Mac TA brings Vujcic back into the fold

The 35-year-old Vujcic, won two Euroleague titles in 6 years at Maccabi (2002-2008), played for Croatian side Split this year.

June 23, 2013 23:34
2 minute read.
Nikola Vukjic

Nikola Vukjic370. (photo credit: Maccabi Tel Aviv )

Nikola Vujcic was unveiled as Maccabi Tel Aviv’s new administrative manager on Sunday and promised he had returned to the club to do a whole lot more than replace “light bulbs.”

The 35-year-old Vujcic, who won two Euroleague titles in six years at Maccabi (2002-2008), played for Croatian side Split this past season while also occupying the general manager’s position and will replace Gur Shelef in Tel Aviv.

“I’m not going to be the one who changes the lights but if I have to do these types of things I will not be ashamed,” Vujcic said. “But the main thing will be the professional side and anything regarding basketball. Of course, I will also be involved in technical stuff, but I’m sure Maccabi didn’t bring someone from Croatia to change the lights.”

Vujcic couldn’t hide his excitement at being back in Tel Aviv. “It’s a big honor to be part of such a big club,” he added. “I never actually left Maccabi. I was always in touch with Maccabi and knew what was going on. For me to come back here is like to come back home.

“My six years in Maccabi were the best six years of my life. I’m really looking forward to working here. Maccabi is a very organized club and everyone knows what they have to do and I’m not here to change many things, just to add some things.”

Maccabi part-owner David Federman heralded the Croatian’s arrival.

“The reason we brought Nikola is in order to use his knowledge in basketball and to be involved on a daily basis with every single decision we have with every single player and to be a middleman between the management and the coaches,” Federman explained.

“The relationship between him and coach David Blatt is extremely good and what we’ve seen in the first week here is far beyond any expectations we had. He’s going to be an enormous benefit to us in terms of basketball.”

Vujcic already sat in on a meeting with the agent of captain Lior Eliyahu in which the forward was offered to restructure his contract or look for another team. However, the former center claimed his role is more of an advisory one.

“On every decision I will give my opinion, but I’m not the one who will make the decisions. The ownership will be the ones who make the decisions,” he said.

“From the first day I got the offer to be part of Maccabi I was very excited. This is a big thing for me and my family. I think I can really help a lot.”

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