Jordan Ritter Conn at the Ringer wrote a really nice long-form piece on Dario Saric and his journey from Europe to the NBA.
The quotes were gathered during the Miami playoff series, after the Sixers clawed their way to a game four road win.
I thought this passage on Dario’s competitiveness and focus was one of the highlights of the read:
“Right now, Saric’s motivation is simple: “I want to keep playing basketball,” he says, sitting courtside before practice one afternoon in Miami. The deeper the Sixers advance, the more he gets to play. “I love to play basketball,” he says. “I love to practice. I love to be with my team. To fight with each other, compete with each other, and grow up together as a team. Everyone should be as lucky as me, to be able to do this every day.”
“Everyone should be as lucky as me.”
Yep, Dario gets it.
Isn’t it somewhat ironic that the most “Philly” guy on the team is from Croatia? I guess it’s proof that the “blue collar” stereotype isn’t really an export type of thing, it’s just a mindset we value in general, whether you grew up in this region or not. I’ve always found that interesting about this squad, the fact that they play the way they do as a group of guys from Croatia, Turkey, Cameroon, Australia, Italy, France, and Pittsburgh.
Another paragraph that jumped out at me was this one, explaining how basketball caused a riff between Saric and his father:
“When they spoke, they fought. For months, they didn’t speak at all. His dad kept sharing his disappointment with local reporters, and Saric kept trying to establish himself as his own man. One day in 2014, Saric remembers, soon before he finally entered the NBA draft, his mom called him and his father together and made them both sit at the kitchen table. “What are you doing?” he remembers her asking. “You’re fighting about basketball. You have been family for 20 years, and yet you’re not talking to each other just because you disagree about where he should play.”
Fighting about basketball? Sounds like Twitter on Monday night.
Anyway, go read the story. It’s good: