Zeljko Obradovic on Rick Carlisle: “He knew everything about us”


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Zeljko Obradovic recognizes that coaching in the NBA presents unique challenges.

During an interview with “Arena Sport TV,” Obradovic discussed the key distinction in coaching styles that makes it challenging for European coaches to transition directly to the NBA.

The most successful coach ever in European basketball acknowledged the NBA’s ‘perfect system’ and referenced a conversation he had in the 1990s with Rick Carlisle to illustrate this difference.

“He insisted on sitting down with me and Dusko Ivanovic,” Obradovic said. “Then I coached Real Madrid. He knew everything about us.

“He knew my reactions, and Dusko’s reactions, and one of the things he said was that in the NBA, 80% of the coaching job is based on the relationship with the players, and 20% is basketball, details.

“‘I know how you work, I know the details of your attack, I know the details of your defense.’ That was 25 years ago.”

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