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"NBA Level Coach": Farewell to "The Godfather of Yugoslavia" Dusan Ivkovic - Walla! sport


Zofi Abdia: "Every problem that arose in Yugoslav basketball, he solved. Everyone gave him respect." Zvika Sharaf: "His success has built a lot of coaches." A "aunt" who passed away left an extensive legacy

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"NBA Level Coach": Farewell to "The Godfather of Yugoslavia" Dusan Ivkovic

Zofi Abdia: "Bessarabia is bigger than Oberdovic. Even the politicians were afraid of him."

Zvika Sharaf: "His success built a lot of coaches. He was very dominant."

An "aunt" who passed away at the age of 77 left behind an extensive legacy with unique basketball and dozens of students.

His acquaintances mourn


  • Dusan Ivkovic

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Friday, September 17, 2021, 1:30 p.m.

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Yam Madar's performance in Partizan Belgrade's prep game against Radnicki (from Partizan Belgrade's YouTube page)

Zofi Abdia (played for Yugoslavia under Ivkovic)

He was one of the greatest there was, raising an entire generation of coaches under him.

A special man, even outside of basketball.

His great love was for the pigeons, and he treated them like actors, even more so.

He died of an illness that he received sorties.

This love cost him his life.

He was an honest and strong man, he was given respect, but not out of fear.

The NBA people who would come to Serbia would give him a lot of respect and call him a coach.

He was at the level of the NBA coaches.

When you say 'Aunt' Ivkovic, you first say Yugoslavian basketball, and only then Serbian basketball.

He was a strong man, a strong personality and his word was worth a great deal.

In every problem that arose in Yugoslav and Serbian basketball, he would solve everything.

More on Walla!

Dusan Ivkovic dies at age 77. Sapropoulos: "His legacy will last forever"

To the full article

His legacy will remain.

Ivkovic as Olympiacos coach (Photo: GettyImages, Vladimir Rys Photography)

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He started coaching Bardnicki Belgrade, but broke out with the Belgrade partisan. He is not identified with a team because he does not stay much in one team, he is the type of coaches who have gone through some of the biggest teams in Europe. Each time he was in a different group. He may be more identified with Olympiacos, but in Serbia he is more associated with the team than anything else. He is an icon in Serbia. When you say Aunt Ivkovic, Zeljko Oberdovic is below him.

What he did on the team in his last term, that's exactly him. With the respect and power he had, he was allowed to do whatever he wanted. He was the only one who could do what he did, and advance to the European Championships with ten young players with all the veterans out. If he had not been there, it would not have happened. He was not afraid of anyone. That's how he got there, no combos, no talk. He went his own way. What he thought should be done, he did. There was no figure like him in Serbia. Even politicians were afraid of him.

Did it his way.

Ivkovic as Serbia coach (Photo: GettyImages, Christof Koepsel / Bongarts)

Zvika Sharaf (colleague and old acquaintance)

Ivkovic was the unifier of all the Yugoslav coaches for generations - the Serbs, the Croats, the Slovenes, he was the godfather of them all. He was a friend of Oberdovich who greatly appreciated him, and was literally his son's godfather. Despite this, when he arrived at Olympiacos he took Spanoulis away, during which he eventually brought Olympiacos two European Cups, one with him and one with Bratzocas. He was very dominant and used to interfere in everything related to the club, very tough. Many coaches have followed suit.

I have a lot of Ivkovic hours. It turned out that I had twice been to the clubs he had worked for before, Baris Thessaloniki and Fawk Thessaloniki a few years later. I met him one of the last times together with Rani Kahana at the European Championships in Turkey and we talked. He was very successful in Greece and his success there built quite a few coaches. One of my and Paok Thessaloniki's big wins was over him when he coached Olympiacos in the 1997/8 playoff semifinals.

He came from below, coached at Shibnik Vardnicki, was not identified with a single team in Serbia as Oberdovic was identified with a Belgrade partisan.

The fact that he was not a great player helped him in that and that is why he was so identified with the success of Serbian basketball and the Serbian national team.

Revolutionary, wherever he coached (Photo: Reuters)

Everywhere he went, he brought in three or four young players to establish his control.

When he returned to the Serbian team that was full of problems he sent them all home and brought ten young players in what was the basis for their success in the previous decade.

He said he did not like to return to the teams and did so only twice - he returned to Olympiacos and repaired the fragments there, and also to the Serbian team which was his great love.

There is no doubt that he is considered one of the greatest and has greatly influenced European basketball.

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Source: walla

All sports articles on 2021-09-17

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