Miodrag ‘Misko’ Raznatovic founded BeoBasket in 1995, when he was still an active basketball player. Twenty years later, his agency represents more than a hundred athletes throughout the world, including high-profile players like Vassilis Spanoulis, Dario Saric, Nikola Pekovic, Nenad Krstic and Mirza Teletovic, among many others.
Feared and admired, Raznatovic is one of the most influential actors in European basketball. EJDN had the chance to talk with him about a wide range of topics: the ACB, Spanoulis, Slaughter and more.
Some people say you are Jorge Mendes’ basketball counterpart. Do you like the comparison?
It’s always good when people compare you with somebody who’s the best in the world in his business. So, honestly I like this comparison.
How many players do BeoBasket represent right now?
I really don’t know. We have never counted them. My guess, between 100 and 200.
While most agents choose to remain unnoticed, in the shadows, your Twitter account (@MiskoRaznatovic) is like a media outlet itself. Signings, injuries, statements… Why do you like to give the scoops yourself?
There is no reason to be shy and in the shadows. I put on Twitter information from my work and linked with my players. I believe I help journalists to have hot news.
Would you share with us what is the strangest place you’ve closed a deal in?
Signing a coach in Iran today is a normal thing. But 18 years ago, it was really something different and more than special.
The Turkish league is already stronger than the ACB.
In the upcoming ACB season there will be a bunch of BeoBasket players that come to Spain for the first time and, therefore, may be a little uknown for fans: Nenad Miljenovic, Ricky Sánchez, Ruslan Otverchenko, Oliver Stevic… Who has the most chances to make a big impact in the Liga Endesa?
Nenad Miljenovic [Baloncesto Sevilla] will be a top ACB player for big teams within three years.
The ACB is in a pretty dire condition. Lack of proper TV coverage, some teams have been severely hit by the economic recession, top players leaving for the NBA, Russia and Turkey year in and year out. Is the ACB still the second best league in the world?
I don’t think the ACB is the second league in the world. The Turkish league is stronger. ACB basketball is more beautiful and more attractive, the organization is better, but the Turkish league is stronger because teams ranked from seventh place to bottom have much bigger budgets and better players than ACB teams of the same ranking.
Vassilis Spanoulis. Some people in Barcelona still think you used them in 2013 to get a better deal with Olympiacos. How close was ‘V-Span’ from signing with them?
Nobody used anybody. Negotiations were more than serious and he was really close to entering the ACB league.
Marcus Slaughter didn’t pay Real Madrid any buyout.
Marcus Slaughter, a fan favorite in Madrid, left the Euroleague defending champion to play for Euroleague newcomer Darussafaka. Could you clarify some facts that were published in Spain about the deal? Did Marcus pay a 500.000€ buyout? Did he give up some money Madrid owed him?
Marcus didn’t pay any buyout. He just got rid of some small unpaid bonuses. Real Madrid was fair in that case and respected the player’s wish to leave because he didn’t want to play only in the Euroleague with them.
Real Madrid’s president Florentino Pérez declared recently that he (seriously) wants his basketball team in a future NBA European Division. The Euroleague moves closer and closer to becoming a big pan-European (and closed) League whereas FIBA wants to regain control of international club competitions. How do you picture European basketball 5-10 years from now? Do domestic leagues have to worry?
Domestic leagues have lot of reasons to worry. I’m sure that in the near future Euroleague will be closed for elite teams and trough Fiba connected in same way with the NBA.