All-Access Online: Nenad Krstic’s Blog

"Curly's Corner": the Nenad Krstic Blog!

Nenad Krstic will be checking in regularly in a diary exclusive to, as he makes his comeback from a torn left ACL suffered in December of last season. He will take you through his return as well as a behind-the-scenes and personal look at his life…

Entries: 4/18/08 | 3/25/08 | 3/4/08 | 2/14/08 | 2/8/08 |

Posted April 18th, 2008
By Nenad Krstic

The Season...

It’s tough. Not making the playoffs after six years in a row (for the Nets) is tough. I can’t say a lot about that. We had a really bad year starting with the trade and it’s just tough. But life goes on. Everybody needs to learn from this and just move on.

It’s been a tough year; not just for the team, but especially for me too. It’s tough. I can’t really say anything for myself because I really tried to get back; I did everything I could to get back. I was running and swimming in the pool and all that stuff. It was a really hard rehab. It’s like I always have said: people don’t understand how tough this injury is. If you don’t have this injury you can’t really understand it. I can only talk to the guys who have had the ACL injury. They understand. I can talk to Timmy (Walsh, Head Athletic Trainer), he knows a lot about this stuff, but he never got through the rehab. Once you get through the rehab you know what I’m talking about. It’s really tough. People who have had this injury have said it takes about 12-18 months to feel normal. Now I’m about 15 months in. I feel really good. Still, my game is not there; I know I can be a lot better. A lot of people said that after you come back, the first year you are okay, you are good, you are feeling alright. But you’re not there yet. The second year feels normal – even better sometimes. There are a lot of examples, not just in the NBA, but in Europe too. A lot of players have come back from this injury and were so much better than they were before the injury. I’m not worrying about my future. I know I can be a lot better and I’m going to be a lot better next year for sure. I can’t say this is a good end of the season for me but it’s good because I can use this time to get a lot better and this off season because I will have a lot of free time for strengthening and all that stuff.

There were days that you just can’t move because you have heavy legs or something like that. And you ask yourself “what’s the problem” but the next day you feel much better and then you start thinking positively again. I know in the big picture in the future I’m going to be normal again. I’m only 24 years old so it’s going to be fine. It’s just going to be fine. Basically, this year is just tough. I had ups-and-downs and it’s always hard when you shut it down in the middle of a season and you need to come back. I came back before the all-star break so it was tough to get your rhythm back.

Sometimes I have been myself on the court. I have moments in the game where I feel like I’m myself again and then I go down. It’s so up-and-down. The other thing that is big for me is that my conditioning is not there. I think my conditioning is not great. I always think when you miss the training camp, that’s big. When you need to do your conditioning during the season it’s always tough. I think this season when I got the chance to play like 30-35 minutes, I think I did pretty good. When I play 15 minutes, 20 minutes, it’s always tough because I have never in my career been that kind of player. I was always a starter, even in Serbia, and here when I came back I was not a starter for 15-20 games. I’m used to playing a lot of minutes.

Summer Plans...

After the season, I have plans to go to Miami. It’s easy (to go there) because with a Serbian passport you can’t really go anywhere. Everywhere you go, you need a Visa. It’s just tough to pick a country because you need a Visa for it. Miami I guess is the easiest way to go somewhere with very nice weather and I like Miami. I’ll stay there for four or five days, I don’t know exactly. Then May 2nd I’m going to Serbia and I’ll basically stay over there all summer. My plan is to play for the National Team, starting July 1st. But before that, I’m going to take like two months off. But not off as in nothing to do; I’m going to do strengthening maybe two or three times a week really hard and then maybe two weeks before National Team starts, I’m going to start doing some conditioning and basketball stuff.

I think this summer I’m going to spend a lot of it with my family and friends over there (in Serbia) because I have missed them a lot. It was a really tough year mentally for me so I really need to get away from New Jersey a little bit.

I think National Team is going to help me a lot because: we have a new coach; new players; it’s not going to be hard games because it’s qualifying for European Championship so it’s going to be like six or eight games, something like that; and you train a lot. I think that’s going to help me a lot to prepare for the NBA Season. It will be August and the first days of September. It’s pretty close to training camp but I have like 15-20 days off before training camp starts. So that’s even good to have a couple of days off.

My plans when the season is over are connected to the National Team right now, because I really want to participate in that and really want to do well because I didn’t play for two years. I think it’s really time to help the National Team because we have really struggled for a couple of years. I’m really going to try to play hard and help them.

I need to be careful with my knee but the thing is: I can’t really worry about that. That’s really the past for me. I’m really getting tired of being asked “how’s your knee, how’s your knee”; my whole life changed because I think I have a tape in my head and I press play and say “my knee is fine…oh my knee is fine” and “How’s your knee is fine.” I always repeat the same thing and I’m getting tired of hearing that and I just want to forget that. In life, you always forget the bad things and remember the good things.

Posted March 25th, 2008
By Nenad Krstic

On Season-High 22 Points vs. Knicks on 3/24 and Putting Knee Injury Behind Him...

It’s not about yesterday’s game. It’s about the whole season. I’m trying to put that behind me and just focus on the court and try to get better. Everybody’s talking about my ACL and how I am struggling (and still equating the two). But that was 1 ½ years ago; that’s the thing that is bothering me: I am healthy now. I am 100 percent. I’m totally healthy and the only thing that I’m maybe not 100 percent with is my wind. It’s not there 100 percent. But with my knee: everything’s fine, everything’s great. I don’t want to talk about that. I just want to forget about that. It was really like a bad dream for me for like one year or more. And right now a lot of people are trying to put that as an excuse. ‘ACL, ACL’ and I’m getting tired of that, listening to that. It’s not about yesterday’s game. I’ve felt good for about a month and a half. I didn’t play good before that but it was because I wasn’t used to people running at me and my shot. I wasn’t used to people being around me because I did the whole rehab by myself. So, that’s the thing with this injury. You do the whole rehab just by yourself and then when you get ready to play, that’s maybe the toughest part. To get adjusted for the game, to get the feeling back about other players being around you. It takes a while. For some people, it’s a little less. For some people, it’s more. For me it took like almost six months.

I practice those (jump) shots every day. Even today I practiced them. I just stay focused and believe that the shots are going to fall in and I’m so lucky to have very unselfish teammates and coach ran plays for me in the third quarter. I was really enjoying playing basketball again. It was really fun to play with unselfish guys who are going to pass you the ball when you’re open. When you make shots, you create more plays for other guys so it was really great and fun to play.

Time to Step Up?

I think I started feeling really good on the Southwest trip; I started playing good. But we lost every single game. Not just me, but everybody needs to step up but I feel like I haven’t done too much the whole season. I just need to step up right now and do whatever I can. But there are going to be the nights where I’m not going to make the shots and I just need to believe in myself like I did before (the injury). That’s pretty much it. We just need to stay focused, not think about the other teams.

I’ve been trying to stay off my feet because every game right now is a big game for us, like playoff games. I’m just trying to rest. I got sick last week so I was really frustrated about that. That was another setback for me. I was really sick with a high fever; I was shaking in bed for like three days. I’m still coughing, I’m still not right yet, but it’s better. It was really bad. I was sick for like five days and missed three games. I didn’t feel good about that especially as I had just gotten a rhythm back and everything. But I came back and I feel good again.

Maybe it was some medicine I took or something. I just started making shots and it’s really feeling good right now.

Posted March 4th, 2008
By Nenad Krstic

Where I Am

It’s still tough for me. I’m still trying to get my rhythm back and the rhythm of the game. I think I’m doing pretty well in practice, getting used to it; it just takes some time. It’s not easy. I was thinking it was going to be easy when I was getting ready for playing time. But it’s not like that. It takes some time. I’m still getting used to playing time and having people around me (on the court). Rehab for me was something that was really hard but it was totally different than playing time. In playing time, you have people around defending you and that’s the thing right now that I’m getting used to. I’m just still not there yet. I’m really trying hard to help the team and play better. But like I said, it’s not really easy; I just need some more time. We still have 20-plus games left and hopefully the playoffs. I’m just looking forward to the future. Just thinking about the next game and what I should do to get better and I’m using every single practice to get in better shape. The bottom line: I need to be satisfied; I need to be happy because I’m on the court again and playing and that was my goal at first. Just to play again…Right now, my goal is to do better and better.

Physical things are fine. My knee is feeling great. My strength is great.

But the other thing is that in the past – before the injury – if I had a bad game, I’d come in the gym (afterwards) and shoot like 500 shots and feel much better. I can’t do that right now because I can’t put too much stress on my knee. So, I’m just trying to use practice to get better. I can’t really do too much individual stuff so that’s the thing bothering me right now.

If you look at me at practice and before practice, when I shoot by myself, that’s my shot. That’s my old shot, but in a game when people are running at you and putting their hand in your face, it’s different and you need to get used to it. For some people, they need less time; for some people, they need more time. Every injury of mine, even in Serbia, if they said I needed four weeks to recover I always took like five or six weeks. I always needed more time to recover or get in shape. That’s how I am. It’s really like I need more time.

The Trade

What can I say about Jason (Kidd)? When I first came here, it was real difficult for me and when I started playing it was a totally different game. First, what I learned is that you always look at Jason – he’s always going to pass you the ball at the right time and in the right position. He really helped me a lot. He makes everybody better on the floor. He really helped my career, and not just me, but everyone from the Nets. When I heard about the trade for the first time, I was really sad about him leaving but the other thing is that we got the young player, Devin Harris, who is really good. We also got Diop, Hassell, Ager.

Devin had a great debut the other night. He’s a great player who is really quick with the ball. He is a different player than Jason, that’s for sure, but he has his own strengths. He is really fast and has shown some shooting skills. He’s going to be good for us and he’s young. That’s good for rebuilding the team.

On Being Serbia’s Third-Most Eligible Bachelor?

See where this originates from >>

I have a girlfriend. I’ve had a girlfriend for five years and she’s really great. That’s the first time I’ve heard about that. I never heard about that and I’m really surprised. I think it’s not really true. I need to look on the internet and make sure. What can I say? I have a girlfriend; I’m not married but I’m living with my girlfriend. I don’t know if that’s true. I’m going to ask Ian Eagle about that; maybe he just made up that story.

On Kosovo Declaring Independence from My Native Serbia

Read more on this>>

That’s the biggest thing right now in Serbia. Not just in Serbia, but in Europe too. I’m really sad about what happened February 17th when they said Kosovo is independent. When I started going to school at six years old, they always taught us Kosovo is the place when Serbian history begins. Every Serbian has relatives in Kosovo. For like nine centuries, Kosovo’s been part of Serbia and now because of politics and everything, it’s not…We have 10 percent of Serbian people over there. Jerusalem for Israel is like Kosovo for Serbia. It’s really a big religion thing. Serbian people are really proud. It’s like if they took away your pride. It’s been a bad thing and there’s going to be more bad things happening because that 10 percent of Serbian people are not moving from Kosovo and they want them to move.

Don’t take away from us our history, our pride. That’s really our pride. For me, Kosovo has always been and will always be Serbia. What ever happens, I always think Kosovo is going to be Serbia.

I’m going to make an example. Serbia has a longer history than America but it would be like if you took Florida away from America. It’s like if they took Florida away from the U.S.; it’s not right. We just need to be peaceful. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m against the war. The other thing is that I was really mad about the burning of the U.S. Embassy and the other Embassies. That’s not the right thing to do. It sends a bad picture to the whole world.

Posted February 14th, 2008
By Nenad Krstic

Back in the Starting Lineup

For me, the most important thing right now is that my knee is feeling great. Getting back into the starting lineup is good for me mentally and physically too, because I’m really trying to get loose before the game so when you start the game, you’re more loose than if you sit on the bench for 10-15 minutes and then come in and play. I’m feeling good right now. In the beginning of the year - when I played 12 games - I was tired after the games. Now I’m not tired at all. I’m really feeling good, my knee’s in great shape, and I’m just trying to get rhythm back and get in basketball shape. Still, with two months of work on my conditioning, you can’t really simulate the game and doing conditioning stuff on the court. So, it’s different and I’m just trying to get my conditioning back. It’s going to take some time but I think I’m going in the right direction right now.

Plans for the All-Star Break

I’m going to Miami for three days. It’s going to be nice. It’s good to have a couple of days off. Even though I didn’t play for more than two months, I was working everyday so I can’t remember the last time I had rest for three days. It’s going to be good, especially with the way the weather has been around here.

I’m going with my girlfriend and it’s going to be fun. It’s good to have a couple of days off just to mentally prepare for the final 29 games after the all-star break. But I’m not just going to lie down on the beach. I’m going to maybe take a day off and then use the weight room or something just to keep my legs strong. I need to do it every single day if I can.

I look to enjoy the weather. I hope it’s going to be nice weather. I have friends there too who are from Serbia so I’m going to spend some time with them hanging out a little bit. I like Miami. It’s my favorite NBA city. It’s always a lot of fun to be there and it reminds me of back home. Usually I go back home in the summer time so it’s really similar because there are a lot of restaurants outside. You can sit and eat outside. It’s a little similar to back home.

This is the first time that I’m going somewhere for the all-star break because one year I played for the sophomore all-star team, the year before that I was so sick I couldn’t get up and out of bed, and last year obviously I was hurt and I was doing my rehab so I couldn’t go anywhere. This is my first real vacation during a season.

Sean Williams is doing great

I remember my first year; it’s always tough especially this time of year. They say it’s a “rookie wall” or something but he’s doing great. He’s really playing great and he brings energy and he really helps the team a lot. Especially, like I said, with the energy, with rebounds, running the floor, defense, and blocking shots. He still has a lot of stuff to learn but he’s a really good athlete and I think he’s going to have a great future here in this league if he continues to work.

All-Star Memories

The all-star game is not like the biggest thing back home (in Serbia), but people watch. I used to watch when the guys from Serbia would play, like Peja (Stojakovic) and Vlade (Divac), but that was like five or six years ago. I remember when Peja won the three-point contest two or three times in a row. That was really big in Serbia – everybody watched that. Now it’s a little bit less but if somebody comes up and plays from Serbia in the all-star break, it’s going to be big again but right now nobody from there is playing, so…

Tennis & Serbia

The girl tennis players from my country have beaten Serena (Williams) and Venus (Williams). So that’s like 2-0 for Serbia against America. Novak Djokovic is a guy and the two girls are Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic. Djokovic is like number three in the world, Ivanovic is number two, and Jankovic is number three so it’s like the most popular sport right now in Serbia. Two years ago, it used to be basketball but not anymore. But I’m glad. We are really proud. If you’re Serbian these days, you’re really proud because you have really good tennis players. Serbia is a really small country – like seven or eight million people – that is really good in sports. We are good in basketball, soccer, volleyball, handball, European sports…and water polo, we had like Olympic wins five or six years ago.

Sussman Sez Blog - “Your Serve”

I’m not really a reader. I’m not really into reading the papers, or the internet. Sometimes I catch up but this is really…I don’t know. This is my first blog. He needs to encourage me. I don’t know what to say. I don’t have experience with this. I need to check my web stats for the page.

Posted February 8th, 2008
By Nenad Krstic

Ready to Play

I’m mentally ready for basketball. It’s been a long time and now I’m on the court again. It was really tough to come back again especially because I played the first 10 games of the season. But I’m back and I understand it’s the middle of the season and everybody has their own roles and everything and I’m just trying to get in basketball shape and trying to get my rhythm back in a game and everything. I understand it’s really difficult but mentally I’m fine and my knee’s feeling great right now. There’s no swelling; I was working with (Physical Therapist) Matt Gibble and he did a great job with me and everybody else like Timmy (Walsh, Nets Head Trainer) and all the coaches. (Coach’s Assistant) Jimmy Sann was working with me almost everyday. Everybody was trying to help me and I really appreciated that and for me right now just to be back on the team and be healthy is a great success.

I never had one year out in my career. It was really tough, especially the first couple of months and especially since I was looking forward to having a really good season – a breakout year – and I wanted to be back. The other day we actually played against the Lakers so that was the first time after I got hurt against them last season. It’s weird. In my life, I’m always going to remember that moment when I got hurt and it was really terrible but right now I’m back. There were so many tough situations in the past year. So many times I was frustrated with everything but right now I’m really happy. It was a really tough rehab that I went through. Like I said, though, that’s past. This is the present time now so it’s really just looking forward to play again.

For the first couple of months after the surgery for me just to get out of the house and go to treatment was big because I couldn’t walk too much. If I walked too much my knee swelled up so I was just trying to stay off my feet. That was pretty much it. I was watching movies, playing video games, nothing special. Then when I started working out more and running it started to get better. I went home during the summer, which was really nice and spent time with my family and then came back here.

Watching the Sopranos

Away from the court, my girlfriend is here with me in New Jersey so I try to spend a lot of time with her. On the road, I like watching the Sopranos. I recently started it. I also like to go to dinner or do something like that. It’s the same thing here at home. I like to go to restaurants in New York a lot, in Manhattan. That’s pretty much it. I try to rest because I practice a lot and work out a lot and now I’m starting to play so I need to take care of my body, especially my knee.

When I was doing rehab and all the different stuff, I was doing the pool and the weight room. The weight room really helped me because you lift weights and you feel better. You’re tired and you can go home and sleep for 1 to 2 hours and you feel better. I had a lot of free time last season. I went into New York. I really like to try to get to know Manhattan and get to know the restaurants. That’s pretty much it. I go with my girlfriend to the mall, stuff like that.

Been on the Road a lot Lately

The West Coast is always tough on me; there’s a lot of travel, especially the last trip. We changed a couple of time zones. We went to LA and Phoenix, then to Denver and Minnesota. One is like 60 degrees, 70 degrees and one is like zero degrees. For me that’s really tough. There was three hours difference between New Jersey and there. It’s always difficult especially when you’re playing. For me that’s the toughest thing to do in the NBA. Sometimes you play back to back games and it’s really hard to prepare for the games and stay really focused and play well.

Getting Recognized

When I was playing, I would get recognized. Right now, nobody knows me. I’m just a tall guy.

Related Content