Buducnost VOLI Podgorica has always held a special place in Vladimir Micov’s heart. Now, 16 years after first joining the club, the 36-year-old is back in the Montenegrin capital ready for a new adventure in the 7DAYS EuroCup.
"I feel great, physically and mentally. I feel great and am ready for a new adventure,” said Micov, who played for Buducnost from 2005 to 2009 and helped the club to four straight domestic league and cup doubles. “The first time I left my home in Belgrade was to go to Montenegro. Overall, I think it was the best decision I could have made, to leave my home and start playing on the international stage. That was a big step forward in my career that's how I started season by season to get better and better and how I ended up in the EuroLeague.”
Micov is no stranger to the EuroLeague, having played the last five seasons with Galatasaray Istanbul and AX Armani Exchange Milan and a total of 10 campaigns – including stints with Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz, Bennet Cantu and CSKA Moscow. For most of that time, though, Micov was following his former club Buducnost from afar.
"It's normal when you leave a team that you follow some coaches and some players and follow their results during the season,” Micov said. “Since then, I have had a very, very good relationship with the head coach of Crvena Zvezda, Dejan Radonjic, because he coached me and also the sports director, Gavrilo Pajovic, who is still in the club. I was in contact with both of them and two or three players from the time. Of course, there is a new generation with many younger players but I was following them also because they were playing the Adriatic League.”
Then came the opening round of action in the EuroLeague in the 2018-19 season, when Buducnost was back in the competition for the first time since the 2002-03 season, and Micov traveled to Montenegro as a leader for Milan.
"Coming back nine years after leaving the club, it was so emotional for me. It was a full gym, which I knew so well after so many years, and it was great to see the club at a peak level,” said Micov, who was honored before the game with his former Buducnost No. 5 jersey. “They honored me and it was really emotional for me.”
Ever the professional, Micov put his emotions aside in the game and scored 15 points and then dropped 20 on his former club when it came to Italy later in the season.
"Okay, I scored a lot of points and played good in both games. We are after all professionals, and when the game starts there are no emotions,” he said.
Micov is not the only grizzled veteran on the current Buducnost team; he is one of seven players who are 30 years or older. Still, the small forward is ready to take a role as a leader.
"I have a lot of experience. I know my age, but I still feel really great physically and mentally. I came here to try to win as many trophies as possible,” said Micov, who helped Galatasaray win the EuroCup in 2016 and get back to the EuroLeague. He said he hopes to go as far as he can with Buducnost in the EuroCup and also to try and win the Adriatic League.
"Everybody knows winning the Adriatic League gets you to the EuroLeague,” he stated.
And it would be a great accomplishment to get his former club back to the league where he made such a big name for himself over 10 seasons.