Gurović while playing for the Red Star Belgrade
June 17, 1975 |
Novi Sad, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia
|Listed height||6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)|
|Listed weight||209 lb (95 kg)|
|NBA draft||1997 / Undrafted|
|Position||Shooting guard / Small forward|
|Number||8, 11, 15, 32, 51|
|2005–2007||Red Star Belgrade|
|2012–2013||Red Star Belgrade (assistant)|
|Career highlights and awards|
Born and raised in Novi Sad to Serbian parents (father Božidar and mother Mara), both hailing from the vicinity of Trebinje in Herzegovina, young Milan practiced kung fu before taking up basketball. Gurović has a younger brother Veljko.
Gurović started playing basketball in the youth system of KK NAP Novi Sad.
Marking himself out quickly as a talented youngster, he moved to Greece during summer 1992 just after his 16th birthday to join Peristeri BC youth system.
By 1994, he entered their first team. As was the case with many young basketball players from former Yugoslavia at the time (mostly of Serbian ethnicity), he also took Greek citizenship and thus competed as a domestic player.
Playing alongside another talented Serbian youngster and future star Marko Jarić, it was not long before Gurović started showing his quality. By his fourth season with the club, 1997/98, he averaged 17.2 points per game.
In the summer of 1998, he moved to FC Barcelona where he spent the next two seasons. In the 1998/99 season, he made a valuable contribution to Barcelona team winning the Spanish ACB League title and European Korać Cup.
Back to Greece and half-season in Italy
Over the summer 2000, Gurović got invited for the FR Yugoslavia national team training camp ahead of the Sydney Olympics, however he ended up getting cut by the national team's head coach Željko Obradović and thus not included on the final 12-man roster the coach took to the Olympics. Many years later, Gurović revealed that after the Olympics Obradović made him an offer of joining his club side Panathinaikos BC, reigning Euroleague champion at the time. However, still mad about not being taken to the Olympics, 25-year-old Gurović rejected the offer, figuring that Obradović was just stroking his ego after cutting him in the national team. Gurović also revealed a later personal realization that rejecting the Panathinaikos offer was a regrettable mistake.
Still, despite not taking the Panathinaikos offer, the return to Greece was on the cards with their city rivals AEK Athens. However, he would not stay there long as in late December 2000 after appearing in only 5 domestic league and 4 Euroleague games, Gurović transferred to Pallacanestro Trieste of the Italian league where he played out the rest of the 2000-01 season.
Back to Spain
He was on the move again in the summer 2001 transfer season with another return, this time back to Spain with CB Málaga led by Serbian coach Božidar Maljković. In his first season at Andalusia, Gurović averaged 14 points per game over 32 regular season league games.
Summer 2002 would in many ways be the turning point in his career. Twenty six years of age by this time, Gurović made the final FR Yugoslavia 12-man squad for the World Championships in Indianapolis. His exceptional performance against the Americans in the quarterfinals capped off with two big three pointers in the last quarter further cemented his iconic status with Serbian fans, and also gained him a lot of attention internationally. As a result Boston Celtics took notice and invited him to their pre-season camp. No deal was reached and he never went to the NBA.
Back in Málaga for a second season, he featured in 30 regular season games averaging 10.3ppg as well as in sixteen Euroleague games where his scoring average was 12.7ppg.
Return home for 4 seasons
What followed over the summer 2003 transfer season came as a surprise to many watchers. Citing a desire to be closer to his family, Gurović returned to his hometown Novi Sad, signing a contract with NIS Vojvodina. Prior to his final signature, he was heavily courted by KK Hemofarm of nearby Vršac, but in a sudden turnaround he decided to go with Vojvodina.
Following a season in his hometown, Gurović was on the move again. During late summer 2004, he agreed terms with Russian club UNICS from the Tatarstan federal subject, but after arriving in Kazan with his wife and kids in late August and early September to make living arrangements, he had a change of heart. Though satisfied with the club's organization and its basketball facilities, Gurović characterized things outside of the basketball court in Kazan as being below the level he was used to in Greece, Spain, or Serbia, specifically citing being unhappy with the apartment the club provided him with, the lack of an English-language school for his kids, and general dissatisfaction with the city as the reasons not to stay in Kazan. He furthermore mentioned that the television coverage he watched while in Kazan of the Beslan school hostage crisis that was unfolding thousand kilometers away in another Russian city had a bad psychological effect on him that ultimately also affected his decision not to stay in Kazan.
Finally in late October 2004, Gurović signed for Serbia-Montenegro champions KK Partizan. Playing on three fronts: Serbian league (still in full format), Euroleague, and regional Adriatic League, Gurović posted a good season. He also became embroiled in controversy started in the Croatian public regarding the tattoo on his right shoulder. This was the first season that KK Partizan participated in the regional Balkans-wide league after years of pressure to join the competition. Suddenly, the Croatian media took issue with the tattoo of controversial World War II figure Draža Mihailović on Gurović's arm and whipped up public sentiment against the player in the country. Due to fears of crowd trouble when Partizan plays away in Croatia, the club decided not to take Gurović on those away trips.
Gurović was the best scorer and player of the ULEB Cup during seasons 2005–2006 and 2006–2007 while playing for Red Star Belgrade. He has won the gold medal in the 2001 European Championship and in the 2002 FIBA World Championship as a member of the Yugoslavian National Basketball Team. Zoran Slavnić, the coach of the national team of Serbia invited Gurović to play for his country in the 2007 European Championship.
Season in Poland
Over the summer 2007 transfer window, 32-year-old Gurović signed for Polish club Prokom Trefl from the town of Sopot. He, naturally, assumed the role of the team leader and memorably led the team to the Polish league title. His year in Poland was not without controversy either as on May 25, 2008 during game 4 of Polish Basketball League 2007/2008 Playoff Finals, Gurović got involved in an infamous brawl with two players from opposing team Turów Zgorzelec - Iwo Kitzinger and Thomas Kelati. After the incident authorities of the DBE took the decision that marked him as the fight's instigator and Milan has been suspended for game 5. He was also fined PLN20,000 (about €6,000).
On Tuesday, September 29, 2009, Milan Gurović announced his retirement from professional basketball.
Euroleague career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field-goal percentage||3P%||3-point field-goal percentage||FT%||Free-throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||PIR||Performance Index Rating|
Note: The Euroleague is not the only competition in which the player participated for the team during the season, he also played in domestic competition.
Personal life & Anecdotes
- In addition to his native country Serbia, he also has Greek citizenship, which he obtained for administrative reasons in order to be able to play without EU restrictions in the Greek league like numerous other Serbian players such as Dragan Tarlać, Predrag Stojaković and Marko Jarić. At the time (late 1990s), Gurović played for Peristeri where he started his basketball career. In order to get the citizenship, his last name was changed and thus competed under the name Milan Malatras while he was in Greece. The name change was required as it reflected the citizenship documents submitted. There are rumors that these documents were often falsified and subject to counterfeiting.
- While playing for KK Partizan Gurović was not let in Croatia and Bosnia to play a game because of his tattoo of WW2 Chetnik leader Draža Mihailović on his shoulder. Above that tattoo, he has a tattooed eagle.
- Serbian writer Biljana Srbljanović referred to Gurović as "that tattooed fool" in her on-line exchange with Nebojša Krstić, the adviser to President of Serbia at her blog. When informed and asked by daily tabloid Kurir about Srbljanović's on-line comments, Gurović responded: "For her information, that 'tattooed fool' speaks, besides Serbian, three foreign languages. I know who this writer is and feel very sorry for her. Women of her age can do or say foolish stuff sometimes if they don't get their portion of cock in the morning. She must've awoken unfucked that day when she said this."
- Before joining Red Star Belgrade he was a member of their arch rivals Partizan Belgrade. Because of this he became main target for the Partizan fans, Grobari, who strongly supported him during Croatian ban. This culminated during final of Serbian league's playoff in 2007, when Grobari chanted insults and provocations from the stands targeting Milan's wife, children and parents. Milan responded and in TV interview said that "Grobari are cattle". In the second game, when Red Star were hosts, incidents occurred on the stands between Red Star fans Delije and police. Gurović tried to calm Red Star supporters and to defend them from police. Delije chanted "You are Zvezda's chetnik Milan" (Serbian : "Ti si Zvezdin Četnik Milane") and Gurović cried. In the third game Grobari used Milan's tears as provocation. They sang from the stands popular Serbian turbo-folk song "Obriši suze mala moja" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5htK6-nT-7I(English : Wipe tears my little one ). Partizan won series 3-1 and became the Serbian champions.
- Gurović za MONDO: Partizan mora da padne;MTS Mondo, 28 Decembar 2006
- Milan Gurović;Svet+ Info, 27 November 2011
- Čast je igrati za Partizan!, Kurir, 9 September 2004
- Milan Gurović u Partizanu, SrbijaSport, October 22, 2004
- Trijumf uzima i Gurovića, MTS Mondo, August 3, 2008
- Gurovic ve Milojevic, Galatasaray Cafe Crown’da, Galatasaray.org, August 8, 2008
- This is it for Gurovic
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Milan Gurović.|