Two years removed from an intense EuroLeague rivalry between Bogdan Bogdanovic’s Fenerbahce Istanbul and Milos Teodosic’s CSKA Moskow, the international sensations are set to compete versus each other yet again – this time as NBA rookies.
The talented guards have often switched between competing as EuroLeague foes or together as Serbian National Team teammates, but their friendship has continued to grow alongside their playing abilities.
Amidst it all, despite their success at the pinnacle of international basketball, it was hard for the guards to imagine today – a day that seemed inconceivable even following EuroLeague championships, Turkish Super League championships, and Olympic Finals.
“It’s like a dream, we never thought we’d play against each other in the League,” shared Bogdanovic. “It’s something really special for us…both of us, especially for me.”
The Serbian natives have come a long way since their 2015 EuroLeague championship thriller which ended in a narrow overtime defeat for Bogdanovic’s Fenerbahce team.
Since then, the new Kings guard has secured EuroLeague gold, earned EuroLeague First Team honors, back-to-back Turkish League championships, MVP trophies, Finals MVP, and inked an NBA contract.
Teodosic, meanwhile, has continued turning heads with his flashy point guard play en route to EuroLeague First Team honors, Euroscar Player of the Year honors, VTB Playoffs MVP honors, and like Bogdanovic, signed an NBA contract with a Pacific Division squad.
While American fans may be new to the wonders of each guard’s game, their presence in Serbian basketball has earned each thousands of devoted fans – largely due to their highlight-worthy on-court play that’s graced YouTube for quite some time.
The duos arrival into the game’s biggest stage is a moment that many fans have anticipated for years thanks to Bogdanovic’s remarkable shooting abilities and Teodosic’s dazzling passing displays.
On Thursday evening, with the pride of an entire nation beaming on each, two of Serbia’s biggest stars will fulfill lifelong dreams while once again sporting different uniforms.
And though it’s only preseason, there’s a bit more at stake than getting acclimated with the NBA for Bogdanovic.
“Probably after the first game, we’ll start to trash talk.”