Nik Vucevic Isn’t Surprised With His Stellar Play and Wasn’t Bitter About Being Traded to the Orlando Magic
February 18, 2013 – 7:15 am by Steven Cuce
The Dwight Howard trade isn’t looking so bad after all for the Orlando Magic thanks to Nik Vucevic. The former Philadelphia 76er was acquired in the four-team trade back in August and is developing into quite the talent.
The 22-year-old is averaging 12.4 points and 11.5 rebounds per game coming out of the All-Star break.
Nik Vucevic joined WGYG in Orlando on Open Mike to discuss his excellent play this season, not being bitter about being traded to the Orlando Magic, replacing Dwight Howard, exacting revenge by beating the Lakers earlier this season and his hopes of being a dominant center one day.
Are you surprised at all about how you have performed this year?
“I don’t think I am necessarily surprised. I knew I was capable of playing at a high level in this league. It maybe happened a little quicker than I thought it would. I thought maybe I needed another year or so, but I got an opportunity to play here and get an extended amount of minutes. I have a coach and teammates that believe in me and it made it a lot easier to play at a high level.”
Were you ever bitter about being traded from the Sixers and did you feel like you had something to prove?
“I mean I wasn’t really bitter about it. It’s the way this league goes. It’s a business. I mean, they got one of the best big men in the league in return and that’s the way it goes. I felt like, for me going to Orlando, it would be a very good opportunity for me to play here because I knew I had a chance to prove myself during training camp and get a chance to play just by talking to the coach and to the GM. I knew it was a great opportunity for me, so I was never really bitter about it.”
Do you feel any added pressure in replacing the greatest player in Magic history in Dwight Howard?
“No. I never looked at it that way. Obviously he was the best big man in the NBA. Coming in here I knew I wasn’t going to replace him. He played too well for me to just come in and replace him. I knew I had to come in and play my game and try to do my best to help the team win.”
Was there something special about beating the Lakers earlier this season because Dwight Howard was on the Lakers?
“I mean not really for me. I wasn’t part of the team when he was here. I don’t know about the other guys, but I think playing the Lakers in general and beating them, that’s special because they are one of the best franchises in the NBA and you beat them on a Sunday at the Staples Center with all the people there and the fans. It’s a fun feeling to play over there and plus you can beat them? It’s even better.”
Do you hope one day to become as dominant a center as Dwight Howard was in Orlando?
“Yeah of course. Who wouldn’t want to be? He was great at Orlando for a lot of years. He took them to the Finals. I would love to do what he did here. He obviously had a great period here. I would love to have that as well.”
Listen to Nik Vucevic on WGYG in Orlando here
Tags: Dwight Howard, NBA, Nik Vucevic, Open Mike, Orlando Magic, WGYG in Orlando
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