Most interesting parts of Misko Raznatovic's interview with the B92 (in English)
Here is the link for the full interview (in Serbian):
On him influencing the roster of Serbian national team: That’s one of the things that makes me really angry. When Duda Ivkovic was Serbian coach, there were speculations that I’m putting the team together, which doesn’t make any sense. I mean, man of that age, with such a reputation – Duda and I hadn’t spent a second talking about it in the past, those speculations are ridiculous. People get those ideas because in football it works like that – since the seventies the agents have had a large influence on the national team.
“You play well in the World Cup, and then you earn a better contract“, that used to be the case in basketball also, but that’s not the case anymore. World Cup takes place at the end of September, everyone have found new clubs by then – it doesn’t do much good, actually it can harm the players because they start the following season exhausted. So I don’t have any particular interest for my players to be part of their national teams. This summer, if it weren’t for injuries and other things, I would have probably had six players in Serbian national team (Nedovic, Micic, Dangubic got injured, Velickovic couldn’t play, Djordjevic threw Micov out of the squad). If all that didn’t happen, people would again be saying: “There it is, he’s deciding who is going to play for the national team“, and I haven’t heard from Sale (Djordjevic) in six months.
On Nemanja Nedovic in Warriors: I don’t know if he’s gonna get a proper chance – they’re promising he will, but we’ll see, he’s had a lot of injuries. I hope everything is gonna be all right.
On Nikola Pekovic in Timberwolves: I think he’ll have a similar role like last season – with Love gone, he might have a chance for a few more rebounds. He might even get to be a go-to guy more often. He’s stable and I believe he’ll be targeting the All-Star again.
On a club-agent relationship: Agents need to be in touch with the clubs. Since I’ve been in the business for a long time now, that contact is more relaxed and frequent. I watch a lot of matches and I make my conclusions in terms what would one club need – then I suggest it, they listen, think it over and provide me with the answer. For instance, I thought Red Star needed a more mobile centre than Katic. They agreed, I offered 2 or 3 players, so did the other agents, and then they choose the player that suits them both in his basketball characteristics and financial terms.
On new trends in basketball: Typical centers, tall and strong, they’re having big problems finding a new club. Coaches are more and more looking for centers who can defend guards off the pick ’n’ roll, undersized centers, athletic, players like Hines, Lasme or Dunston. If I had had 50 players with those abilities this summer, I would have sold 50. Unfortunately, players with those characteristics come almost exclusively from the USA. I managed to find clubs for Katic, Maric, Kravtsov, but it was all very late and with lots of problems. I hope I’ll find a new club for Dejan Musli in the near future. That’s the trend right now and in my opinion it will last for years. I think there won’t be much need for that type of players in the future, and it used to be the other way around. So today when they come to me and say: ’Misko, I have a kid 14 years old, 207 cm tall, he’s going to be 215 cm’, I say that I’m not interested. I don’t believe in that kind of basketball anymore, actually it doesn’t matter if I believe it or not, that kind of basketball doesn’t do the thing anymore.
On him helping Partizan and Red Star: I helped them a lot signing some players that are really good so the teams could look the way they should. Last example is Marcus Williams – nobody believed that he could come to Red Star, including even people from the club. But in communication I sensed that something could be worked out for a lower price than before. Some things came together and he is now in Belgrade, which is a really big deal. I never speak about the salary, but it’s lower than it used to be.
On bad image agents tend to have in the public: Nobody likes the idea of some random guys earning money from basketball, even though they are neither coaches nor players. I am convinced that no serious basketball competition would be possible without agents. The regulations are extremely complicated and they are not getting any simpler. In addition to that, clubs have financial problems, they do not pay regularly because of the global financial situation. Players must be protected. What would it look like if players had to spend 20% of their time making phone calls, checking if the payment had been made? I would like to see one summer without agents and what they would do then? How would they even communicate with the players? Where would they get their phone numbers, how would they get in touch with the? I am absolutely sure that the existence and the presence of agents in basketball today is of critical importance and that their role is very important in the entire process.
On what constitues a “bad agent”: The worst thing that can happen is irresponsible babbling. By that I mean promising players all kinds of things, telling them stories, which makes them believe they are worth enormous amount of money. What happens next is that they reject good offers because some agent convinced them they should earn way more – than they are left out of business and clubs get into trouble. In addition to that, many are not familiar with the regulations. I do not have such problems because I am a lawyer, but people do not pay much attention to that in general – the only important thing for them is to agree on money, sign some piece of paper and that is it. But in reality that is not the case. I say that because putting together a complete and adequate contract had proven to be of utmost importance in many cases. For instance, I no more approve of young players joining Red Star or Partizan without agreeing on their release fee. Of course, that fee has to be fair, but it has to be agreed on, so that we are not dragged into long and exhausting negotiations when the time for departure comes. We had such a situation with Tadija Dragicevic – five years ago, when he was ABA League MVP, he did not have his release fee clearly defined and he could not join Efes Pilsen. He had to stay in Serbia and unfortunately from that moment on his career went downstream. All the players that I bring to Red Star and Partizan – Pekovic, Tepic and now Muric to Partizan, Marjanovic and Dangubic to Red Star – all of them have transparent release fees. If an interested club emerges and is willing to pay the price – there is no room for negotiations. As far as I can see, many agents have not considered that too much in the past, so the players themselves had to pay the fee that their club had determined in order to leave. Those amounts were of course much larger than they actually should have been.
On importance of Twitter: Twitter has raised my popularity lately – I have more than 12.000 followers. Whenever I do something that most people see as unexpected or spectacular, that gets published and written about. For example, last Tuesday the Spanish wrote “Misko Mendes”, referring to their most influential football manager and comparing me to him. Twitter has helped me a lot, I cannot say I had planned it. I never thought so many people would be interested in what I have to say. I am active, I publish only business-related stuff. People say I am a great source and that all newspapers from across Europe follow me, which is really big. That was most obvious on the 1st of April, when I published that Red Star is getting ready to install new stand in Belgrade Arena in order to increase the capacity to 32.000. That is of course ridiculous, but the distinguished Spanish newspaper “As” published that as the real thing.