.
Comparing Ivkovic to Greek heroes is probably the right choice as some Greek Gods have won some kind of medals those last years that the actual Serbian generation only could dream of.