After the disappointing 2nd place finish in China the Slovenian National Team took a few days off to regenerate. They met up again this morning and headed to Kranjska Gora to continue with training. For the first time Goran Dragic will be joining them on court.
Previously he had been following a special program prescribed by the Suns - he was limited to one individual practice per day. Now the Captain will finally take over the reins of the team. Per Ekipa24.si he was quoted saying he is "physically well prepared" and that it will be normal for the team to not to be in sync at the beginning, but 5 on 5 training will help that.
The Suns allowing him to play 2 more preparation games will help as well. Goran apparently called up the Suns and explained that 3 preparation games weren't really enough, especially since he hasn't been participating in any team trainings so far. The Suns approved 2 more, the only limit being max 25 minutes of playing time per game - which is plenty for such games. He is now allowed to play in a total of 5 preparation games with Greece, Brazil and USA remaining the same as previously announced and with coach Zdovc being left to decide in which other 2 games to release the Dragon. It will be interesting to see what his criteria for deciding will be. Here's hoping he goes with "What would make the fans happier". Either way this is a very nice surprise from the Suns.
I like to think Ryan McDonough comes to BrightSideOftheSun every now and then; to check up on fans opinions, see the new McNicknames, listen to the Podcasts.. The logical conclusion to this is of course: Ryan saw my rant, felt my fan pain and just wanted to give me an awesome birthday present.
Thanks so much Ryan/Suns/WhoevermadeThisdecision!
Now all Slovenia Basketball Federation has to do is make those 2 extra games home games. Unless there's some major basketball strategy reason coach Zdovc comes up with - I still might rant though.
UPDATE: SBF obviously did not read my rant! Dragić will be playing 2 games in Slovenia, 2 in Lithuania and 1 in Spain. I'll rant more about this if we lose that game at home.
In other news, Goran is aware of the Pacers offer coming after the PG injury and as far as he knows the Suns won't be taking it. Of course he doesn't want a new environment, especially now he has a kid. He knows the city, has friends and family there and wouldn't want a trade now. But he also realizes it's the NBA and he is not yet at a level where he would be the one making that decision. Hearing a good team like Indiana wants him feels pretty good though.