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Friends, The Union Episode: Even if he comes to Maccabi Tel Aviv, Dragon Bender will not give up on the NBA - Walla! sport

2020-09-23T10:01:54.788Z

Golden State is waiting for him, other teams in the NBA are still interested in him, so why is Dragon Bender attracted to the possibility of renewing (temporarily?) The collaboration with Vujicic and Žižić? The current status of the Yellows' designated power forward, including Spahija's promise: "He can become the next Ian Wesley"



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Friends, Union Episode: Even if he comes to Maccabi Tel Aviv, Dragon Bender will not give up the NBA

Golden State is waiting for him, other teams in the NBA are still interested in him, so why is Dragon Bender attracted to the possibility of renewing (temporarily?) The collaboration with Vujicic and Žižić?

The current status of the Yellows' designated power forward, including Spahija's promise: "He can become the next Ian Wesley"

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  • Maccabi Tel Aviv in basketball

  • Dragon Bender

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Wednesday, September 23, 2020, 12:30 p.m.

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Dragon Bender describes himself as an expert on the "Friends" series, and has told more than once in the past that he learned English while watching the mythological sitcom.

And while Chandler, Monica, Joey, Phoebe, Ross and Rachel repeatedly receive requests for a reunion episode, Bender is close to arranging a reunion episode of his own: if he does join Maccabi Tel Aviv, he will collaborate with his good friend Ante Jiz 'It', which has been close to him since the days when he collaborated with Croatia's youth teams;

He will find there Nikola Vujicic, who nurtured him from a young age and became involved at every step of his career;

And will return to the club where he made his first steps in his career as a professional, in which he invested quite a bit.



Bender left no special impression during his time in Israel, and the trend continued even later in the United States, with four disappointing years in the NBA.

On the day that Jamal Marie, who was selected seventh in the same draft, put another stamp on being a superstar, Bender "folds" back to Maccabi Tel Aviv.



But Bender may still not be desperate in his attempts to put a stake in the best league in the world: According to reports in the United States, Golden State, where he recently played and a partner in nine games, has until recently considered giving him an unsecured contract for next season, and other NBA teams have expressed interest.

According to a report by Keith Smith from Yahoo on June 20, "Bender is in the sights of some NBA teams early this summer. The idea will be to sign him now on a partially guaranteed contract for next season, and there are some teams already trying to do that. Golden State is among them. "

More on Walla!

NEWS

Dragan Bender on the verge of a conclusion at Maccabi Tel Aviv

To the full article

Golden State did not give it up.

Bender (Photo: AP)

Hard to believe, but despite the hardships he went through in his career Bender is still only 22. He has been flirting with the possibility of returning to Europe more than once in recent years, after it seemed like his NBA career was not taking off.

When he examined the possibilities in the Euroleague, he discovered that he was in great demand: in the summer of 2019, he had already agreed in principle to a contract with CSKA, but was eventually signed by Milwaukee and tried his luck again in the NBA.



Nevan Spahija, who coached him at Maccabi Tel Aviv, even compared The same recently Lian Wesley, another player selected in a high draft pick, was labeled a failure in the United States, and quickly became one of the best players in Europe. "Dragan could be a senior player in the Euroleague if he wanted to.

He clearly has the talent, "said the Croatian coach.



But Bender still believes he is capable of being a legitimate NBA player, even if he does not become the star they hoped to be. At least the last chance he got at Golden State proved he belongs: in nine games in the Warriors uniform, he averaged 9 points, 5.9 rebounds and no less important - 43 percent of the three. "For me, Dragan belongs to the NBA.

I really liked what he could contribute to us, "said Steve Kerr.

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Model: Jan Wesley.

Bender with Vujicic (Photo: Berni Ardov)

So what has changed for Bender since he left Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2016?

First and foremost, it will come with an upgraded physical profile.

Over the years in the United States Bender has added significant muscle mass, and looks much stronger than he has in the past.



Second, some would say that his shooting from the outside is also improved.

"He's really improved his shooting lately," Golden State Deputy General Kirk Kirk Jacob said in February.

"In the G-League he's 38 percent off the arc, scoring a lot of threes. For a player at that height, with that delivery ability, it's very impressive. He had to grow physically so that people would understand what his natural position was."



Leikov makes an interesting point: While Maccabi Tel Aviv is building on Bender as a power forward, in recent years it has built itself mainly as a center.

"For us, Dragon is a center for anything and everything," Kirk Leikov added.

"It's hard to be a center in the NBA. You have to be strong. We very much hope that in terms of Dragon, everything connects at the right time."



Maybe now, especially in the Maccabi Tel Aviv uniform, it will really happen.

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Source: walla

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