After years and years of hype, Serbian passing wizard Milos Teodosic finally made his NBA debut for the L.A. Clippers in a preseason matchup with the Toronto Raptors on Sunday night. Teodosic’s signing got a little lost in the shuffle amongst all the incredible player movement we saw in the NBA this summer, but fans of international basketball have been waiting for this moment for a long, long time. Teodosic is here, and if 20 minutes of preseason basketball is any indication (it isn’t, really) we’re in for a wild ride.
Teodosic came off the bench and played just 20 minutes for the Clippers in their preseason opener, but that didn’t stop him. He had 8 assists in those 20 minutes, most of which ranged from how-the-hell-did-he-do-that to wow-that-was-excellent. He’s probably the best passer in the world right now, but don’t take my word for it. Kevin Durant was on a podcast with Bill Simmons earlier this summer, and he talked about the greatest pass he’s ever seen. You know who delivered that pass? Milos Teodosic.
“I played against him. I can’t wait to see him. He made the greatest pass I’ve ever seen in my life last summer. We all was like, ‘Yo how the — how the hell do you see that?’ He was running toward the sideline and he flicked it around his head like through two people on the dime. He was at the 3-point line and flicked it to somebody over his head with his right hand, and hit him on a dime. And it kind of faked me out. I spun in a circle. I’m like, ‘That was the greatest pass I’ve ever seen in my life.’ From anybody. Best pass I’ve ever seen.”
Take this pass from his Clippers debut, for example. It doesn’t look spectacular at first glance because that is how Teodosic operates. He makes the impossible look easy. A closer look shows Teodosic using a fake behind the back pass to stun both defenders for a split-second, leaving the smallest of windows open for a perfect lead pass to Blake Griffin in stride for an easy two.
Then there was this spectacular touch-pass lob to DeAndre Jordan. The skill and timing it takes to have that read in your head and the body control to execute it before you even receive the pass in unreal. It’s beautiful.
Because the NBA Twitter account knows exactly what kind of content its fans are looking for, they went ahead and uploaded a highlight package that included every Teodosic assists from last night. Bless you, NBA social media manager.
As if Teodosic had to do anything else to endear himself to NBA fans after last nights performance, during his press conference after the game he couldn’t help but talk about how bummed he was that the Clippers lost. We’re talking about a preseason game in October here.
While I walked away from Teodosic’s NBA debut thoroughly impressed, it’s important to note, again, that this is his NBA debut. He barely knows these players, or the Clippers playbook, or Doc Rivers, or the NBA. This is all brand new to him, and he went out and gave us that? If we’re only getting better from here, look out, NBA. The Clippers just shot up multiple positions in my own personal League Pass rankings.