Hornets’ Vasilije Micic reveals his NBA idol to explain the importance of passing in basketball


The Hornets have a new star in town even though he’s still adjusting to the NBA game. We are talking about Vasilije Micic, who just landed in the United States last year and was recently traded from Oklahoma City after 30 contests with the Thunder. His first game in Charlotte was an impressive 18-point performance on February 10, which included 9 assists. 

Despite having played for almost 15 years as a professional and earning many trophies along the way, the rookie guard is still learning the ways of NBA basketball. However, the Serbian is commonly seen displaying his flare and passing skills to contribute to his teams.

“You have to find a way to break the defense. We have a lot of hedge defense and a lot of trap defense, which forces everyone to be creative with their passing abilities. There aren’t as many isolation plays. It’s a different type of game, but it definitely forces you to think faster and create off the passing,” Micic shared.

According to the 30-year-old, passing is one of the most important keys to winning games, and revealed that he’s always admired Hall of Fame Steve Nash for his incredible vision.

“For my specific game, passing is something I’m mainly showing here because it’s a way of transition,” he explained when talking about what he brings to the game. “Over there, I was also a really aggressive scorer and that’s something that helped me to be very productive with passing.”

It’s been said many times, especially by foreign stars in the NBA, that European basketball concentrates more on the team, while Americans focuses on individual exhibitions.

Vasilije commented on how he learned to play the sport. “We are playing from a very early age the pick-and-roll game,” Micic shared. “Being able to read in the moment is something that you must have naturally. We have to find a way to play the game against guys that are very athletic, like Americans. They are very dominant physically. You must find different ways to contribute, and one of those ways is to read the game well.”

Charlotte coach Steve Clifford praises his new recruit and says he dominates all the fundamentals of basketball

Hornets coach Steve Clifford revealed his first impressions on Micic as he landed in North Carolina right before February’s trade deadline. Even though his perception of the player is mostly positive, he does admit that European players have a different upbringing than United States athletes.

“[The Europeans] grow up in an entirely different way than we do here,” expressed the Charlotte tactician. “They go to academies when they’re younger. They’re picked as elite athletes in their country. They’re living in basketball, and I think when you go over there, it’s all fundamentals.”

“It’s learning to play without the ball, when to pass, how to pass. They just get so much instruction and spend so much time in the gym that they develop. Right now, our younger guys [in the United States] are playing three-on-three, five-on-five, and playing five games in a weekend, which is really the opposite of what the European guys are doing,” Clifford added.

The Hornets coach explained how young American prospects don’t have the same basketball IQ and understanding of the game as well as European players, despite the fact that these U.S. youngsters are incredibly talented.