Exum helped Barcelona reach the EuroLeague Final Four, win the Spanish Copa Del Rey and play in the ACB finals in a successful first season in Europe. At its end, he decided to look for a challenge with a club where he’d have a bigger role and found that with Partizan, a club he knew a little about from a childhood friend. But the level of crowd support he discovered was beyond his wildest imagination.
"It’s like a movie. You can’t explain, like, ‘Okay, I’m about to play for these fans that just want us to win,’" Exum said. " I love looking out in the crowd and just seeing, there’s like three or four of them that, they literally don’t even watch the game, they’re just standing up and they’re just chanting… I’ll watch them for like a minute. I should be watching the game, but I’m watching them. They don’t watch the game. A shot happens, they don’t care. They’re just ready to start the chants and make sure everyone’s chanting. It’s unbelievable. I can’t explain it."
With Partizan, Exum is getting the chance to play for one of the great coaches in basketball, Zeljko Obradovic. Exum appreciates the way Obradovic is pushing him and his teammates to become better players.
"I think the biggest thing with him is that he challenges you… He’ll give you the freedom to play, but he wants you to play smart. I think that’s the biggest thing about him," Exum explained. "Like yeah, you can go out there and do whatever you want, but play smart. Play the right way. That’s the best thing that I’ve liked about him so far."
Growing up in Australia, teenage stardom, becoming a lottery pick in the NBA, the frustration of major injuries that caused him to miss an entire season and the mental turmoil of those ordeals through the decision to come to the EuroLeague and his fine season in Belgrade, Exum and Arlauckas touched on all those topics in an entertaining 85-minute edition of the Crossover that you don’t want to miss.
With a one-hour format of exclusive one-on-one interviews, The Crossover with Joe Arlauckas goes well beyond the playing court with each podcast to delve into the life experiences that have made his guests protagonists and legends of the EuroLeague. The Crossover debuted in 2018 and has featured such current stars as Mike James, Nicolo Melli and Vasilije Micic, coaching greats such as Georgios Bartzokas, Dimitris Itoudis and Zeljko Obradovic, and legends like Theo Papaloukas, Nikola Vujcic and Mike Batiste, among others.
The Crossover with Joe Arlauckas is available on Youtube, iTunes, Audioboom, Spotify, Deezer, RadioPublic, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, Stitcher, CastBox, iVoox and other platforms.