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Sometimes difficulties give us moments of happiness

Happy New Year to everybody!

Happiness is a big word. I don’t think people can be happy all the time. My wish is that we have  future we can get along with. With all good moments and also difficulties that we can face and overcome. There are moments when you can do nothing about difficulties. So, I wish even in hard moments that everybody faces sometimes, we still can find a way to overcome them.

Happy New Year to everybody!

Happiness is a big word. I don’t think people can be happy all the time. My wish is that we have  future we can get along with. With all good moments and also difficulties that we can face and overcome. There are moments when you can do nothing about difficulties. So, I wish even in hard moments that everybody faces sometimes, we still can find a way to overcome them.

I wish you health. Beside material values, I think, health is our most important wealth.

Health is more important than anything else. You may not be rich, but if you’re healthy, everything is OK. I wish that politicians understand how important is to make the biggest effort to keep people healthy.

In this New Year entry I’ll try to sum up my memories of last year and tell you a little bit about what I expect from the year 2007.

Last year was very special for me. I remember our last practice in 2005 (December, 31). I wished my players Happy New Year and reminded them it was exactly 35 years since the last European trophy was taken by CSKA. I thought that there might have been some kind of a signal. Maybe we could repeat it exactly 35 years later.

It seemed like we lost our chance after our losses to Pao and Unicaja and David Andersen’s injury. But what happened then was one of the best memories in my career, if not the best one. All the things that I believe in really worked out. I refer not only to the technical part of basketball, but especially to the relationship between players and coaches, players and club, club and coaches. When you find someone who is really enthusiastic and willing to cooperate, you achieve great results,  like Euroleague title. Of course, you need to have a minimum level of talent. It gave me even more confidence in my believes.

The worst memory was also related to basketball.

May be, you remember my son got sick during the Final Four in Prague. I don’t want to make a big story about this. It was already a big story. I understand that when you are a public person, everybody wants to know about you, about what happens in your life. At that particular moment it was a bit too difficult for us to deal with such an attention.

We felt an incredible support. Not only by CSKA staff, but also by fans. They were really incredible at showing me and my wife their support. However there were moments when we wanted to be far away from everything just to protect our child. Now everything is OK. The fact that he was sick is a very bad memory. What happened around was a very important, touching experience.

It was important to me to establish good relationship with our fans. During the first half of the season-2005/2006 they felt suspicious towards the person who took over the great coach Dusan Ivkovic, who did so much for CSKA. The changes in the roster I asked for and our difficult start made the situation worse.

Only when we played a good team basketball, fans started to welcome me, wait for me just to cheer up after the game. They appreciated that I was making an effort to learn Russian.

I don’t think you can just go to an office, get your job done and leave. You have to have relationship with people you’re working with. Sometimes it’s hard, because I’m not so strong in getting along with people. Yet I understand that coach needs feedback from the fans.

As for the world events in 2006, there were something that I don’t understand and I don’t like.

I’m talking about the situation in the Middle East. The war in Iraq has proved to be a complete failure. Over 3000 US soldiers died and US government has hard time to explain why American people needed this war. Italy also lost soldiers in this war.

What’s is happening between Israel and Palestina is also an alarming example. Intolerance is becoming the rule in many countries. This is a dangerous sign for our future. Now you can see a lot of intolerance almost in every part of our life: politics, business, religion. This is something that really concerns me a lot.

It’s very difficult for me to have even mid-term plans. I cannot even say long-term plans. I don’t know what I’ll be doing next year. Sometimes I’m afraid that all the good things that are happening to me and my family can stop one day. I’m trying to enjoy as much as possible what we’re doing now, where we’re now, the people we’re with now. I hope that my son and daughter will be healthy.

As for basketball, I hope that my team will stay healthy and we will play with the same feeling of togetherness. If we do this, we will compete until the end. Maybe, we will not win, but we will have a chance.

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