OAKLAND -- The Warriors' first-round draft pick definitely has personality. That was evident shortly after Nemanja Nedovic, a rookie guard out of Serbia, finished his first day of training camp Tuesday.
Dubbed the European Derrick Rose, and sporting Rose's latest edition of adidas, Nedovic was asked if he'd planned to dunk on anyone.
"That's what I do," he said, holding off his smile as long as he could. "I'm going to try for sure. But I cannot tell you if I'm going to succeed."
Nedovic is joking, but he's not. The 6-foot-3, 192-pound point guard is known abroad for his athleticism. He said his game is getting in the paint and playing above the rim. He has every plan of making an impression on the NBA. And, in what is a testament to the growth of the NBA game internationally, he's going to do it with some swag.
Certainly, Golden State thinks he has some game to match that personality. That's why he was drafted No. 30 overall and why he's with the team now instead of being stashed in Europe for more development.
Of course, Nedovic is under no illusions. He said he is in "the best league in the world" and seemed to know his success will depend on his progress.
"I want to earn my minutes," Nedovic, 22, said. "I'm not here to sit on the bench, but I want to earn my minutes."
Coach Mark Jackson acknowledged that minutes will be scarce. But the Warriors see something in Nedovic, which is why they drafted him. He will get time to develop without the pressure of having to produce right now. He also could see time with the Santa Cruz Warriors, Golden State's team in the NBA Development League.
Nedovic could play both guard positions because of his size, but Jackson identified him as a point guard. Nedovic said his outside shot needs improvement. Jackson added the rookie will need to learn to defend at his left and improve his grasp on the pick-and-roll scheme.
"He's a very good athlete with deceptive speed," Jackson said. "We're not asking him to come in and be lights out from day one. We're a very good basketball team, and we're going to be very patient with him. ... Every day, he's going against big-time talent," Jackson said. "Every day, he's watching Steph Curry. Every day, he's watching Klay Thompson or Harrison Barnes or Andre Iguodala. Or he's going against Kent Bazemore. He's not going to find that anywhere else in the world. This is great for him, and it's going to make him better."
Nedovic, indirectly, is asking for patience as well. He has made it clear he is nowhere near Rose's level and did not give himself the nickname. And he laughed off his countrymen saying he was better than Tony Parker after he scored 17 in a blowout loss to France in the EuroBasket Championships last month.
"I'm far away from Tony," Nedovic said. "He's a role model."
Perspective seems to be an attribute of Nedovic. Perhaps it was developed while wading through the visa issues that got him into training camp four days late, or the 12-hour flight he took the night before his first practice.
You get the sense he knows what he can do, what level he's on and the challenge before him. He still seemed amazed that he was practicing with the likes of Curry and David Lee.
"It's still unreal for me that I'm here, that I'm shaking their hands," he said. "In two or three days, I will be fine. ... I just want to learn and adapt as fast as I can. ... I will stay positive. I don't expect anything to be given to me."