After a complicated start with a really delicate schedule, Atlanta is back on track with now seven straight wins, for a record of 11 wins and 9 losses. It’s still average for a conference finalist.
However, the atmosphere inside the team seems to be in good shape, like the growing friendship between Clint Capela and Bogdan Bogdanovic. The two Hawks didn’t necessarily know each other before meeting in the same locker room in Georgia, but their connection was instantaneous.
An easy friendship between Europeans
“It’s just Bogi. It’s his mindset, and it’s my mindset too. We do not hesitate to help each other ”, reveals the Swiss for The Athletic. “There are times when we’re in my car and we can talk for over an hour. It happens naturally. It is not something that we prepare, it happens in the rhythm of life. I know he doesn’t mind doing stuff like that and that’s why I enjoy it so much. «
If he left more quickly for the NBA after his experience at Chalon sur Saône when Bogdan Bogdanovic had time to fill his trophy cabinet on the Old Continent, Clint Capela has for him a longer experience in the Great League. The understanding between the two Europeans was quick to be put in place.
« I didn’t know Clint in Europe because we never played against each other », admits the Serbian. “But since he’s European, it’s like we already know each other. He understands my culture, I understand his. We hit it off right from the start. «
Together under the Atlanta tunic for less than a season, Clint Capela and Bogdan Bogdanovic have already vacationed together in Serbia last summer, and this summer they were on the Miami side.
« Most European players, especially someone like him who is authentic and different, it’s easy to talk to them », resumes Clint Capela. “The subjects we are discussing are simply interesting for me. We can exchange our opinions on certain things and we understand each other. I think it’s a general thing for European players [en NBA]. We can go for coffee or sit in my car and have a chat. «
Progress on throws
Getting closer and closer in recent months, Clint Capela got a helping hand from Bogdan Bogdanovic to boost his free-throw percentage. Currently 52% success on the repair line, his third worst percentage in his career, the Swiss asked his friend Serbian, specialist in the genre for help.
“I don’t try to do stuff because I like it. It must be what he wants ”, explains the shooter. “I want to help him create a routine and develop habits that he loves. I think he needs to relax more. It’s nothing crazy. It’s really about building habits and being a good teammate. I like to do that, I like to help my teammates. It’s easy to work with someone who wants to improve. I’m not going to change his shot but I can help him. I want to give him confidence and help him find a routine that works for him. «
With 12 points and 12 rebounds on average, a little behind his production of last year at 15 points and 14 rebounds, Clint Capela nonetheless remains an essential link in the device of the Hawks, privileged target for the alley- oops and defensive totem. His presence in the end of the game is precious, if not essential in Atlanta.
This Serbian-Swiss friendship perfectly symbolizes the atmosphere that the Hawks want to develop within their team. An emulation nourished by reciprocal esteem …
« He is more than a teammate for me, he is a friend », concludes Clint Capela. “Sometimes guys want to leave the room and enjoy their free time. But he is a friend off the field. It makes it all even more special to me because most of the time teammates don’t have those friendships off the pitch. Everything is simple with him. We always have fun because he’s a simple guy, and I’m a simple guy too. It’s not about being millionaires or being in the NBA. We just have personalities that stick together well. «