Radoslav "Rašo" Nesterović (Serbian Cyrillic: Радослав "Рашо" Нестеровић, Slovene: Radoslav "Rašo" Nesterovič; born May 30, 1976), usually referred to in English as Radoslav "Rasho" Nesterovic, is a retired Slovenian professional basketball player. He holds citizenship in both Slovenia and Greece. In the NBA he played for the Minnesota Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs, Indiana Pacers, and Toronto Raptors. Nesterović retired in 2011.
Nesterović with the Toronto Raptors
|Born||May 30, 1976|
Ljubljana, SR Slovenia, SFR Yugoslavia
|Nationality||Slovenian / Greek|
|Listed height||7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)|
|Listed weight||255 lb (116 kg)|
|NBA draft||1998 / Round: 1 / Pick: 17th overall|
|Selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves|
|2003–2006||San Antonio Spurs|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||5,519 (6.8 ppg)|
|Rebounds||4,143 (5.1 rpg)|
|Blocks||934 (1.2 bpg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Early life and career in EuropeEdit
Nesterović was born in Ljubljana, SR Slovenia, SFR Yugoslavia to father Čedo, a Bosnian Serb employee of the Slovenian Railways, and a mother Branka, a midwife in the Ljubljana University Medical Centre. He started playing basketball with the KD Slovan youth team. Later, he played with the junior club of KK Partizan and made his debut during the 1992–93 season.
During the Yugoslav wars, Nesterović moved to PAOK of the Greek League. While playing there, he obtained a second citizenship (Greek) to avoid EU restrictions. To obtain Greek citizenship he had to administratively change his name in the eyes of Greek law. While in Greece and other EU countries, he thus competed as a domestic player under the name Radoslav "Rasho" Makris.
Ahead of the 1995–96 season, Nesterović returned to his hometown to play for Union Olimpija. Competing in the Slovenian domestic league, his averages were 30 minutes, 17 points and 14 rebounds per game. The summer of 1996 off season brought another significant feat for Nesterović; while playing for Slovenia's youth national team he was named the MVP at the 1996 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship. The next season, 1996–97, he was part of that legendary Olimpija team that reached the 1997 EuroLeague Final Four in Rome. In that season, he played an average of 17.0 minutes per game, averaging 8.0 points, and 4.3 rebounds per game in the EuroLeague.
The exposure on the biggest European stage led to a big time move for Nesterović to the Italian League power Virtus (Kinder) Bologna during the summer of 1997. In the first season with his new club, he scored an average of 8 points and grabbed an average of 6 rebounds per game, in the Italian domestic league. In the EuroLeague, he scored 6.5 points and grabbed 6.0 rebounds per game. He helped Virtus win the EuroLeague title, playing alongside legendary players such as Sašha Danilović, Zoran Savić, and Antoine Rigaudeau. In the EuroLeague Final, Nesterović scored 6 points and grabbed 9 rebounds.
Nesterović was a first-round draft pick (17th overall) of the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 1998 NBA Draft. He joined the Timberwolves just before the end of the 1998–99 season and played there through the 2002–03 season.
Nesterović stayed in Minnesota for four full seasons because he played only the last two regular-season games, plus all of his team's games in the playoffs, in his first season. His best season with the Timberwolves was 2002–03, when he averaged 11.2 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, earning himself a 6-year contract with the San Antonio Spurs in 2004. Although the Timberwolves were offering him a contract worth $12 million more, Nesterović opted for the move to Texas for a shot at the NBA title.
San Antonio SpursEdit
In his first season with San Antonio, Nesterović scored 8.7 points per game and grabbed 7.7 rebounds per game. In his second season with the Spurs, 2004–05, he suffered an ankle injury, and was limited to 70 games. Nevertheless, he remained the starting center for the majority of the season, and, along with his colleague from the Slovenian national basketball team, Beno Udrih, he ultimately won an NBA title with the Spurs that year.
On June 21, 2006, Nesterović was traded to the Toronto Raptors along with cash in exchange for Matt Bonner, Eric Williams and a second round pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. In his first season with the Raptors, he averaged 6.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.0 blocks per game.
On April 2, 2008, at 7:34 pm EST, Nesterović hit his first three-point shot ever in the regular season, with a pump fake, for a buzzer beater against the Atlanta Hawks, in Atlanta.
On July 9, 2008, Nesterović was traded along with the Raptors' T.J. Ford, Maceo Baston and the 17th pick in the draft (Roy Hibbert) to the Indiana Pacers, in exchange for Jermaine O'Neal and the 41st pick in the draft (Nathan Jawai).
Return to the Toronto RaptorsEdit
Return to EuropeEdit
Slovenian national teamEdit
Nesterović was the captain of the senior men's Slovenian national basketball team until his retirement from the national team in 2008. He helped his national team finish in 6th place at the EuroBasket 2005 in Belgrade, and to thus secure a place at the 2006 FIBA World Championship. At the EuroBasket 2005, he played an average of 21.7 minutes, scored an average of 6 points, and grabbed an average of 6.2 rebounds per game.
Nesterović has a sister and four children. He is also the godfather to Luka Dončić, a EuroLeague player and the third pick in the 2018 NBA draft. He speaks Serbian, Slovenian, Italian, Greek, and English.
NBA career statisticsEdit
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
|†||Denotes seasons in which Nesterović won an NBA championship|
- Talkbasket.net - Nesterovic agrees with Olympiacos. Archived August 6, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
- Nesterovic ready to begin next chapter in basketball life Archived November 26, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- "Rašo med Beogradom in Ljubljano" [Rašo Among Beograd and Ljubljana]. Slovenske novice (in Slovenian). Delo, d. d. August 1, 2011.
- Nesterovic playing history page on the official Italian league website.
- Radoslav Makris Naz. Sportiva: GRE (in Italian).
- RADOSLAV NESTEROVIC UNION OLIMPIJA LJUBLJANA PPG8.0 RPG4.3 APG0.0
- Radoslav Makris MEDIE STAGIONE (in Italian).
- RADOSLAV NESTEROVIC VIRTUS BUCKLER BOLOGNA PPG6.5 RPG6.0 APG0.3
- VIRTUS BUCKLER BOLOGNA AEK BOXSCORE
- Drago Perko (February 7, 2017). "Nesterović se je odpovedal milijonom, da bi postal prvak Lige NBA!" [Nesterovic gave up millions to become an NBA champion!] (in Slovenian). kosarka.si. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
- "Raptors Acquire Rasho Nesterovic In Exchange for Matt Bonner, Eric Williams & a Future Second Round Pick". NBA.com. June 21, 2006. Retrieved July 25, 2009.
- SLAM (December 2006). "Issue 103, pg. 26".
- "Pacers announce two trades; acquire seven players". NBA.com. July 9, 2008. Retrieved July 25, 2009.
- "Raptors Sign Rasho Nesterovic". NBA.com. July 30, 2009. Retrieved July 30, 2009.
- Olympiakos signs Rasho Nesterovic to a two-year contract
- Olympiakos releases Nesterovic
- Slovenia 8 - Radoslav Nesterovic Main Statistics Points per Game 6 Rebounds per Game 6.2 Assists per Game 0.5