Milan Gurović

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Milan Gurović
Gurovic.jpg
Gurović with Crvena zvezda
Personal information
Born (1975-06-17) 17 June 1975 (age 44)
Novi Sad, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia
NationalitySerbian
Listed height6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
Listed weight209 lb (95 kg)
Career information
NBA draft1997 / Undrafted
Playing career1993–2009
PositionShooting guard / Small forward
Number8, 11, 15, 32, 51
Coaching career2012–present
Career history
As player:
1993–1998Peristeri
1998–2000FC Barcelona
2000AEK Athens
2000–2001Telit Trieste
2001–2003Unicaja Málaga
2003–2004NIS Vojvodina
2004Partizan
2005Joventut Badalona
2005–2007Crvena zvezda
2007–2008Prokom Trefl
2008–2009Galatasaray
As coach:
2012–2013Crvena zvezda (assistant)
2013–2015FMP
2016Vršac
Career highlights and awards

Milan Gurović (Serbian Cyrillic: Милан Гуровић; born 17 June 1975) is a Serbian former professional basketball player and current basketball coach.

Born in Novi Sad, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia Gurović was a regular member of the FR Yugoslavia / Serbia and Montenegro national team, and played for many clubs all over Europe during his career.

Early life[edit]

Born and raised in Novi Sad to Serbian parents (father Božidar and mother Mara), both hailing from the vicinity of Trebinje in Herzegovina, young Milan practiced kung fu before taking up basketball. Gurović has a younger brother Veljko.

Club career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Gurović started playing basketball in the youth system of NAP Novi Sad.

Peristeri[edit]

Marking himself out quickly as a talented youngster, he moved to Greece during summer 1992 just after his 16th birthday to join Peristeri youth system.

By 1994, he entered their first team. As was the case with many young basketball players from former Yugoslavia at the time (mostly of Serbian ethnicity), he also took Greek citizenship, and thus competed as a domestic player, under the name of Milan Malatras.

Playing alongside another talented Serbian youngster and future star Marko Jarić, it was not long before Gurović started showing his quality. By his fourth season with the club, 1997–98, he averaged 17.2 points per game.

For two years at Peristeri, Gurović was coached by compatriot Dragan Šakota whom he credits for greatly helping him improve his game and find his footing in a foreign country at such a young age.[1]

FC Barcelona[edit]

In the summer of 1998, Gurović moved to FC Barcelona where he spent the next two seasons. Brought in as replacement to forward Marcelo Nicola who moved on to Benetton, his transfer to Barcelona was a big money deal that heightened expectations.[2]

In the 1998–99 season, he made a valuable contribution to Barcelona team winning the Spanish ACB League title and European Korać Cup.

2000–01 season[edit]

Rejecting Panathinaikos[edit]

Over the summer 2000, Gurović got invited for the FR Yugoslavia national team training camp ahead of the Sydney Olympics, however he ended up getting cut by the national team's head coach Željko Obradović and thus not included on the final 12-man roster the coach took to Australia. Many years later, Gurović revealed to the public that after the Olympics Obradović made him an offer of joining his club side Panathinaikos, reigning EuroLeague champion at the time. However, still mad about not being taken to the Olympics, 25-year-old Gurović rejected the offer, figuring that Obradović was just stroking his ego after cutting him in the national team. Gurović also revealed a later personal realization that rejecting the Panathinaikos offer was a regrettable mistake.[3]

Joining AEK[edit]

Still, despite not taking the Panathinaikos offer, the return to Greece was on the cards with their city rivals AEK Athens coached by Dušan Ivković. However, Gurović would not stay there long as in late December 2000 after appearing in only 5 domestic league and 4 EuroLeague games, he left the club.

Finishing the season in Trieste[edit]

Gurović transferred to Pallacanestro Trieste of the Italian league where he played out the remainder of the 2000–01 season.

Back to Spain: CB Málaga[edit]

Gurović was on the move again in the summer 2001 transfer season with another return, this time back to Spain with CB Málaga led by Serbian coach Božidar Maljković. In his first season at Andalusia, Gurović averaged 14 points per game over 32 regular season league games.

Celtics pre-season camp[edit]

Summer 2002 would in many ways be the turning point in his career. Twenty-six-year-old Gurović made the final FR Yugoslavia 12-man squad for the 2002 FIBA World Championship in Indianapolis. His exceptional performance against the Americans in the quarterfinals capped off with two big three-pointers in the last quarter further cemented his iconic status with Serbian fans, and also gained him a lot of attention internationally. As a result, the Celtics took notice and invited him to their pre-season camp. No deal was reached and he never went to the NBA.

Back in Málaga for a second season, he featured in 30 regular-season games averaging 10.3ppg as well as in sixteen EuroLeague games where his scoring average was 12.7ppg.

Return home: Vojvodina[edit]

What followed over the summer 2003 transfer season came as a surprise to many watchers. Citing a desire to be closer to his family, Gurović returned to his hometown Novi Sad, signing a contract with NIS Vojvodina. Prior to his final signature, he was heavily courted by KK Hemofarm of nearby Vršac, but in a sudden turnaround he decided to go with Vojvodina.

2004–05 season[edit]

Aborted transfer to UNICS[edit]

Following a season in his hometown, Gurović was on the move again. During late summer 2004, he agreed terms with Russian club UNICS from the Tatarstan federal subject, but after arriving in Kazan with his wife and kids in late August and early September to make living arrangements, he had a change of heart. Though satisfied with the club's organization and its basketball facilities, Gurović characterized things outside of the basketball court in Kazan as being below the level he was used to in Greece, Spain, or Serbia, specifically citing being unhappy with the apartment the club provided him with, the lack of an English-language school for his kids, and general dissatisfaction with the city as the reasons not to stay in Kazan.[4] He furthermore mentioned that the television coverage he watched while in Kazan of the Beslan school hostage crisis that was unfolding thousand kilometers away in another Russian city had a bad psychological effect on him that ultimately also affected his decision not to stay in Kazan.[4]

Two months at Partizan[edit]

Finally, in late October 2004, Gurović signed for Serbia-Montenegro champions KK Partizan.[5] Playing on three fronts: Serbian league (still in full format), EuroLeague, and regional Adriatic League, Gurović posted a good season. This was the first season that KK Partizan participated in the regional Balkans-wide league after years of pressure to join the competition.

Barely two weeks after signing for Partizan, Gurović became embroiled in controversy started in the Croatian media regarding a tattoo of controversial World War II figure Draža Mihailović on his right shoulder. Four days before Partizan's mid-November 2004 away game at Cibona, Croatian sports web portal SportNet.hr posted an editorial by Bernard Jurišić headlined "A Chetnik in Partisan Clothing is Coming for a Visit", urging the Croatian public and authorities to "stop a person sporting a tattoo of a Chetnik legend on his arm from entering Croatia".[6][7] The rest of the Croatian media immediately picked up the story, further whipping up public sentiment against Gurović in the country. It wasn't long before an official reaction, with Croatian Ministry of the Interior announcing Gurović would be turned away at the border if he tried to enter the country.[8] Due to fears of crowd trouble when Partizan plays away in Croatia, the club decided not to take Gurović on those away trips.

In mid December 2004, less than two months after signing, Gurović and crno-beli parted company as the club head coach Duško Vujošević expressed regret about "certain things that have nothing to do with basketball coming to the forefront".[9] A sizable portion of the Serbian public saw the behaviour of Partizan's front office in this situation as failure to stick up for their player,[10] however, Gurović himself had only good things to say about his two months at Partizan including praise for the way club management, specifically sports director Dragan Todorić and coach Vujošević, treated him[10] with his only complaints having to do with what he felt to be occasional lack of general support in Serbia from the country's basketball federation and official political circles.[11] But, some two years later, now a member of Partizan's heated cross-town rivals Red Star, Gurović came out saying his Partizan stint was the biggest mistake of his career and that "individuals from Partizan's club management used him for their self-promotion".[12]

Joventut[edit]

In late February 2005, following a two-month layover from playing basketball, Gurović signed with Joventut Badalona.[13]

Crvena zvezda[edit]

In early September 2005, Gurović signed a one-year contract with Crvena zvezda[14] thus reuniting with head coach Dragan Šakota who took over the team months earlier. The club also acquired Pero Antić, all of which meant that it entered the season with high hopes and expectations.

Gurović led the team in ULEB Cup (now called EuroCup) during 2005–06.

He especially came into his own throughout fall 2006 at age 31, putting on great scoring displays game after game.[15] At the end of the season Gurović led the ULEB Cup in individual scoring with 25.9 points per game, and he also dominantly won the Adriatic League's scoring title, with 28.6 points per game.

Season in Poland[edit]

Over the summer 2007 transfer window, 32-year-old Gurović signed for Polish club Prokom Trefl from the town of Sopot. He, naturally, assumed the role of the team leader and memorably led the team to the Polish league title. His year in Poland was not without controversy either as on 25 May 2008, during game 4 of Polish Basketball League 2007–08 Playoff Finals, Gurović got involved in an infamous brawl with two players from opposing team Turów Zgorzelec - Iwo Kitzinger and Thomas Kelati.[16] After the incident authorities of the DBE took the decision that marked him as the fight's instigator and Milan has been suspended for game 5. He was also fined PLN20,000 (about 6,000).

Galatasaray[edit]

After reportedly being a transfer target of Russian club Triumph Lyubertsy,[17] on August 8, 2008, it was announced that Gurović signed for Turkish club Galatasaray.[18]

On Tuesday 29 September 2009, Milan Gurović announced his retirement from professional basketball.[19] In 2015, discussing his sixteen-year playing career, Gurović listed Saša Đorđević, Juan Carlos Navarro, Dejan Bodiroga, Peja Stojaković, and Vlade Divac as the best players he's played with.[20]

In late August 2010, following a year on the sidelines, 35-year-old Gurović entertained the idea of a return to playing, even offering his services to Crvena zvezda head coach Mihailo Uvalin.[21] Nothing came of it in the end.

National team career[edit]

Gurović was a member of the national team at a number of international tournaments.

He won the bronze medal at EuroBasket 1999 and the gold medal at EuroBasket 2001 and the 2002 FIBA World Championship. He also took part in EuroBasket 2003 and EuroBasket 2005.

Prior to EuroBasket 2007, he was chosen as the first captain of the newly formed Serbian national team under coach Zoran Slavnić.

Career statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  PIR  Performance Index Rating
 Bold  Career high

Note: The EuroLeague is not the only competition in which the player participated for the team during the season. He also played in domestic competition, and regional competition if applicable.

EuroLeague[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG PIR
2000–01 AEK Athens 4 2 21.9 .452 .400 .783 2.5 .3 .8 .0 13.0 9.8
2001–02 Unicaja Málaga 11 8 22.7 .337 .320 .826 3.9 .6 .3 .0 11.3 9.3
2002–03 Unicaja Málaga 16 8 24.1 .432 .393 .820 3.4 .7 .7 .1 12.7 12.7
2004–05 Partizan Belgrade 6 6 27.9 .273 .235 .739 2.3 1.0 1.3 .0 9.2 3.3
2007–08 Prokom Trefl 12 11 29.1 .377 .342 .882 4.8 .9 .8 .1 15.3 14.6
Career 49 39 25.3 .377 .344 .824 3.7 .7 .7 .1 12.6 11.0

Coaching career[edit]

Gurović began organizing basketball clinics for kids in Belgrade's Šumice sports center in December 2011.[22]

Assistant at Red Star[edit]

When Milivoje Lazić got named the head coach of Crvena zvezda in July 2012, he selected Gurović to be his first assistant.[23] Lazić got relieved of his duties only two games into the season, but Gurović stayed on in the same role under Lazić's replacement Vlada Vukoičić. Vukoičić wouldn't finish the season either, getting fired just before the Adriatic League Final Four in Laktaši and replaced with Dejan Radonjić. Gurović again continued on as assistant coach, finishing the season in that role, as Crvena zvezda again failed to win either the Adriatic or the Serbian title.

Head coaching debut: KK FMP[edit]

In late June 2013, Gurović got named the head coach of FMP, Crvena zvezda's feeder club competing in the Basketball League of Serbia (KLS).[24]

2013–14 season[edit]

In his debut season behind the bench, Gurović's FMP team led by a couple of somewhat experienced journeymen — 25-year-old Slobodan Dunđerski and 24-year-old Filip Čović — in addition to talented 19-year-old Nikola Čvorović as well 18-year-olds Đorđe Kaplanović, Marko Gudurić, and Brano Đukanović finished the First League stage of the campaign on top with a 20–6 record, ahead of Crnokosa, Metalac Valjevo, and Borac Čačak, thus qualifying for the Super League stage.

On 7 February 2014 Gurović's FMP pulled out a famous win over favourites KK Partizan in the Serbian Cup quarterfinal — 85-79 after overtime behind Nikola Čvorović's 27 points. The win was still seen as an upset despite injury-riddled Partizan fielding a makeshift squad half of which consisted of junior players[25] as proud Gurovic praised his players.[26] In its semifinal versus Dejan Milojević-coached Mega, FMP led by 5 at the half on the back of its strong second quarter showing, but collapsed in the third and, despite some improvement in the fourth, lost the game 85–93 as towards the end of the game Gurović reacted explosively to verbal abuse, he later revealed consisted of insults against his family, from several individuals behind his bench who got ejected from the arena as a result.[27]

Competing in the eight-team Super League against Serbian clubs from the Adriatic League (Red Star, Partizan, Mega, and Radnički Kragujevac) as well its three First League competitors, FMP managed a 5–9 record that was good enough for 5th spot, just outside a playoff berth. Due to FMP's association with Red Star and Gurović's personal past with Partizan fans as well as FMP's cup win earlier in the season, both of FMP's Super League games against Partizan were especially memorable. The teams met again on 2 June 2014 in Hala sportova with FMP leading throughout the nervy contest and building a 17-point lead heading into the final quarter before Partizan shifted into a higher gear and out shot their opposition 34–13 in the fourth quarter for an 86–82 win.[28] Gurović was targeted throughout the match by Partizan fans and the arena erupted when he pushed Boris Dallo, a move that resulted in an automatic ejection from the sidelines as Partizan coach Duško Vujošević even took to the public address microphone, imploring home fans to calm down.[29]

Personal[edit]

In addition to his native country Serbia, Gurović also holds Greek citizenship, which he obtained for administrative reasons of playing without EU restrictions in the Greek Basket League, like numerous other Serbian players such as Dragan Tarlać, Peja Stojaković, and Marko Jarić. At the time (late 1990s), Gurović played for Peristeri, where he started his basketball career. In order to get Greek citizenship, his last name was changed; he thus competed under the name Milan Malatras while he was in Greece. The name change was required, as it reflected the citizenship documents submitted. There are rumors that these documents were often falsified, and subject to counterfeiting.

While playing for KK Partizan Gurović was not let in Croatia and Bosnia to play a game because of his tattoo of WW2 Chetnik leader Draža Mihailović on his shoulder.[citation needed] Above that tattoo, he has a tattooed eagle.

Serbian writer Biljana Srbljanović referred to Gurović as "that tattooed fool" in her online exchange with Nebojša Krstić, the adviser to President of Serbia at her blog. When informed and asked by daily tabloid Kurir about Srbljanović's online comments, Gurović responded: "For her information, that 'tattooed fool' speaks, besides Serbian, three foreign languages. I know who this writer is and feel very sorry for her. Women of her age can do or say foolish stuff sometimes if they don't get their portion of cock in the morning. She must've awoken unfucked that day when she said this."[3]

Before joining Red Star Belgrade he was a member of their arch-rivals Partizan Belgrade. Because of this, he became the main target for the Partizan fans, Grobari, who strongly supported him during the Croatian ban. This culminated during final of Serbian league's playoff in 2007 when Grobari chanted insults and provocations from the stands targeting Milan's wife, children and parents.[30] Milan responded and in TV interview said that "Grobari are cattle".[31] In the second game, when Red Star were hosts, incidents occurred on the stands between Red Star fans Delije and police. Gurović tried to calm Red Star supporters and to defend them from police. Delije chanted "You are Zvezda's chetnik Milan" (Serbian : "Ti si Zvezdin Četnik Milane") and Gurović cried.[32] In the third game, Grobari used Milan's tears as provocation. Partizan won series 3–1 and became the Serbian champions.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gurović za MONDO: Partizan mora da padne;MTS Mondo, 28 Decembar 2006
  2. ^ Babić, Nemanja (28 December 2006). "Gurović za MONDO: Partizan mora da padne". Mondo.rs. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  3. ^ Milan Gurović;Svet+ Info, 27 November 2011
  4. ^ a b Čast je igrati za Partizan!, Kurir, 9 September 2004
  5. ^ Milan Gurović u Partizanu, SrbijaSport, October 22, 2004
  6. ^ ""Sportnet" oštro napao Milana Gurovića". B92.net. 12 November 2004. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  7. ^ Titula Hemofarma u senci Gurovićeve tetovaže;Press, 17 July 2011
  8. ^ "Guroviću zabranjen ulazak u Hrvatsku". Index.hr. 13 November 2004. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  9. ^ "Gurović odlazi". Večernje novosti. 17 December 2004. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  10. ^ a b "Milan Gurović: "I robot bi pukao!"". Danas. 22 December 2004. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  11. ^ "POLITIČARE BOLI DUPE ZA MENE!". Kurir. 1 January 2005. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  12. ^ "Gurović: Partizan je moj najveći promašaj". Mondo.rs. 6 November 2006. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  13. ^ "Gurović u Huventudu". Sportska Centrala. 22 February 2005. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  14. ^ "Gurović u Zvezdi". Sportska Centrala. 6 September 2005. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  15. ^ Miletić, Aleksandar (16 November 2006). "Jesen Milana Gurovića". Politika. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  16. ^ [youtube.com/watch?v=2lL7b23nA0g]
  17. ^ Trijumf uzima i Gurovića, MTS Mondo, August 3, 2008
  18. ^ Gurovic ve Milojevic, Galatasaray Cafe Crown’da, Galatasaray.org, August 8, 2008
  19. ^ This is it for Gurovic Archived 2010-06-12 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "TOP 5 igrača sa kojima je igrao Milan Gurović! Mesta ima samo za jednog stranca!". Telegraf.rs. 8 April 2015. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  21. ^ N., D. (27 August 2010). "Gurović bi opet da igra i to u Zvezdi!". Blic. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  22. ^ "Milan Gurović otvorio školu košarke". Blic. 12 December 2011. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  23. ^ Đukić, I. (26 July 2012). "Lazić: Zvezdin prioritet je da sledeće sezone ode i korak dalje". Blic. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  24. ^ Todorović, N. (30 June 2013). "Gurović novi trener FMP-a: Ukazana mi je velika čast". Blic. Archived from the original on 9 December 2013. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  25. ^ N., Đ. (7 February 2014). "Pola Partizana premalo za FMP". B92.net. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  26. ^ Bećagović, M. (7 February 2014). "Gurović: Većina mojih igrača nikad nije trenirala u Pioniru, igrali smo dobro". Blic. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  27. ^ Vinulović, B. (8 February 2014). "Gurović: Imam živce, ali ne trpim vređanje porodice". Blic. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  28. ^ Bećagović, M. (2 June 2014). "Partizan od -17 do pobede protiv FMP-a, Gurović isključen zbog guranja Daloa". Blic. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  29. ^ Nikolić, D. (3 June 2014). "Ovako je Vujošević branio Gurovića od "grobara"". Blic. Archived from the original on 7 August 2014. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  30. ^ [1]
  31. ^ [youtube.com/watch?v=OKVZ9RyOzsg&feature=related]
  32. ^ [2]

External links[edit]