Dario Saric has played in 118 regular-season games during his brief NBA career. However, No. 119 is going to be special.
That’s not just because the Sixers’ next game will take place at 3 p.m. on Thursday at London’s famed O2 Arena as part of the league’s Global Games.
It has more to do with the fact that Saric’s father, Predrag Saric, will get to see him play live as a member of the Sixers for the first time.
“Of course it means a lot for me,” Saric said after Tuesday’s practice. “My friends, my family and my close family friends are here. It will be nice for me.”
Sixers head coach Brett Brown has turned the team’s London trip into a family affair (see story), which has certainly pleased Saric. He is close with his parents, whom both played professionally in Croatia. Predrag helped guide Dario’s career prior to joining the Sixers while his mother, Veselinka Saric, has been there for support and even spent an entire month with the forward toward the end of his rookie season.
All of Saric’s supporters will be catching the second-year forward at the right time. After struggling to find his role to start the new season, Saric has been on a tear lately. Over the last 10 games, he has averaged 18.1 points (48.8 percent shooting), 7.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists a night.
Still, that doesn’t mean Saric won’t have any butterflies when he takes the court in the UK on Thursday.
“I’m a little bit nervous. Since I got on the plane for London, I’ve been a little bit nervous,” he said. “I can say it’s like a positive nervous.
“Obviously, the people, I will find the time for them. Here in London, it’s like the Euro stage. It’s different than in the [United] States, but I will give my best and I will try to pretend like it’s a usual game.”