Nick, Petteri, Jokic and the so-called pressure: FC Bayern Basketball's EuroBasket column.

Nick, Petteri, Jokic and the so-called pressure

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While Bayern is toiling away in the preseason, Andreas Obst and Nick Weiler Babb are fighting for glory with the DBB team and Vladimir Lucic and Ognjen Jaramaz with the Serbs on a national mission to be champs. In the "Euro Diary",  Obst, Lucic and others report on the adventure of EuroBasket 2022 - today we hear from the captain of Bayern, who has recently also become captain of Serbia.

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"Pressure is a physical quantity. But in sports, people always talk about it: Isn't the pressure on your shoulders enormous?

Here in Prague, there are a few thousand Serbian fans accompanying us; significantly more than we would have expected for the first round. They're really making a racket in the hall. I don't know what they expect from us, but probably more than a medal.

We players live with pressure every day of the year when we go onto the court. There's the coach, there's the opponent, the other team. This supposed pressure is always there. Not a problem for me.

One person who doesn't know pressure at all, has certainly never heard of it, is Nikola Jokic. Yet many are here because of him, he is the back-to-back MVP of the NBA. Outside the hotel, there are always crowds of people waiting for him, for a selfie or autograph, and not just from Serbia. But he's so relaxed, takes it all in stride, and is far from being an actor like other superstars.

NBA MVP is Nikola Jokic, but Serbian captain is Vladimir Lucic
NBA MVP is Nikola Jokic, but the Serbian captain Vladimir Lucic

Sunday morning we all chilled out: play-free, sleep in. I slept in until half past nine. Just like at home, because I'm very lucky that my little girls Sophia and Olga are not early risers.

I went late for breakfast. All teams are accommodated in the hotel, including the Finns with Petteri Koponen (2018 - 2020 FCBB). He will soon have pressure at home rather than on the court: after the tournament he will end his career.

 Of course I follow the Germans with Nick and Andi and they look good. But I didn't watch the overtime thriller against Lithuania - sorry, day off, I was asleep! 😊

Do you have a lot of pressure as a home team? I don't think so, the atmosphere in the arena is incredible.

The only pressure from the Germans is from Nick. I actually wanted to speak and learn more German. But now that Nick is playing for Germany, I think he has to be able to do that before me. I can relax about this for the next year or two:

THIS pressure for Nick now."

Vladimir Lucic, 33, has played for Bayern since 2016. He understands more German than some people think.

Photos: FIBA

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