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2014 will be a big year
NOVI SAD (Dusan Bulut's 3x3 Thrill) - Zdravo everyone! Could not start this new 3x3 basketball column on a better day than 03.03! I'd like to thank FIBA for the opportunity! I'm not a writer but I will try to speak about 3x3 with the same energy and passion that I have when I step on the court.
2014 will be a big year for 3x3 and a big year for me too. Like a lot of players, I already have my eyes set on Moscow for the (FIBA 3x3) World Championships (on 5-8 June). As you may know, me and my team are the reigning champions and I think we have enough firepower to repeat that again in Russia.
Becoming World Champion is one of the best memories of my career. I remember getting this call from the federation to represent my country. I immediately pictured myself with a gold medal around my neck and I kept this vision during the preparation. It moved me and gave me the energy to practice and motivate my friends. We all had jobs so it was a challenge to play 3x3 together after work.
During the event, I was in a zone and did not necessarily realize what was happening. A few months after the event, I saw that picture of the team on a newspaper, the four of us holding each other. There was so much emotion. It is something you can't buy with money and no one will ever take that away from me. From that day I was happy with my life and somehow it has changed the way people are looking at me.
I'm not superstitious but it's great to play in a place I've played before. The World Champs will be staged in Luzhniki Park where the Moscow Open is played. Last year we were cruising against Team Ljubljana in the semi-finals but we never closed that game and they started hitting the most improbable shots and beat us at the buzzer. It was the first time I experienced something like that. I was really mad but the more I think the more I'm happy to come back to Moscow because when I don't do something right, I like to go back and solve the problem.
I stayed in shape during winter working with my physical trainer, Fedja Kamasi, who is also in charge of decathlete Mihail Dudas. We practice hard with him and I also go to the gym to play basketball with my first basketball coach, Duka Ignjatov. We are waiting for good weather to play 3x3 in the street, which is the best environment to build your character and be strong. I will play an international event in Switzerland next weekend and after that I plan to play at the World Tour, starting from the main challengers and hopefully making my way back to the Prague Masters.
Just because we lost twice against Team Brezovica (SLO) (at the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Final and the FIBA 3x3 All Stars final), I don't plan to make any changes to our team. They're a good team but I know we can beat them. They need to prove they're invincible. The only thing is I'm planning to add a player to our team because the season is long and it may be a good idea to have one more guy. We tried him before but he suffered a knee injury. But don't count on us to add a big guy inside, it is just not our style of play. We've had some success with our philosophy. We don't need a 2.10m player to win a game.
Last thing about why 2014 will be big, not only will I play but I will also be involved in the organisation of the 3x3 tour in Serbia, in close cooperation with the Serbian National Federation. After playing in so many events, I feel like I’ve learned the ropes and I'm very excited about this new opportunity. There are basketball courts everywhere and people love 3x3 in Serbia so I think there is potential for an amazing event in my country this summer.
Dusan Domovic Bulut
FIBA's columnists write on a wide range of topics relating to basketball that are of interest to them. The opinions they express are their own and in no way reflect those of FIBA.
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