Nikola Mirotić

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Nikola Mirotić
Nikola Mirotic (16240996134).jpg
Mirotić with the Bulls in 2015
No. 3 – New Orleans Pelicans
Position Power forward
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1991-02-11) February 11, 1991 (age 27)
Titograd, SR Montenegro,
SFR Yugoslavia
Nationality Spanish / Montenegrin
Listed height 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)
Listed weight 238 lb (108 kg)
Career information
NBA draft 2011 / Round: 1 / Pick: 23rd overall
Selected by the Houston Rockets
Playing career 2008–present
Career history
2008–2014 Real Madrid
2008–2009Real Madrid B
2009–2010Palencia
20142018 Chicago Bulls
2018–present New Orleans Pelicans
Career highlights and awards
Stats at NBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Nikola Mirotić (Montenegrin Cyrillic: Никола Миротић); born February 11, 1991) is a Montenegrin–Spanish[1] professional basketball player for the New Orleans Pelicans of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) tall power forward[2][3] is a two-time All-EuroLeague Second Team member, and previously played for Real Madrid of the Liga ACB.

Professional career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Growing up in Europe, football was Mirotić's true passion. As he got older, his family realized his height could be a lot more useful for another sport. At the age of 13, his grandfather introduced him to the sport of basketball.[4] Mirotić spent his childhood in Montenegro, and started playing basketball with the Joker School in Podgorica.[5] At the age of 14, he signed a junior contract with Real Madrid in the summer of 2005.

Real Madrid (2008–2014)[edit]

After playing for the Real Madrid juniors from 2006 to 2008, Mirotić signed with the Real Madrid senior team of the Liga ACB in 2008. During the 2010–11 Euroleague season, he emerged as one of his team's most valuable players, to win the EuroLeague Rising Star award.[6] In April 2011, he signed a five-year contract extension with Real Madrid.[7] With Real Madrid, he won the Spanish King's Cup and the Spanish Supercup in 2012.

Mirotić with Real Madrid in 2013

On June 23, 2011, Mirotić was selected by the Houston Rockets with the 23rd overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft. He was later traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves, and then traded once again to the Chicago Bulls on draft night.[8]

In the 2012–13 Euroleague season, he finished second in the EuroLeague Rising Star voting to Kostas Papanikolaou,[9] and he was named to the All-EuroLeague Second Team.[10] In May 2014, he was named to the All-EuroLeague Second Team, for the second consecutive season.[11]

In a total of 97 EuroLeague games for Real Madrid, Mirotić averaged 10.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.[12]

Chicago Bulls (2014–2018)[edit]

2014–15 season[edit]

On July 18, 2014, Mirotić signed with the Chicago Bulls[13] to a reported three-year, $16.6 million contract.[14] In addition, Mirotić was required to pay $3 million to Real Madrid for his contract buyout.[15]

On December 19, 2014, Mirotić scored a then career-high 27 points, as he converted all six of his three-pointers, in a 103–97 win over the Memphis Grizzlies.[16] On January 5, 2015, he was named the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in December.[17] During the NBA's All-Star Weekend, Mirotić played for World Team in the Rising Stars Challenge. He scored 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field in the World's 121–112 win over Team USA.[18] On March 1, he scored a career-high 29 points in a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.[19] With injuries impacting teammates during the month of March, Mirotić was expected to fill a larger role for his team. He averaged 20.8 points and 7.6 rebounds while playing 30.8 minutes per game.[20][21] In his rookie season, Mirotić averaged 10.2 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 82 games,[22] giving him the recognition as a candidate for the Rookie of the Year Award.[23] Mirotić finished second in Rookie of the Year voting with 335 votes behind Andrew Wiggins who received 604 votes.[24] He played his first post-season game in the NBA on April 18, 2015 in Game 1 of the Bulls' first-round series match-up against the Milwaukee Bucks. In 13 minutes off the bench, he recorded 5 points and 5 rebounds.[25]

2015–16 season[edit]

With the Bulls' 2015 off-season head coaching change, replacing Tom Thibodeau with Fred Hoiberg, came a starting role for Mirotić ahead of All-Star center Joakim Noah.[26] Mirotić subsequently scored a team-high 19 points in the season opening win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.[27] He started in all 18 games to begin the season, coming off the bench for the first time on December 9 against the Boston Celtics, scoring 10 points in 22 minutes of action.[28] He continued coming off the bench following December 9, earning himself a back-up role to Taj Gibson.[29] His next start came on December 21 against the Brooklyn Nets, as he started at small forward in place of Tony Snell.[30] On January 1, he recorded 17 points and a career-high seven assists in a 108–81 win over the New York Knicks.[31] On January 27, he was diagnosed with an acute appendicitis and was subsequently ruled out until after the All-Star break.[32] He returned to action on March 5 against the Houston Rockets after missing 16 games.[33] On March 23, he scored a career-high 35 points in a loss to the New York Knicks.[34]

2016–17 season[edit]

On December 26, 2016, less than two weeks after falling out of the rotation for a couple of games, Mirotić recorded a then season-high 20 points in a 90–85 win over the Indiana Pacers.[35] After not playing by coach's decision in two straight games in early March so that management and the coaching staff could look at Joffrey Lauvergne, Mirotić landed on the inactive list.[36] On March 13, he returned from a three-game absence and scored 24 points on five three-pointers in a 115–109 win over the Charlotte Hornets.[37] On March 22, he scored a season-high 28 points in a 117–95 win over the Detroit Pistons.[38] Four days later, he tied his season high with another 28-point effort in a 109–94 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.[39] He had a third 28-point game on March 30 in a 99–93 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. He had six three-pointers against both Milwaukee and Cleveland, becoming the first Bulls player to hit six or more three-pointers in back-to-back games.[40]

2017–18 season[edit]

On September 25, 2017, Mirotić re-signed with the Bulls.[41] On October 17, 2017, Mirotić was sent to the hospital after engaging in a physical altercation with teammate Bobby Portis during practice. Portis hit Mirotić in the face resulting in Mirotić suffering a concussion and multiple facial fractures.[42][43] Mirotić made his season debut on December 8, scoring six points in 14 minutes in a 119–111 overtime win over the Charlotte Hornets.[44] On December 11, he scored 24 points in his first start of the season in a 108–85 win over the Boston Celtics. He hit 9 of 14 shots and grabbed eight rebounds in his third appearance.[45] On December 13, he scored 29 points on 11-of-18 shooting with nine rebounds in a 103–100 win over the Utah Jazz.[46] On December 26, he came off the bench to score 24 points in 28 minutes, as the Bulls won for the eighth time in 10 games, beating the Milwaukee Bucks 115–106.[47]

New Orleans Pelicans (2018–present)[edit]

On February 1, 2018, Mirotić was traded, along with a 2018 second-round pick, to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Ömer Aşık, Tony Allen, Jameer Nelson, a 2018 first-round pick, and the right to swap 2021 second round picks with the Pelicans.[48] He made his debut for the Pelicans two days later, scoring 18 points on 6-of-13 shooting in a 118–107 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.[49] On February 10, 2018, he recorded 21 points and 16 rebounds in a 138–128 double overtime win over the Brooklyn Nets.[50] On March 4, 2018, he had a 24-point effort in a 126–109 win over the Dallas Mavericks.[51] On April 6, 2018, he scored a season-high 31 points and tied a season best with 16 rebounds in a 122–103 win over the Phoenix Suns.[52] Three days later, he recorded 24 points and 16 rebounds in a 113–100 win over the Los Angeles Clippers, helping the Pelicans clinch a playoff spot.[53] In Game 1 of the Pelicans' first-round playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers, Mirotić recorded 16 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks in a 97–95 win.[54] In Game 3, Mirotić scored a career playoff-best 30 points to go with eight rebounds, three steals and a block, as the Pelicans beat the Trail Blazers 119–102 to take a 3–0 lead in the series.[55]

National team career[edit]

Mirotić was a member of the junior national team of Spain. He helped Spain's U20 national team win the bronze medal at the 2010 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship, where he was named to the All-Tournament Team. He also led Spain to the gold medal in 2011. Mirotić was the top scorer and MVP of the tournament, averaging 27 points (tournament record) and 10 rebounds per game.[56]

In June 2015, Mirotić was named by head coach Sergio Scariolo as one of 17 candidates to try out for the senior men's Spanish national basketball team that would play at the EuroBasket 2015.[57] Mirotić made Spain's final 12-man roster, and he went on to win a gold medal at the tournament, in September 2015. He also played with Spain at the 2016 Summer Olympics, where he won a bronze medal.[58]

Personal life[edit]

Mirotić and his wife, Nina Vujačić, have a son named Aleksandar, who was born in May 2013. His wife is the daughter of his former coach and mentor, Jadran Vujačić, who also played professional basketball with Borac Čačak, KK Partizan, and Budućnost Titograd.[59] Even though he represents the Spanish national basketball team, he said that he is happy and proud to be Montenegrin.[60][61]

Awards and accomplishments[edit]

Professional career[edit]

Spanish national team[edit]

Senior
U-20

Career statistics[edit]

Legend
  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
 Bold  Career high

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, and regional competition if applicable.

Led the league

NBA[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2014–15 Chicago 82 3 20.2 .405 .316 .803 4.9 1.2 .7 .7 10.2
2015–16 Chicago 66 38 24.9 .407 .390 .807 5.5 1.5 .9 .7 11.8
2016–17 Chicago 70 15 24.0 .413 .342 .773 5.5 1.1 .8 .8 10.6
2017–18 Chicago 25 3 24.9 .474 .429 .823 6.4 1.6 .6 .5 16.8
2017–18 New Orleans 30 11 29.1 .427 .335 .810 8.2 1.4 1.0 .9 14.6
Career 273 70 23.7 .419 .357 .801 5.7 1.3 .8 .7 11.8

Playoffs[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2015 Chicago 11 0 14.9 .303 .233 .800 2.7 .8 .5 .5 5.7
2017 Chicago 6 6 27.0 .340 .286 .800 5.0 1.5 .7 .5 8.7
2018 New Orleans 9 9 35.6 .480 .431 .789 9.6 1.7 1.1 1.3 15.0
Career 26 15 24.8 .394 .336 .796 5.6 1.3 .8 .8 9.6

Liga ACB[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2008–09 Real Madrid 2 0 3.5 .500 .000 .000 .0 .0 .0 .0 1.0
2010–11 Real Madrid 29 0 17.2 .527 .413 .875 3.8 .6 .7 .4 8.1
2011–12 Real Madrid 34 0 20.2 .471 .375 .703 4.5 .8 .7 .5 8.9
2012–13 Real Madrid 33 0 23.4 .505 .435 .802 5.5 .9 .9 .8 12.6
2013–14 Real Madrid
Career 131 0 20.8 .505 .392 .800 4.8 .8 .8 .5 10.4

EuroLeague[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG PIR
2008–09 Real Madrid 1 0 2.1 .000 .000 .000 .0 .0 .0 .0 .0 -1.0
2010–11 Real Madrid 20 0 15.0 .500 .387 .857 3.3 .6 .5 .5 6.6 8.2
2011–12 Real Madrid 16 15 23.1 .525 .439 .918 4.5 .9 .8 .4 12.5 14.6
2012–13 Real Madrid 29 25 24.9 .475 .325 .851 5.3 .9 .7 .9 11.4 13.3
2013–14 Real Madrid 31 31 24.0 .508 .461 .811 4.6 1.2 1.1 .8 12.4 15.9
Career 97 71 24.2 .498 .402 .848 4.5 .9 .8 .7 10.8 13.1

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nikola Mirotic ya tiene la nacionalidad española". marca.com. Europa Press. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  2. ^ ACB.com Spanish ACB League official player profile (in Spanish).
  3. ^ "NIKOLA MIROTIC (SPAIN)". Fibaeurope.com. Retrieved 2012-07-09. 
  4. ^ How Nikola Mirotic Rose From Soccer Destiny, To European Phenom, To The NBA
  5. ^ Las lecciones aprendidas de Nikola Mirotic y Marko Todorovic (in Spanish)
  6. ^ "Real Madrid's Nikola Mirotic chosen 2011 Rising Star". Euroleague.net. Retrieved 2012-07-09. 
  7. ^ "Real Madrid extends Mirotic through 2016". Euroleague.net. 2011-04-26. Retrieved 2012-07-09. 
  8. ^ "NBA Draft: Nr 1 dla Irvinga, wybrano 10 Europejczyków". PolskiKosz.pl. 24 June 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2011. 
  9. ^ Euroleague.net Rising Star Trophy winner: Kostas Papanikolaou, Olympiacos Piraeus.
  10. ^ Euroleague.net 2012-13 All-Euroleague First and Second Teams announced.
  11. ^ "2013-14 All-Euroleague First and Second Teams announced". Euroleague.net. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  12. ^ MIROTIC, NIKOLA – Euroleague.net
  13. ^ "Bulls sign forward Nikola Mirotic". NBA.com. July 18, 2014. Retrieved July 18, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Bulls Sign Nikola Mirotic To Three-Year, $16.6M Deal". RealGM.com. July 18, 2014. Retrieved July 18, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Nikola Mirotic is the best paid European rookie in NBA history". HoopsHype.com. July 22, 2014. Retrieved July 22, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Butler, Mirotic lead Bulls over Grizzlies 103-97". NBA.com. December 19, 2014. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  17. ^ NIKOLA MIROTIC NAMED KIA NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE ROOKIE OF THE MONTH
  18. ^ Mirotic shines among young stars
  19. ^ Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan lead Clippers past Bulls 96-86
  20. ^ Nikola Mirotic 2014-15 Game Log
  21. ^ Bulls in thick of East chase thanks to Mirotic's big month
  22. ^ Nikola Mirotic NBA Stats
  23. ^ Andrew Wiggins reportedly set to be named NBA rookie of the year
  24. ^ "Timberwolves' Andrew Wiggins wins 2014-15 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year Award". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. April 30, 2015. Retrieved April 30, 2015. 
  25. ^ Rose scores 23, Bulls beat Bucks 103-91
  26. ^ Nikola Mirotic to Start Over Joakim Noah for Season Opener?
  27. ^ With Obama watching, Bulls hold off Cavaliers 97-95
  28. ^ Thomas carries Boston to 105-100 win over Chicago
  29. ^ NBA Rumors: A Major Change in Chicago Bulls Roster, Taj Gibson and Nikola Mirotic Affected
  30. ^ Lopez, Young lead Nets to 105-102 victory over Bulls
  31. ^ Butler helps Bulls pull away from Knicks for 108-81 victory
  32. ^ NIKOLA MIROTIC INJURY UPDATE
  33. ^ Nikola Mirotic 2015-16 Game Log
  34. ^ Porzingis ties career high with 29, Knicks top Bulls 115-107
  35. ^ "Mirotic, Wade lead Bulls over Pacers 90-85 to snap skid at 3". ESPN.com. December 26, 2016. Retrieved December 27, 2016. 
  36. ^ Johnson, K.C. (March 12, 2017). "Nikola Mirotic's fall from grace reaches new low with inactive status". ChicagoTribune.com. Retrieved March 13, 2017. 
  37. ^ "Rondo provides spark as starter, Bulls top Hornets 115-109". ESPN.com. March 13, 2017. Retrieved March 14, 2017. 
  38. ^ "Mirotic scores season-high 28, Bulls beat Pistons 117-95". ESPN.com. March 22, 2017. Retrieved March 23, 2017. 
  39. ^ "Butler did it: Bulls pull away for 109-94 win over Bucks". ESPN.com. March 26, 2017. Retrieved March 26, 2017. 
  40. ^ "Bulls top Cavs 99-93, James moves to 7th on NBA scoring list". ESPN.com. March 30, 2017. Retrieved March 30, 2017. 
  41. ^ "BULLS RE-SIGN NIKOLA MIROTIC". NBA.com. September 26, 2017. Retrieved September 26, 2017. 
  42. ^ "Bulls' Nikola Mirotic suffers broken facial bones in altercation with teammate Bobby Portis". ESPN.com. October 17, 2017. Retrieved October 17, 2017. 
  43. ^ Johnson, K.C. (October 17, 2017). "Bulls' Nikola Mirotic out with two broken bones in face after being punched by teammate Bobby Portis". ChicagoTribune.com. Retrieved October 17, 2017. 
  44. ^ "Markkanen scores 24, Bulls end skid with OT win over Hornets". ESPN.com. December 8, 2017. Retrieved December 8, 2017. 
  45. ^ "Mirotic, Portis lead way, Bulls blow out Celtics 108-85". ESPN.com. December 11, 2017. Retrieved December 11, 2017. 
  46. ^ "Bulls beat Jazz 103-100 for 4th straight victory". ESPN.com. December 13, 2017. Retrieved December 14, 2017. 
  47. ^ "Mirotic scores 24 points off bench, Bulls beat Bucks 115-106". ESPN.com. December 26, 2017. Retrieved December 26, 2017. 
  48. ^ "Pelicans Acquire Nikola Mirotić". NBA.com. February 1, 2018. Retrieved February 1, 2018. 
  49. ^ "Butler scores 30 to lead Wolves past Pelicans, 118-107". ESPN.com. February 3, 2018. Retrieved February 4, 2018. 
  50. ^ "Davis has 44, Pelicans blow 28-point lead, top Nets in 2 OTs". ESPN.com. February 10, 2018. Retrieved February 10, 2018. 
  51. ^ "Holiday scores 30 as Pelicans beat Mavericks 126-109". ESPN.com. March 4, 2018. Retrieved March 5, 2018. 
  52. ^ "Mirotic, Davis lead Pelicans to blowout win over Suns". ESPN.com. April 6, 2018. Retrieved April 7, 2018. 
  53. ^ "Pelicans beat Clippers 113-100 to clinch playoff berth". ESPN.com. April 9, 2018. Retrieved April 9, 2018. 
  54. ^ "Davis scores 35, Pelicans hold off Blazers 97-95 in Game 1". ESPN.com. April 14, 2018. Retrieved April 15, 2018. 
  55. ^ "Mirotic, Davis lead Pelicans to 3-0 series lead over Blazers". ESPN.com. April 19, 2018. Retrieved April 19, 2018. 
  56. ^ "MVP Mirotic leads All Tournament Team". fibaeurope.com. 24 July 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2011. 
  57. ^ "Gasol, Mirotic on powerful Spain roster". eurobasket2015.org. 30 June 2015. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  58. ^ Nikola MIROTIC (ESP).
  59. ^ Internationally Known, Locally Respected
  60. ^ "NIKOLA MIROTIĆ: SREĆAN SAM ŠTO SAM CRNOGORAC!". kosarka.me (in Serbian). 11 June 2017. Retrieved 11 June 2017. 
  61. ^ "Mirotić: Nikada nisam zatvorio vrata Crnoj Gori". glasamerike.net (in Serbian). 12 January 2015. Retrieved 11 June 2017. 

External links[edit]