Milos Teodosic Is for Real, Even if That Cheeseburger Story May Not Be

If that booty some of a many delicious Milos mythology in circulation, don’t worry: Copious amounts of YouTube footage of his brazen flitting is usually a click away. A discerning internet hunt will further endorse that, for all a fears about how he’d cope with a length and athleticism he’s now saying daily as a N.B.A.’s oldest rookie — generally given his well-chronicled defensive shortcomings — there is no necessity of Teodosic highlights in a Clippers jersey.

“He still has his razzle-dazzle going,” Dekker said.

Not prolonged after a Clippers saw their All-Star indicate ensure Chris Paul force his approach to Houston final June, they sealed Teodosic to a two-year understanding value $12.3 million. On a Basketball Without Borders trip in Israel on interest of a joining in August, Dekker found himself being regaled by Israeli reporters with tales about a odd prophesy and aptitude he was about to be unprotected to.

“My evident reaction,” Dekker said, “was that we improved go demeanour this man up.”

It’s a loyal contrition that N.B.A. partner coaches ignored Teodosic in a voting for a annual Rising Stars diversion featuring first- and second-year players that gets All-Star Weekend underway in aspiring subsequent Friday night. The All-Star festivities are in Los Angeles this deteriorate and Teodosic belongs in that diversion not usually as a showman autarchic who sports a reward of internal ties nonetheless since of his impact for a better-than-expected Clippers, who are 17-8 when he’s in uniform and 11-18 when he’s out. Heading into Monday night’s diversion in Brooklyn, L.A. is also a tasty plus-5.8 points per 100 security improved this deteriorate when he is on a building compared to when he sits.

Teodosic, though, doesn’t feel slighted in a least.

“Being in All-Star any approach is something large and good,” he said. “But I’m 30 years old. Maybe some younger guys should go there and feel this feeling.”


Teodosic, left, in movement during a Euroleague playoff diversion in May 2017.

Lefteris Pitarakis/Associated Press

When he was 26, Teodosic was courted tough in giveaway group by a Memphis Grizzlies. He came tighten to usurpation their offer in a summer of 2013, usually to confirm he couldn’t bear to leave for a United States until he won a Euroleague title. He never approaching that it would take another 3 years, nonetheless his European critics were finally inside when Teodosic led CSKA Moscow to a second-most prestigious bar basketball championship in a universe in 2016.

The death of his second three-year CSKA agreement after a 2016-17 deteriorate afterwards set him up, during last, to make a jump to representation N.B.A. life and try to still a critics on both sides of a Atlantic who would have branded his résumé deficient though a army on U.S. shores.

Teodosic pronounced it felt “weird” to be branded a rookie, after winning Euroleague Most Valuable Player honors as distant behind as 2010 and suddenly steering Serbia into a bullion award diversion opposite a strong United States during both a 2014 FIBA World Cup and a 2016 Rio Olympics. “But we am happy they don’t provide me like a rookie,” Teodosic pronounced of his associate Clippers.


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That means no attractive bagels or doughnuts to move to practice. No transporting of a veterans’ luggage or singing on teammates’ birthdays with a other first-year players. He arrived with too many hoopla to be reserved rookie chores, generally when, as Dekker put it, Teodosic “knows a diversion improved than many of us.”

“I will feel contemptible if we didn’t come here,” Teodosic said, revelation that he, too, felt something was blank in his career though an N.B.A. adventure. “I wish to uncover myself we can play here with all these guys. we usually feel contemptible that we didn’t win Euroleague progressing and came here earlier.”

Yet he’s a initial to contend that they are mostly dual opposite games. In Europe, Teodosic capitalized on a smaller court, shorter games and lighter schedule, relying on his pick-and-roll deception to understanding with all a bodies in a paint. In a N.B.A., there is some-more space to cover, distant some-more shade in a defensive assignments and, many crucially, reduction time to get shots off.

The higher speed he encounters on a fringe as a Clipper has certainly contributed to Teodosic’s sharpened struggles (38.2 percent from a floor), nonetheless health has been his biggest emanate so far. Teodosic has started all 25 games he’s played, earning an variable mark in Coach Doc Rivers’ initial 5 in place of Patrick Beverley, who was his former teammate during Olympiacos in Greece and is not approaching behind this deteriorate after recuperating from Nov knee surgery. But Teodosic, himself, has missed 28 games since of a whinging box of plantar fasciitis in his left foot.

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Still, he’s shown adequate to absolve those who have vouched for him over a years. Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski was so enchanted by Teodosic’s building caring during mixed battles while Krzyzewski was running Team USA that he announced during a Rio Games: “I adore him. We’re friends.”

Ettore Messina, now an partner manager with a San Antonio Spurs after coaching Teodosic during CSKA Moscow for dual seasons, pronounced he used to call a indicate ensure Vincent outpost Gogh in their CSKA days.

“He is creativity, he is fantasy, he is an artist,” pronounced Messina, who went on in a same review to impute to Teodosic as “the Pete Maravich of European basketball.”


Teodosic frequency shaves, and came to a N.B.A. with a repute for bad conditioning, nonetheless he warranted a starting mark and has usually missed time since of a slow feet injury.

Brandon Dill/Associated Press

“I consider some-more like a coach, of course, some-more rational. So we had a clashes,” Messina said. “But he can see things many of us don’t see. As a coach, we are used to expecting a play — we know where a round will go many of a time. Teo is one of a few players that can warn you.”

The Clippers dumbfounded Teodosic and a rest of a joining when they dealt a star forward Blake Griffin to Detroit on Jan. 29, nonetheless a depart of a many manly and flashy support aim on a register came with a satisfaction prize: Teodosic’s longtime national-team co-worker and former roommate, Boban Marjanovic, was one of 3 Pistons acquired in a trade.


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Marjanovic is a fast-talking, 7-foot-3 fan favorite whose bumbling participation can usually boost his associate Serbian’s comfort level. Griffin and Teodosic, meanwhile, will always have their memories of that Sep automobile float with Dekker in San Diego, when they pulled into McDonald’s on a approach to a team-bonding examination in hunt of some morning sustenance.

As Dekker tells it, Teodosic asked for dual cheeseburgers when it was their spin in a drive-through and was distressed when sensitive that a full menu wasn’t accessible during that hour.

“The chairman in a orator was like, ‘Yeah, we don’t offer those yet,’ ” Dekker said. “Milos was so confused. He wanted cheeseburgers so bad.”

Teodosic insists it was “like a joke.”

The thought of cheeseburgers for breakfast, mind you, fit in good with a account of idle invulnerability and consider conditioning that stubborn Teodosic via his European career. But Teodosic, according to Dekker, has never complained once about Dekker’s twitter and how it didn’t accurately raise his repute for off-court discipline.

“He did not care,” Dekker said. “That’s a form of man Milos is. He doesn’t caring what people consider about him. He’s going to go out and do his thing. He’s going to come out with a brave and a floppy hair, looking like a Beatle.”

It wasn’t always that way. Teodosic pronounced it took him “a long, prolonged time” to learn how to balance out unflattering gossip.

“I used to feel sad,” Teodosic said. “Then we comprehend that people are there to speak and speak and talk.

“I don’t consider about things people are articulate about me outward of a justice — good or bad.”

He also frequency interacts with a American news media after spending so prolonged in a universe in that reporters are never postulated locker-room access, that done a event to spend a morning with him even some-more intriguing. We talked soccer; Teodosic loves A.C. Milan and Liverpool. We talked Serbian basketball history; Dejan Bodiroga, who could never move himself to give a N.B.A. a shot, is one of his all-time favorites. And we talked about because he’d rather pass than score.

“Because we make dual people happy,” he said.

And it should be remarkable for posterity that Teodosic hold adult his breakfast sandwich a bit like a prize when it arrived. “You see? No cheeseburgers,” he announced with a smile.

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