Ballers with attitude: The greatest team in 3×3 history is falling apart

The world of 3×3 basketball was taken by storm in the summer of 2012, when Serbia won the first world title in Athens, in the history of this young discipline. After almost a decade of dominating the game, the boys from Novi Sad, who have made history for both their hometown and the Serbian national team, have chosen to pursue their professional careers separately. The last dance together: the Olympic Games in Tokyo, where they will try another premiere: the Olympic title at the first ever appearance of 3×3 basketball in the ultimate competition.

Four titles in the FIBA 3×3 World Tour, out of the nine editions that took place so far. Four world champion titles from the five editions played and only that incredible final with Qatar in 2014 deprived them of a truly royal flush. An invincible season in 2018, with 32 victories from as many matches. Plus, a series of exceptional individual performances or memorable highlights, born from an incredible mix of passion, attitude, determination and talent.

Dusan Bulut, Marko Savic, Dejan Majstorovic, Tamas Ivosev was the formula in recent years. The four last played together in September 2020, in Debrecen. Marko Zdero, one of the key people that contributed to the success of the first years, gradually gave his spot to Ivosev and was with the team whenever needed. But now things are clear.

The first questions about the future of this team appeared at the end of the 2020 season, when Novi Sad came to the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Final without their team leader, Dusan Bulut. Considered by many to be the best 3×3 basketball player in history, he is currently continuing his personal projects with Bulut Hoops Camp, which already had its first edition in 2021, in Novi Sad, with the Russian national team and is scheduled for a second session in Qatar, in February.

Novi Sad started its international journey in 2012, in Bucharest, under the name of 3×3 Millennium, when they took the third place at the first edition of the Raiffeisen Bank Bucharest Challenger. It was the year when Sport Arena Streetball also organized the first international tournament and the 3×3 basketball world was beggining to prepare for the FIBA 3×3 World Tour and World Cup.

The two victories, in the three finals played, at Raiffeisen Bank Bucharest Challenger, but especially the European title won in 2018 in Bucharest, the only one that was missing from their list, made the Sport Arena Streetball events one of the favorite places of the Novi Sad players.

It seems, however, that good things do not last forever. They were like a band that stormed the world’s greatest stages and set records that are now waiting to be broken. They were, if you will, Take That, with the rebel Dușan Bulut as the rebel Robbie Williams, the man capable of showtime both on and off stage.

Or maybe it was BWA – Ballers with Attitude – who came Straight out of Novi Sad as the pioneers of 3×3 basketball, just as the NWA knocked down any obstacle in the music world during the first years of hip-hop.

They were without a doubt the first great team in 3×3 basketball, which knew how to make the most of the trend, propelled the sport in the hearts of many fans and will go down in history as the best team ever assembled until someone else claims that spot.

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