Atlanta Hawks Player Preview: Pero Antić
Birthplace: Skopje, Yugoslavia (Republic of Macedonia)
Born Date: 7/29/82
True Position: Power Forward (4)
411: Pero Antić is one gentle, yet interesting, characters on this Atlanta Hawks roster. With Pero, you get a big man with the shooting skills of a guard. Off the court he is even more interesting. The visual of Pero would have one believe he is a strange individual due to him being a few tattoos shy of equaling Miami Heat center , “Bird Man” Anderson. Pero is definitely into ink and while he has many tattoos, none are without significant meaning. Much of his body art represents things of the spiritual realm while some include family members. Despite the near 300 tattoos Pero already has, he does not want many more as he plans to run for a political position when his basketball career is over. There are so many interesting tidbits about Pero, including him and his wife sharing the same born date. Listen to this interview where Pero discusses his love for tattoos, food and winning championships.
Basketball Background: Pero has been playing professional basketball since 1999, at the age of 17, for KK Rabotnički in the Macedonian first league where instantly he became a champion as apart of a championship team. That would become the first of nine championship teams Pero has been affiliated with as a contributing player. His next stop after Rabotnički was in Athens, Greece as a member of AEK Athens basketball club. With AEK Athens Pero would win his first Greek League championship in 2002. In 2005 he joined the very prestigious KK Crvena Zvezda, better known as Red Star Belgrade, of the Serbian league. In 2006 the team would go on to win both the Serbian Cup and the Montenegro National Cup. The very next season Pero would play for another Bulgarian basketball powerhouse, Lukoil Academic. That season Pero was voted Bulgarian National Basketball League MVP by averaging 23 points and 9 rebounds per game while leading Lukoil Academic to a Bulgarian Cup as well as the Bulgarian League championship. After a brief stint in Russia with Lokomotiv Kuban, Pero rejoined Lukoil Academic, helping the team win their second Bulgarian League championship in three seasons. After winning yet another title, Pero went back to Russia to play with Spartak St. Petersburg where he averaged 12 points and 9 rebounds while contributing to winning the Russian Cup championship and a trip to the EuroChallenge Final Four. Pero’s next two seasons would be in Athens, Greece with Olympiakos where he won the Greek League championship and helped the club become the first Greek team to win back-to-back European championships in the Final Four era. On July 25, 2013, Pero signed with the Atlanta Hawks.
Expectations: Based on Pero’s history of being apart of a champion it may be appropriate to expect a championship in Atlanta soon. Coach Budenholzer and Danny Ferry will have a lot to do with that, but as far as Pero goes, he can definitely be a scouting gem and a piece that continues to contribute to championships. Expect Pero to play consistent minutes off the bench along with Elton Brand to spell Al Horford and Paul Millsap. He is an exceptional long range shooter for a guy standing 6 feet 11 inches therefore keeping opposing big men out the lane as well as being a threat in the pick and roll/pop. While Pero is capable of putting the ball in the hole, he is a better defender with the athleticism that made him one of the best rebounders in Europe. He may be somewhat finesse on the offensive end of the floor, but he can bang with most opposing centers on the defensive end of the floor. Pero could easily become a fan favorite in Atlanta based on his personality and basketball ability.
You may follow Pero on twitter @antic12pero. You may also follow myself, Notty, @nottydred for more Atlanta Hawks coverage, stats and sports entertainment from the cadre. Thank you and stay blessed.