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NBA / Dec 2, 2009 / 3:00 pm

Goran Dragic: What I’ve Learned From Steve Nash

Goran Dragic

Playing behind greatness can do wonders for any young athlete. Think about how much having Joe Montana around helped Steve Young or how much Dr. J meant to Charles Barkley’s development. Phoenix Suns backup point guard Goran Dragic is in a situation where he can learn from one of the best floor generals in the game in Steve Nash. The second-year guard from Slovenia has improved in almost all of his stats from last year.

During last night’s game against the Knicks, you could really see Nash pull him aside during timeouts and throughout the game to give the 23-year-old some pointers. Before tipoff, I caught up with Dragic to ask him what he’s learned from the former two-time MVP. (Disclaimer: Goran is still struggling with his English)

Dime: What kind of things has Steve Nash taught you on the court?
Goran Dragic: I try to learn everything. He’s one of the best point guards in the league. I have to be focused and listen on what he has to say to me. But he’s taught me everything so far. How to push the team, make offense run. Put all the players in their spots. Pick and roll and find the open player.

Dime: Has he told you to be patient when you’re trying to pick your spots when you shoot?
GD: No, we didn’t talk about that. If I’m going to be alone, I’m going to shoot. Everybody in our team, if you’re alone you have to shoot. But like I said, try to be as organized as much as possible.

Dime: Does he give you pointers off the court like on the plane or after practice?
GD: Not in the plane but on the practice. On the practice we play against each other, so if I make some mistakes, he correct me. He tells me what I have to do and all these things, but so far it’s really well and I learn a lot from him.

Dime: We all know Nash likes to eat healthy. Does he give you pointers on having a good diet?
GD: We didn’t talk about that. But I know this stuff, like how you have to eat. Notice, I’m skinny I can eat everything (laughs) and I will not go bigger. But still, off the court, we just hang out. When we are away we got together to dinner and we talk all these things. So far it’s really good and I’m lucky to be here.

Dime: Depending on your matchup, does he give you pointers on how to play certain people.
GD: No because we know what we have to do. Because in the practice, we practice like this and we have to play our concept. So far it’s working. I don’t know maybe because we run a lot and everybody’s in great shape and we just push the ball and make easy baskets.

Follow Dime on Twitter at @DIMEMag.

Follow Gerald Narciso on Twitter at @Gerald_Narciso.

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  • SamSam

    There is no such place as Yugoslavia.

  • Gunner J. Matthews

    I actually kind of forgot he’s still in the league

  • sweetv0mit

    gerald shoulda asked goran if nash teaches him with his english haha

  • Michael

    Dragic my man, representing Ljubljana, Slovenia!
    Michael from center of Ljubljana

  • Da_Griff

    Dragic can shoot. …. If he’s open.

    That’s it.

    No D. No handle. No bad passing, and a turnover machine.

    The worst backup in the league. He’s improved all his stats huh? Well, considering what they had to improve from, that’s no achievement.

  • Diggity Dave

    His talent aside, Dragic has to be thrilled to be learning from Nash. Not everyone is so lucky.

  • ruballin

    To be honest, I question whether or not Dragic has learned a damn thing from Nash. The dude’s straight up awful. Career backup an optimistic project of his career, but in all honesty, he probably shouldn’t even be in the league once his contract expires.

  • Da_Griff

    Totally agree.

    I wonder who the top ten “turnovers per 48 minutes” players are?

  • http://www.petsocietyhelp.com Pet Society Help

    Ask Barbosa what he’s learned from Nash? Was hoping Dan Dickau would stick with the team, if anybody needs some pg lessons from a real pg, it’s D.Dick.

  • sh!tfaced

    Dragic better learn fast and as much as he can from Nash then take it elsewhere cause he’s never gonna see tick in Phoenix. With the way Nash has been going, the man’s gonna play til he’s way beyond 40…

  • ashto

    I remember when this guy was hot prospect… Just frustrating to think all the talent pheonix has let pass by: Rudy fernandez, Luol Deng, Rondo, Nate Robinson, JJ.
    Man…

  • Sweet English

    So the title is ‘What I’ve Learned from Steve Nash’

    then this happens;

    Dime: Has he told you to be patient when you’re trying to pick your spots when you shoot?
    GD: No, we didn’t talk about that.

    Dime: We all know Nash likes to eat healthy. Does he give you pointers on having a good diet?
    GD: We didn’t talk about that.

    Dime: Depending on your matchup, does he give you pointers on how to play certain people.
    GD: No because we know what we have to do.

    So the answer to your initial question is obviuosly ‘Not much’

    Goran Dragic, The NBA’s Real Tyrone.

    True Thugz Never Listen.

  • MSkittle

    Dragic is bad. One of the worst players in the league.

  • Vic De Zen

    No, last year he was bad. This year he’s been fantastic.

  • Eutychus

    The real Goran Dragic showed up last year with the coaching change from Terry Porter to Alvin Gentry. Check out this piece I wrote on Dragic at the Bright Side of the Sun (best Suns blog period)before the start of the season comparing his improved stats under Alvin Gentry to the rookie stats of the top 6 PGs in the league and their rookie number. This kid is only going to get better! http://bit.ly/66kUcA

  • Maklsi

    Goran is one of the hardest workers in the nba, trust me that..
    He is the second/third best defender on the suns, and trust me, that he is one of the best backup playmakers in the league.

  • michael

    anyone eating crow? anyone? He still can’t run the offense as efficiently as nash, but his measurable stats and defense are exponentially better than they were last year. He pulls rebounds down over centers, plays lock down d, can drain the ball from anywhere and slashes with the best of them. Remember when the suns claimed he was the second best pg in the draft? tell me who is better from that draft besides rose?