USA Today’s Hoopshype spoke with new Indiana Pacers signee Damjan Rudez about the Croatian national team, playing time as a rookie, and the state of the Eastern Conference.
Here were his comments about coming over to play in the NBA for the Pacers.
When were you first approached about the possibility of signing with Indiana?
DR: Well, my agent called me last May and told me there were several teams that wanted me to play for them in the summer leagues, but at the end we agreed to go to the States for a couple of workouts and it turned out great.
Which other team or teams were interested?
DR: I went for Cleveland for three days and I was there working out and then I went to Indiana. After that, I just waited for the situation to develop.
Have you spoken with coach Frank Vogel about your role next season?
DR: Yeah, we spoke briefly about it. I will speak more with him about my role when I finish playing the World Cup.
What do you think about the possibility of playing there?
DR: I’m very excited about my first season in the NBA. It’s something I’ve worked for my whole life. I can’t wait to start after the World Cup. I think I can contribute in many ways because it would be different if I went there when I was 20 or 22 years.
Yeah, you’ve proven your talent during your career and at 28 I’m guessing you don’t expect to stay a lot on the bench.
DR: I’m ready to help the team and I’m ready for whatever might happen. I don’t expect to play 30 minutes per game and I don’t expect to sit on the bench all season. I’ve been a professional for 10 years in Europe. I realize that for any European player going to the NBA, the first year is a transition process and I’m ready for that and whatever might come along the way.
Read the rest of his interview at Hoops Hype.