Saturday, 17 September 2022

K.K. Split: City Fails to Find Investor

While the public international tender for investments and strategic partnerships for the ABA League basketball club closed without offers, Deputy Mayor Kuzmanić does not accept his defeat and wants to try again in spring.

 

September 17, 2022 - The City of Split announced on its facebook page yesterday: "Despite the unofficial announcements and expressed interest, no official offer was received after the deadline for the international public call for investment in K.K. Split and the selection of a strategic partner."

 

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Mayor Puljak (left) and Deputy Mayor Kuzmanić presenting the tender in August (Photo: Grad Split)

 

Deputy Mayor Antonio Kuzmanić who claims there were talks with -according to rumors up to four- interested parties did not admit to having made any mistakes: "We are not discouraged by this outcome considering the circumstances of the short deadlines and the fact that the contract cannot be concluded or consummated until the beginning of this competition season.  We will make additional efforts to attract potential partners and repeat the public call in the spring. We believe that when the objective circumstances are removed, the interested parties will formalize the offers and that we will get a quality solution for the club's future." 

 

Mayor Ivica Puljak who co-presented the tender together with his deputy in August did not stop his colleague from executing the poorly prepared, heavily flawed and quite ridiculously naive publication. The tender did not only have no chance to attract investors but has also put a spotlight on the heavy lack of competence of Mayor Puljak and his team in the matter and has further damaged the image of the historic basketball club formerly known as Jugoplastika Split. So it is quite understandable that the mayor's name was neither mentioned in the press release nor has he commented on the matter publicly. Instead the city's press release points out that Deputy Mayor Antonio Kuzmanić is responsible for the implementation of this process in front of the city.

 

Until such a tender will have any chance of success in the future, a lot of work will need to be taken care of within the basketball club whose last trophy was won in 2004 and that since then has been amassing debts without being able to monetize on any player sales. To the club's history of mismanagement and problems in finding potent sponsors, the responsible politicians have now added the new category of failure to find investors and strategic partners.

Thursday, 15 September 2022

Update: KK Split is Up for Sale (Again)

Has K.K. Split been sold? Nobody seems to know & nobody seems to care (EDITORIAL)

15.09.2022 - Yesterday, at 15:00, the tender to buy basketball club K.K. Split's shares from the City of Split ran out. The result is still unknown. Rumors are that there has been no response. TCN has asked for official feedback.

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Mayor Puljak (left) and Deputy Mayor Kuzmanić presenting the tender in August (Photo: Grad Split)

 

Mayor Puljak's PR speaker replied that she has no authorized info on the topic. Deputy Mayor Kuzmanić didn't reply to two emails. The clubs' PR speaker and director have replied that they have no knowledge and referred back to the City of Split as the only official source.

So instead of news, today we have Part 2 of Burak Canboy's editorial where he answers a few questions that the initial editorial has caused and adds his opinion on the recent developments..

Here is the link to Burak Canboy's previous editorial on the topic. 

 

Dear Basketball Fans and readers from all around the world. Many thanks for giving me feedback, both critique and support on my first editorial regarding the sale of K.K. Split.

 

Yesterday, the tender to invest into K.K. Split ran out. More than 24 hours later, nobody seems to know the results. And, nobody really seems to care either as there have been no news on the topic today and social media seems to be paused. If you have read my first opinion on the topic, it shall come as no surprise why I think there is no big interest in the tender. It was just prepared way too unprofessionally. 

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Like the City of Split after the tender: Roko Ukić with his hands empty and his head down. (Photo: Burak Canboy)

Let's say you want to sell your car on Njuškalo, you would wash it first, clean it on the inside, take nice pictures, write down all extras and even list the problems if you are a fair sales person. But Mayor Puljak and Deputy Mayor Kuzmanić, seem to have thought that while that is necessary for selling any car for only several thousand Euros, it would be enough to say that the city has a "historic basketball club for sale" and that investors from all over the world would run to Split in masses at the opportunity to buy a basketball club for millions of Euros, without even knowing what that would mean. No sales presentation, no numbers, no concept, no plans, no ideas. No realism. No professionalism. No offer. No surprise. 

 

The saddest part is that this makes the club even harder to sell now. But maybe the Dynamic Duo of Puljak and Kuzmanić were not even looking for a sale. Maybe all they wanted was to have an excuse to close the club? 

 

While we can all think about that, I would like to use the opportunity to address the following topics that most people didn't agree with me on or that may have been misunderstood in my initial editorial. 

 

The very big majority of  people thanked me and told me that I was 99-100% right. Since I believe in always striving for 100%, here are my explanations to the most asked questions and some forum questions that were forwarded to me:

1. How can the name not be worth a single Lipa? It is a great name that is globally known. It must be worth a lot of money. 

I did not write that the name is not worth anything. I wrote that the club in the current condition, is not worth anything. On the contrary, I believe that the name is still globally very well known. It is one of the club's few assets. I just believe that all the current problems and the known and unknown debts in my opinion are larger than the value of the brand. Unfortunately, as so many things with the club also the name is not really owned by the club. If you refer to just "K.K. Split", then of course, it belongs to the club. However any club can call itself something similar. K.K. Adriatic Split, K.K. Dalvin Split, etc. So any basketball club in Split is allowed to be called "K.K." and "Split". This dilutes the value of the brand for an investor. If you are referring to the name "Jugoplastika",  which is what most people abroad recall the big name as "Jugoplastika Split" it gets even more complicated because it was not the name of the club but it was the name of the sponsor (like "POP84", "Slobodna Dalmacija" and "Croatia Osiguranje" later which were also all sponsors and obviously own the rights to their own names themselves. I am not sure if K.K. Split even legally owns any rights to the name "Jugoplastika". Like so many things in Croatia, now nobody says anything when the club uses the name because currently there are only Croats involved and no money is to be made, but I wouldn't be surprised if somebody appears out of nowhere claiming to own all the rights to the name "Jugoplastika" and wants to be paid, as soon as a new investor has signed all papers, paid the money and starts to use the name. So, like I wrote, it is a tricky question how to value that, but as an investor, if in doubt, you better go with a lower valuation due to the unclear ownership situation. And now you have a combination of unknown value of a name and unknown debt situation of an organization that stays alive for many years only due to taxpayers' money spent, so that's why I say the club is currently not worth a single Lipa.

 

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A club icon of long past, better times: Hall of Famer Toni Kukoč (left) in 2021 with Director Edo Blažević (Photo: Burak Canboy)

 

2. What is the value of the concession for the gym? It can surely not be zero.

I did not give a definite value regarding the concession of the gym. When reviewing the concession in 2014 it was clear that the City of Split had used it originally as another creative way to fund the club. I am not sure if the old concession has been changed or is still in place. All I recall about that was that the value of the concession was somehow estimated by some expert and the city used that value as some basis for the amount of shares it received from the club. I also remember that the value stated in the expertise seemed ridiculously high to me and I thought that the city may have used this method of funding to control all other shareholders. Anyways, today I cannot say anything about that and that's why I wrote that the value depends on the condition of the hall (which is terrible), the contracts with tenants (which are probably old and not very high) and which obligations the city will have in the future in regards to renovations and maintenance. As you see, we always come back to how the city is funding the club and how much it will do so in the future. If the gym was owned by the club, then you could say that it is an asset for which you can have an appraisal issued and I might even come to the conclusion that the value of the club is more than zero, if the debts are not too high. Since the club does not own the gym and since the details of the concession are not disclosed, I prefer to stay  conservative on any value it may have. 

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Deputy Mayor Kuzmanić (center) together with his biggest problems. (Photo: PR; KK Split)

 

3. K.K. Split is now playing in ABA League and playing for titles in Croatia, how can the club be worth less than in 2014?

Well, first of all, along with playing in ABA League and playing for titles in Croatia, the debts of the clubs are growing and with that the dependency for the city to pay for cost. Despite the additional TV airtime, there is no trikot or naming sponsor to cover the extra costs. Also, the administration in 2014 was actually a good situation for an investor. It was 100% clear what the debts are, who will get how much and when. Back then, due-diligence was easily performed within just a few days because director Metod Šolto had all books and all numbers openly lying on his table every day. All numbers and payments were verified/controlled by the administration rules. I would not at all be surprised if today not even the supervisory board of the club knows the exact financial situation of the club. So today there is a much higher risk for potential investors to be confronted with people claiming to have the rights to be paid by the club for something. They may even have the right to come forward years from now.

Back in 2014, as insolvency was obvious, the value of the club was already zero and the only reason why the club was not dissolved was because the city agreed to cover the outstanding debts and pay for the club's future activities. Just like today, if the city is not covering part debts and warrants for future expenses, the value of the organization is again zero. For these reasons I think that today, the club is also not worth more than nothing.

 

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Dominik Mavra: Few months ago succesfull with KK Zadar at Gripe, what teammates will he have in Split this season? (Photo: Burak Canboy)

 

4. Why should Kuzmanić be lying about other potential investors?

How do I say that Kuzmanić is lying about potential other investors? How should I even know that? All I am saying and thinking is that the city (that means him especially because he is the man in charge) is not acting professionally in this matter. If you have no own strategy for the club, if you cannot present the assets and problems of the club honestly and openly, if you only give an interested party 3 weeks for due-diligence for such a complex problem, then this is not something that I personally find professional business behavior. Since we are in Croatia and since Croatian politics have a history of not acting transparently, it is only safe to assume that the only alternative to this unprofessional behavior may be that something bigger is being dealt with in the background and that K.K. Split may be being used as part of such a background deal. I hope both for the club and the city that some big investor will come who believes 100% in this club and has no other intentions than to renovate this club, but how likely is that right now after what is being said by Kuzmanić?

Quite honestly, the request of 1 EUR pre-emptive rights for the city is the stupidest thing I have ever heard in my 30 years of business life. How can anyone believe that an external investor will come, spend time, effort, connections and a lot of money to make this club valuable again, if the city has a right to say: "Thank you very much for taking this big problem we have had, a club that was not worth anything and has only cost us money, thank you for taking this problem from our hands. Thank you for making K.K. Split a wonderful, successful and profitable club again. Now here is 1 EUR, so you can go home again with nothing!" Really???? This also makes the mayor (who I respect btw), appear unprofessional, just by standing next to him without objections while this is presented.

 

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How can a club with tradition but no future become a club of the future with a long tradition? (Photo: Burak Canboy)


5. Is it true that back in 2014 you only wanted to realize a real estate project on Gripe but were not allowed to. Is that why the deal didn't work out? Are you out for some kind of revenge because you still want to, but don't have enough money to buy the club now.

I have never made a secret about having been disappointed that the deal didn't work out in 2014. If I remember correctly, my answer to the first question at my press conference in Hotel Park was something like "I would be lying if I said that I am not disappointed." 

Back then unfortunately it only became clear to us very late in the process that the Baldasar administration was only trying to find an investor to realize a huge real estate project on Gripe. We found out only very late that the main goal was that an investor should take the burden of K.K. Split in return for realizing an approximated 40-100 million Euro project. I had no interest to be involved in such a deal and we as a group who had prepared our offer needed to stop our efforts because we were all 100% about basketball and nothing else. So, I think it is unfair to say I am out for revenge. I wish the club and the people of Split nothing but the best. It is just my personal belief that things need to be named as they are. I don't think that Puljak's and Kuzmanić's latest stunt will help the club but are actually making things worse.

When it comes to my financial situation, it is safe to say that I never had enough money in my life to invest it into basketball, but it has never stopped me from doing it anyways :-)



Let's hope again that the people in charge in Split will one day smarten up and understand that even the famous Aladdin had to first start rubbing the lamp before expressing his wish very clearly and precisely and he still had to do that work even though he already had the unlimited cosmic magical powers of the genie on his side. For all normal people without three magic wishes, it means that if you want to find an investor for the club, you will need to work hard like everybody else to create something valuable first, then you can think about achieving a return from selling it. Or maybe it is better that you just throw the magical lamp away and maybe someday, somebody will find it and decide to rub it really well, until it's magic reappears. 



For further reading: 

i. A sample mission & vision for the club was already gifted to the club and the city in 2014. Look for yourself how much of it has been adopted and how much more needs to be done before you can call the club valuable: KK Split Mission & Vision 2014

ii. Hrvoje Frančeski's thoughts on Croatian Basketball "We Have Nothing". It is written in Croatian but worth translating, if needed

 

The views of the author are not necessarily the views of TCN.

 

 

Saturday, 3 September 2022

EuroBasket: Croatia Convinces Against Greece and Great Britain

September 3rd, 2022

The Croatian national basketball team is able to convince so far during the EuroBasket 2022 group stage in Milano. Yesterday coach Mulaomerović's team was able to come close to a sensation (85:89) against the highly favored team from Greece and today they made sure to put Great Britain in its place (86:65) to maintain all chances to reach the next round from group C.

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After the missed qualification for the World Cup next year, the Croatian Basketball Association decided to naturalize American Guard Jaleen Smith and so far that decision seems to bring the desired results for the team. The checkered team beat Poland and Switzerland during the pre-qualifier for WorldCup 2025 and now remains on track in Milano.

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Yesterday, newly added Smith had to take on the big favorites from Greece around former NBA champion and MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. The US-American eventually ended up being both the most effective player for Croatia and also top scorer with 23 points. Greek coach Dimitrios Itoudis on the other side was able to count on the "Greek Freak" Antetokounmpo not only to deliver 27 points during the entire game, but also to have two sensational blocks in the last 37 seconds of the game to stop two of Croatia's last three offenses and with that any hope for a big sensation. The game that seemed already lost at half- time 30:46 went to Greece 85:89 despite a strong second half by Croatia (55:43).

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Today against Great Britain the Croatian team playing in red showed slight fatigue during the first half but kept the upper hand (37:31) against highly motivated opponents who had lost their opener against Ukraine 90:61. However the third quarter was a display of what the Croats around their leader and NBA player Bogdanović are capable of. A very convincing defense led to easy baskets up front and then eventually broke the Britons spirit when back-to-back alley-oops, fast-break dunks and three-pointers started. Dominic Mavra ended the 35-9 run with a triple point shot to beat the buzzer at the end of the quarter.

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The game ended 86:85 with plenty of time for the Croatian bench players to soak in the large tournament atmosphere on the court. Unfortunately Karlo Matković had to leave the game injured at the beginning of the 4th quarter. Sarić, Žubac, Bogdanović all shared the top scores with 15 points each. Miles Hesson scored 18 points for Great Britain. 

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Next games (all in Milan) for Croatia will be:

Estonia on Monday Sep. 5 at 14:15 

Italy on Tuesday Sep. 6  at  21:00

Ukraine on Thursday Sep. 8 at 14:15 

All games will be televised live on HRT 2 and FIBA's YouTube channel

 

Results by quarters: 

Croatia vs Greece 16:24, 14:22, 32:24, 23:19 

Croatia vs Great Britain 20:17, 17:14, 35:9, 14:25

 

Box Score:

Croatia vs Greece  

Croatia vs Great Britain

Thursday, 25 August 2022

Basketball World Cup 2025: Croatia Surprises at Smith Debut in Poland 69:72 (31:21)

August 25, 2022 - The savior of croatian basketball may have arrived. Recently imported and naturalized US American Jaleen Smith managed to help the Croatian National Basketball Team in his debut game today. The checkered team surprisingly won the first points in the first game of the 2025 World Cup pre-qualifier in Warsaw against Poland. 

 

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Needed a lot of time to get rid of the weight on his shoulders: Jaleen Smith

 

During the first half coach Damir Mulaomerović did not seem to have found the right strategy. Poland dominated on both ends of the court, and Croatia led only in the category of turnovers. The guest team had lost the ball a total of 9 times in the first 20 minutes and it was no surprise that Poland was up by ten points when the half-time buzzer rang.

 

simon.jpg Helped the team with his routine: Krunoslav Simon 

 

All eyes were on the new Croat Jaleen Smith and it seemed like the pressure was too much for the American. His stats looked terrible with only 1 field goal (a three-pointer) hitting its target in 8 attempts. Then again he collected 8 rebounds, which is an extremely high number for a guard. Smith was not the only one who had problems finding the basket. Together with Gnjidić, Simon, Šarić and Bogdanović the Croats around Smith had made only 5 of 28 three-point attempts in the first 38 minutes. 

 

poland.jpg Poland dominated the first half of the game

The croatian team was carried by Zubac, Šarić, Bogdanović and the routine of Simon. Prkačin who had shown a great game against Finland did not play, just like Mavra and Perković. 

 

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Coach Damir Mulaomerović

Luckily, after a good performance from the entire team that lead to a close final,  Hezonja made his last 2 three-point attempts in crunch time before Smith added 2 successful free throws to give Croatia a 67:72 lead with 12 seconds remaining. Poland was able to get the last two points but could not turn the game around. 

 


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The much needed victory for Croatia is celebrated by the entire bench

 

Polish coach Igor Milicic's best man, who also was top-scorer of the day, was Mateusz Ponitka with 26 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. Mulaomerović on the other side had three players in double digits: Zubac who had a double- double with 19 points and 10 rebounds, Bogdanović with 16 points (8 rebounds) and Hezonja with 10 points. 

 

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Last hope for Croatian Basketball: American "Firefighter" Jaleen Smith with confidence before the game

 

Result by quarters: Q1:15-11 Q2:16-10 Q3:16-28 Q4:22-23

Find the boxscore with detailed statistics here

 

 

 

Thursday, 25 August 2022

Will an American Guard save Croatian Basketball?

25th August 2022 - According to the Croatian Basketball Federation (HKS) news, Croatian Basketball National Team Coach Damir Mulaomerović has presented his final 12 man rosters for the pre-qualifiers and the Euros before tonight's pre-qualifier match against Poland.

Roko Rogić, who did not play at the tournament in the Czech Republic, had already left the national team earlier and now the coach removed and thanked Pavlo Marčinković, Mateo Drežnjak and Goran Filipović.

 

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Croatian Basketball National Team Coach Damir Mulaomerović (Photo: HKS / Marin Sušić)

The Croatian jersey will be worn like this during the next weeks:

  • 1 Toni Perković
  • 3 Jaleen Devon Smith
  • 4 Roko Prkačin
  • 7 Krunoslav Simon
  • 8 Mario Hezonja
  • 9 Dario Saric
  • 10 Lovro Gnjidic
  • 17 Karlo Matković
  • 27 Ivan Ramljak
  • 30 Dominik Mavra
  • 40 Ivica Zubac
  • 44 Bojan Bogdanović

Biggest surprise for many is probably the nomination of american national Jaleen Devon Smith. The 193cm guard who just extended his contract with ALBA Berlin after winning the german championships against Euroleague team Bayern Munich in the finals has been naturalized (a fancy word for beeing granted Croatian Nationality which you would not be granted if the country did not expect to benefit from it). The decison came after the dissolution of the National Federation's so called "Expert Council for Men's Basketball", which acted as an advisory body of the Board of Directors. The group, headed by Dino Rađa was expressly against bringing a foreigner into the national team. The association led by Stojko Vranković, however hopes that a new American in the position of play maker can make the nation's problems disappear. Slobodna Dalmacija reported in detail on July 22nd, 2022 but until now the newly added Croatian's debut has not been given. 

 

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Croatia's new No. 3 Jaleen Devon Smith (Photo: ALBA Berlin / Daniel Löb)

 

After dropping out of the World Cup 2023 Qualification by finishing last in its group with Slovenia, Finnland and Sweden, Croatia now needs to first earn the right to be allowed to try to qualify for the World Cup in 2025 in a group with Poland, Switzerland and Austria. The official matches for Croatia that are now coming up, are:  two pre-qualification matches for EuroBasket 2025 (August 25 in Poland and August 28 against Switzerland in Opatija) and the European Championship from September 1 to 18.

Tickets for  Croatia - Switzerland (August 28 at 20:00)  can be purchased through the udnice.hr system  or  at the box office of the 'Marino Cvetković' hall in Opatija on the day of the match.

The pre-qualification matches are broadcast by Sport Klub, and the European Championship by Sport Klub and HRT.

 

OFFICIAL MATCHES OF CROATIA

PRE-QUALIFICATIONS FOR EURO 2025
• August 25, 2022 Poland - Croatia August 25, 2022 at 18:30 (broadcast available on SK 3)
• August 28, 2022 Croatia - Switzerland August 28, 2022 at 20:00

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP, 1.-18. September 2022
• Croatia - Greece September 2, 2022 at 17:00
• Great Britain - Croatia September 3, 2022 at 14:15
• Croatia - Estonia September 5, 2022 at 14:15
• Italy - Croatia September 6 2022 at 21:00
• Croatia - Ukraine September 8, 2022 at 14:15

Friday, 2 July 2021

Highlights of the Week: 5 Big Events in Croatia from June 28-July 4

June 3, 2021 - TCN's highlights of the week. A look at the events in Croatia from June 28 through the selection of TCN's reporter Ivor Kruljac.

EURO 2020 elimination and Dario Šarić in the NBA finals. Zagreb witnessing a series of arrests related to corruption of Milan Bandić's reign and explosive device planted in Split. In the midst of it all, is COVID-19 vaccination on its way to becoming obligatory and not optional? You may prefer the good news or the bad news, but here is both, as another week in Croatia comes to an end.

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© Marin Tironi / PIXSELL

Highlights of the week: Uskok arresting Zagreb entrepreneurs and associates of former mayor Milan Bandić

The Office of Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomašević said on Wednesday that a preliminary investigation by members of the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor and the Office for Suppression of Corruption and Organised Crime (USKOK) started at the city administration offices at 6 am on Wednesday.

As TCN wrote, several people were arrested on suspicion of corruption, including the director-general of the HRT public broadcaster, Kazimir Bačić, Andrea Šulentić, and Ana Stavljenić-Rukavina. Both Šulentić and Rukavina were directors in Zagreb administration offices and close associates of former mayor Milan bandić. At the same time, details Bandić's heavy corruption (suspected and known publicly earlier) came to light.

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© Goran Stanzl / PIXSELL

Highlights of the week: Croatia eliminated from Euro 2020 after losing to Spain

Croatia and Spain met in Copenhagen on Monday for their EURO 2020 round of 16 match. It was a decent effort from Croatia, but not enough. Despite the Spain own goal in the 20th minute, the distraction as Rebić went to change his boots saw Spain even the score. The score towards the end of regular time went to 3:1 for Spain, but Croatia managed to lower to 3:2 and finally, in the added time, Pašalić scored for 3:3.

But, the euphoria was ruined for Croatia as in extra time, Morata earned Spain 4:3, and by 103rd minute, the total and final score was 5:3 for Spain. It was one of the more intense games on Euro so far as both teams show incredible spirit and persistence. 

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© Dusko Jaramaz / PIXSELL

Highlights of the week: Opposition parties against vaccination being required for job-keeping payments  

The Social Democratic Party (SDP) called on Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on Thursday not to make vaccination a requirement for job-keeping payments, while the Most party said business owners were being blackmailed into vaccination.

As TCN reported, SDP leader Peđa Grbin elaborated his dissatisfaction via social networks.

"In Croatia, mandatory vaccination is possible, but the obligation is first established under the law on the protection of the population and then regulated and worked out under Immunisation Rules and the Mandatory Vaccination Programme. The obligation of vaccination can't be imposed in another way, notably not by linking support for entrepreneurs with vaccination," SDP president Grbin posted on Facebook.

"Most is against entrepreneurs, who are being forced into vaccination through blackmail, saving the government's mindless epidemic policy", stated the Most party on its official Twitter account. They added that Croatia was stuck with over 300,000 surplus vaccines because of poor government moves and communication omissions.

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© Hrvoje Jelavic / PIXSELL

Highlights of the week: Dario Šarić becomes 5th Croatian basketballer in the NBA finals

Šibenik's Dario Šarić is the 5th Croatian basketball player to reach the NBA finals! As TCN wrote, Šarić became only the fifth Croatian basketball player in the NBA league finals, joining the company of Dražen Petrović, Toni Kukoč, Žan Tabak, and Ante Žižić. Šarić plays for Phoenix Suns. They topped the Los Angeles Clippers 4-2 in the NBA Western Conference Finals. Apart from basketball, Šarić also likes to enjoy sipping coffee on Šibenik cafe terraces, as portrayed in the photo. 

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© Milan Sabic / PIXSELL

Highlights of the week: Bomb planted in Split. One person injured
In the night from Thursday to Friday, an unknown person placed an explosive device underneath a vehicle. The explosion damaged six cars, and one person required medical attention. The investigation is ongoing since Friday morning.  

To learn more about Croatia, have a look at our TC website.

For more about news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 20 December 2018

American Journalist Insults Dražen Petrović, Invites Wave of Criticism

An American journalist insults Dražen Petrović and invites a wave of criticism on social media for her clumsy statement, for which she appears to have offered no apology.

As SibenikIN writes on the 19th of December, 2018, in a short video clip about Carmelo Anthony and his legacy, American journalist Elle Duncan mentions Croatia's basketball legend Dražen Petrović, bizarrely claiming that he found himself in the Hall of Fame despite the fact that he, at least according to her, ''didn't leave his mark on the game'' like Carmelo Anthony has. In short, Carmelo Anthony and his career were glorified in the video clip, as tportal reported.

After having listed what could be placed as Anthony's legacy within the sport, the American journalist insults Dražen Petrović, stating that the list ''doesn't mean much'' because Dražen Petrović (which was also pronounced wrongly) is there," before claiming that the Croatian basketball star ''didn't leave his mark on the game'' like Anthony did.

In short and without going on and on, the American ESPN journalist obviously thinks some basketball players who weren't that great at the NBA have also still managed to find their places in the Hall of Fame.

As could be expected, shortly after the release of this video material, the style of which was intended to be amusing somehow, comments began being made in which the vast majority of readers thought that the journalist's ''performance'' was ridiculous, others stated how much of a sad state of affairs it must be for someone like her to be commenting on basketball.

This poses the question as to exactly why Croatia's incredible Dražen Petrović, of all the possible basketball players in the Hall of Fame, can be a bad example in Duncan's opinion? Just how the iconic Dražen Petrović, who played an enormous part in making it possible for many foreign players to get a chance in that world, could be a poor example, obviously only she knows. Does she know anything at all about Dražen's sporting career before joining the NBA, during which he dominated the court in the then Yugoslav and the Croatian national team? Unlikely.

The American journalist's Twitter profile, on which some extremely negative comments have been being received, is completely buried. Of course, more than 90 percent of the basketball lovers commenting ''invited'' her to apologise for her mistake, but it seems she's refusing to do so. The fact that she has offended Dražen Petrović, his family, and all those who appreciate the Mozart of basketball, clearly doesn't phase her. Her knowledge of the fact that there is a Museum dedicated to Dražen Petrović himself in the Croatian capital of Zagreb, which has been visited by many NBA stars, as well as numerous American journalists, is probably also slim.

''It's unbelievable and unnecessary to show such a lack of respect for Dražen Petrović. He was a fantastic basketball player who created a path for all other European basketball players in the NBA. He was tragically injured before he could give anything to the NBA. You could've done this without mentioning Dražen,'' stated one comment.

''Only a completely ignorant person can claim that Dražen Petrović didn't leave a mark in basketball. Dražen left his mark all over the world and achieved incredible things before he even reached the NBA. No wonder everyone thinks of ESPN as bad television when you've got such reporters,'' reads another scathing comment.

In order to glorify someone, one doesn't need to put another down. This is usually something learned early on in life, but that lesson obviously hasn't reached everyone.

Make sure to stay up to date with our dedicated sport and lifestyle pages for much more.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Nets to Celebrate Dražen Petrović's Legacy with a Game on Feb 26th against Chicago Bulls

Some memories are there to stay, even a quarter of a century later.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Turkey and Serbia Best in High School Basketball, Croatia Eighth

The last day of the Basketball World School Championship in Poreč saw the duel of Croatian and Danish players for seventh place and the defeat of the women’s Croatian team against Hungary, also for seventh place. The world champions are the women’s team from Serbia and men’s team from Turkey

Sunday, 30 April 2017

World School Basketball Championships Under Way in Istria

Poreč and its environs are an epicentre for athletes, but also youth, which is what the Croatian School Sports Federation managed to prove to the International School Sports Federation when they were entrusted to host the 24th World School Basketball Championship

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