Hi guys. Here is a translated interview with Jeff Hornacek from 2 days ago that was published in Slovenian newspaper Dnevnik (link: interview ). I apologize if there are some unfamiliar basketball phrases, one thing is I'm new to this and second, the interview was first translated to Slovene and then back to English (by me), so this might not be the exact words Hornacek used. But, I think you can extract the meaning out of it nonetheless.
How come that you decided to come to Slovenia and watch the European Championship?
Me and our GM Ryan McDonough decided to come and watch first part of Eurobasket. We knew that this competition is a big event for Slovenia and our player Goran Dragic. Besides that for the Suns also plays Marcin Gortat (Poland) and Kravtsov (Ukraine). We wanted to see how are they doing, how’s their form and performance.
And what your impressions?
Excellent. I really enjoy watching the games, especially when Slovenia plays as the fans are amazing.
What can you say about Slovenian NT?
I like their fighting stile. Players play offense and defense very hard and throw themselves after every ball. Goran and Zoran Dragić dictate the tempo of play, and every player is quite quick, but they also know when to slow down the pace. We coaches wish to have players on the field that can read the game and react the best way possible.
Are you satisfied with what are you seeing from Goran Dragić?
I like him, but I think he could be more aggressive with his shot. With that I mean, that he too often first looks for an assist and only after that he starts looking for ways to score. When I used to play for Phoenix Suns I had a teammate Kevin Johnson. I was always telling him, that he should always first look at the basket, as in this way he would make more room for other players. But it’s also true, that Goran has an excellent view over the game and often finds free players and almost all are good shooters.
Are you looking forward to work with him?
For sure. With him and with Eric Bledsoe we’ll be able to play an even faster basketball than Phoenix played in previous years. We’ll be an attractive team. When I watch Goran how as an arrow flies towards opponents basket in fast breaks, I can already see the plays in my head and how it will look in the NBA. Definitely I will try to take advantage of this excellent feature of his.
Any other player you like in Slovenian NT?
That’s Ryan McDonoughs job. But centrally he has things to see. Especially because in the NBA lately there is a high demand of players who are good shooters.
European basketball is somehow different than the one in NBA. How do you like it?
The basketball In Europe is more teamwork, which I like. There are not many individual moves. Players circle the ball, play as a team and are looking for free teammate. They work for the benefit of all involved. Therefore I extremely enjoy watching games here at the Eurobasket. With the best teams in the NBA we can see the features that I mentioned, while with the poorer not.
With 4 players from Europe Phoenix will also have some of the European flair.
I like this. We need to take advantage of Goran strengths, namely his speed and ability to assist after he penetrates. I’ll like to point out his defense too.
During your career you were known as a great shooter. Can you further help Dragić at his own game?
Goran is a good shooter when he primarily thinks about scoring. He is slightly worse in situations when he first looks for an assist and then suddenly the space frees up for him to shoot. I'll try to instill him a mentality of a shooter, one who is more aggressive searching space to score. In NBA the situation will be slightly different than here, that’s why we’ll need him to shoot more.
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