Meet the best 3×3 player in the world! Dusan Bulut: “I want to be remembered as a winner”

You have seen him knocking down shot after shot, or diving after a loose ball, or taking bumps in the chest from an opponent, or looking with his fearless eyes to his next victim on the court. If you are not strong enough to measure with the best, you probably never want to meet him on the basketball court. His competitive nature will not let you see what’s behind those eyes and even if you are his closest friend, when it’s about business, he will give you THE business. Otherwise a great guy, with you can spend hours talking and making fun. Basketball is his life, and 3×3 basketball became his second nature. Now, from the top of the world, he looks back at the past few years when some of his biggest dreams became reality. We challenged him to share some of his thoughts, and he delivered fast and precise just as being on the court. Meet Dusan Domovic Bulut, the best 3×3 player in the world:

Sport Arena Streetball: It was a long ride to be the best in the world. Since when do you chase this number one position in the World Ranking?

Dusan Domovic Bulut: It was too long :). The target for my team was to be number one after the World Championship in Athens 2012. But after winning Red Bull King of the Rock 2011, and the Alcatraz experience, I set the challenge to myself, because I saw it is possible to chase my dream of being best on world, a dream that I have since I was a little kid.

What is more important for you, being no. 1 in the world, or being world champion last year in Athens?

I can’t tell what is more important. It’s like you have two kids, and you have to tell which one you love the most :). The World Champion title is very important, because I did that with my friends. The number 1 place would not have been possible without them, but is important too, because I achieve my dream and overcome the challenges I set to myself.

You were the hero of, probable, the highlight of the season, those two cold blooded shots that put your team in the final of the World Tour (see the video). What was going on through your mind when you were down, and you knew some miracle is needed? 

That game was for final and without final it would be not possible to be number 1, so all my hard work it would be for nothing! On that table I bring more than my opponent, I bring my life! I just want people to remember me as winner that is important to me.

Tell us the story of the beard from the WT Final in Istanbul…

It just started as joke. We decided not to shave our beards till we become number 1 and the idea got wings after Prague. Since I was the only player that played every game this season, I had the best chances, but of course my success is everyone’s success.  So we shave the beards after I become the highest ranking player.

Rank three of the toughest tournaments that you played this year…

Istanbul is the first, because we played without our most versatile player, Marko Savic,, and we struggle a lot. Then, I would place Moscow Open and Bucharest Challenger.

You were among the most active 3×3 players this summer. How many tournaments did you play?

I played 11 tournaments: Novi Sad, Belgrade, Kragujevac, Prague, Moscow, Ugljevik, Bucharest, Kiev, Belgrade, Prague and Istanbul World Tour Final. I also organized two tournaments in Novi Sad. Because of injuries we missed three more tournaments, but I hope that we will attend them next year.

Do you play also 5×5 during the winter-spring season?

Yes, basketball is my life :). But I left pro basketball, for 3×3. Now I play in the second league of Serbia, for Vojvodina Novi Sad, and also for Orion Menjacnice, in our amateur league from Novi Sad,  just to stay in shape for the summer.

If you were about to choose three teammates for your 3×3 team, no matter NBA, Euroleague etc., who would you choose?

Marko Savic, Marko Zdero and Nikola Ugrica. I trust them most, and we can beat that entire mambo -jumbo players from all over the world.

If you were about to choose three teammates from the 3×3 players, other than your usual ones, who would you choose?

Nebojsa Boskovic from Olimp Belgrade, Simon Frinsgar from Thorex Slovenia, and Angel Santana, the last one just to make us laugh from bench, he would not play a minute :):)

Who was your toughest opponent in 2013 (team and player)?

The team is Thorex Slovenia, we lose twice in front of them, and one it was behind an historical three pointer in Moscow. But we got our revenge. And the toughest opponent to guard was Duje Kaliterna from Statisti, Croatia. I did not have any answer for his post moves.

How do you see the future of 3×3 basketball? What do you think it needs to be improved?

I see 3×3 basketball in Olympic Games, where it belongs. Probably, if the marketing and the money prizes will be improved, then it will become a professional sport and after that everything will come to place. Maybe also some winter tournaments can be organized, or maybe a Regional League during the winter, with teams from Romania, Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia. Imagine, it would be a competition from hell!

Do you think there is a chance to convince more and more 5×5 players to focus on 3×3 basketball, and play the whole season, not only some tournaments?

In Serbia a lot of 5×5 players come for streetball tournaments in the summer, but when they sign professional contracts they have priority, because they live from that. But just a few of them can play on high level 3×3 basketball, it become a totally different sport.

Tell us the funniest story from this season… 🙂

We find Bucharest from first attempt! :):) Last year we take one bad direction, and we traveled like 15-17 hours to Bucharest. I could not imagine that there’s only one bridge with just two lanes over Danube!  That’s highlight! But every road trip and tournament have funny stories, that is the beauty of this sport, you meet a lot of funny people during the process, for example Dragan Bjelica who makes stand-up comedy show everywhere he goes.

What do you plan for 2014 in terms of 3×3 basketball?

I am making a project for our domestic league, to make the competition better. We want to attract the foreign teams in our domestic tournaments and to offer to our teams the chance to compete abroad. We want to introduce 3×3 basketball to youngsters, and to offer them better conditions, like modern basketball street courts and other stuff.

Regarding my team, we want to become professionals and for that we are chasing some global and strong sponsors. When we will get our financial picture we will set our goals. After this year’s All Star Game in Doha, we are looking for the next year to some destinations where we can compete against the best like: Porto Rico, Tallin, Riga, Bucharest, Sarajevo, Paris, Berlin, Lausanne and many others.

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