Ljubodrag Simonović

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Ljubodrag Simonović
Duci Simonovic in Ljubljana (cropped).jpg
Simonović in Ljubljana in 2011
Ljubodrag Simonović

(1949-01-01) 1 January 1949 (age 70)
Residence Belgrade, Serbia
Other namesDuci
EducationXI Belgrade Gymnasium
Alma mater University of Belgrade ( LL.B., LL.M., DPhil. )
Era 20th  / 21st-century philosophy
School Critical theory
Main interests
Basketball career
Personal information
Listed height1.96 m (6 ft 5 in)
Listed weight85 kg (187 lb)
Career information
NBA draft 1971 / Undrafted
Playing career1965–1982
Position Shooting guard
Career history
1965–1967 Sloga Kraljevo
1967–1976 Crvena zvezda
1976–1978 1. FC 01 Bamberg
1978–1982Lifam Stara Pazova
Career highlights and awards
Website http://ljubodragsimonovic.com

Ljubodrag "Duci" Simonović (Serbian Cyrillic : Љубодраг Дуци Симоновић, pronounced  [ʎǔbodrag dǔtsi simǒːnoʋitɕ] ); born 1 January 1949) is a Serbian philosopher, author and retired basketball player.

The Serbian Cyrillic alphabet is an adaptation of the Cyrillic script for Serbo-Croatian, developed in 1818 by Serbian linguist Vuk Karadžić. It is one of the two alphabets used to write standard modern Serbian and Montenegrin, the other being Latin. In Croatian and Bosnian, only the Latin alphabet is used.

Basketball team sport played on a court with baskets on either end

Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball through the defender's hoop while preventing the opposing team from shooting through their own hoop. A field goal is worth two points, unless made from behind the three-point line, when it is worth three. After a foul, timed play stops and the player fouled or designated to shoot a technical foul is given one or more one-point free throws. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins, but if regulation play expires with the score tied, an additional period of play (overtime) is mandated.


He played with Red Star Belgrade, with which he won two National Championships, three National Cups and one FIBA European Cup Winners' Cup. From 1976 to 1978, he played for 1. FC 01 Bamberg in the top-tier level German Basketball Bundesliga. [1] [2] Simonović played for the senior Yugoslav national basketball team that won the gold medal at the 1970 FIBA World Championship. He was also a three time FIBA European Selection.

KK Crvena zvezda Basketball club in Belgrade, Serbia

Košarkaški klub Crvena zvezda, commonly referred to as KK Crvena zvezda or simply Crvena zvezda, is a men's professional basketball club based in Belgrade, Serbia, the major part of the Red Star multi-sports club. KK Crvena zvezda is a part of the Adriatic Basketball Association and competes in the ABA League, the EuroCup and in the Basketball League of Serbia.

The Yugoslav Basketball Cup, or Yugoslavian Basketball Cup, was the national basketball cup competition of the former SFR Yugoslavia and FR Yugoslavia. The first SFR Yugoslav Cup was held in the year 1959, and the last one was held in the year 1990-91 season. While the FR Yugoslavia Cup was held from the 1991–92 season to the 2001–02 season.

FIBA Saporta Cup international mens basketball club tournament in Europe between the seasons of 1966/1967-2001/2002

The FIBA Saporta Cup was the name of the second-tier level European-wide professional club basketball competition, where the domestic National Cup winners, from all over Europe, played against each other. The competition was organized by FIBA Europe. It was named after the late Raimundo Saporta, a former Real Madrid director.

After earning a Magister degree in law from the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law and a Doctorate in philosophy from the University of Belgrade Faculty of Philosophy, Simonović went on to become an accomplished author. [3]

University of Belgrade Faculty of Law law school

The Faculty of Law of the University in Belgrade, also known as the Belgrade Law School, is one of the first-tier educational institutions of the University of Belgrade, Serbia. The building is located in the heart of the old part of Belgrade, in the urban neighborhood of Palilula, contiguously to the city park Tasmajdan, on Bulevar kralja Aleksandra.

Doctorate academic or professional degree

A doctorate or doctor's degree or doctoral degree, is an academic degree awarded by universities, derived from the ancient formalism licentia docendi In most countries, it is a research degree that qualifies the holder to teach at university level in the degree's field, or to work in a specific profession. There are a variety of names for doctoral degrees; the most common is the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), which is awarded in many different fields, ranging from the humanities to scientific disciplines.

University of Belgrade Faculty of Philosophy faculty

The University of Belgrade Faculty of Philosophy, founded in the early 19th century within the Belgrade Higher School, is the oldest and most prominent institution of higher education in Serbia and among the oldest in the South-Eastern Europe. It employs 255 teaching staff and has approximately 6000 undergraduate and graduate students within ten departments: Department of Philosophy, Department of Classics, Department of History, Department of Art History, Department of Archaeology, Department of Ethnology and Anthropology, Department of Sociology, Department of Psychology, Department of Andragogy and Department of Pedagogy.

Early life

Born in Vrnjačka Banja to parents Jevrem Simonović and Ilonka (née Dobai), both of whom worked as hairdressers, young Ljubodrag grew up in Kraljevo with an older brother Vladimir. Their father Jevrem, a Montenegrin Serb born 1911 in Kolašin whose mother died while giving birth to him and whose father died right after World War I, made a living as a tradesman (in addition to hairdressing he also worked as a seamster and tailor) and over time developed a staunchly communist worldview. [4] Simonović's mother Ilonka, born in 1921, came from a mixed background, born to German mother Ana Schumetz and Hungarian father János Dobay (the surname was later spelled as Dobai), a left-leaning officer who participated in the ultimately unsuccessful 1919 Hungarian Revolution before fleeing over the border into the recently established Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes to escape the White Terror of Miklós Horthy. János initially settled in Subotica and eventually in Kraljevo where he worked as a machinist. Duci's mother Ilonka later converted to Orthodox Christianity and took the name Jelena. [4]

Vrnjačka Banja Town and municipality in Šumadija and Western Serbia, Serbia

Vrnjačka Banja is a town and municipality located in the Raška District of central Serbia. The population of the town is 10,065 inhabitants, while the population of the municipality is 27,527 inhabitants.

Kraljevo City in Šumadija and Western Serbia, Serbia

Kraljevo is a city in central Serbia and the administrative center of the Raška District in central Serbia. It is situated on the confluence of West Morava and Ibar, in the geographical region of Šumadija, between the mountains of Kotlenik in the north, and Stolovi in the south.

Serbs of Montenegro ethnic group

Serbs of Montenegro or Montenegrin Serbs, compose the second largest ethnic group in Montenegro, after the Montenegrins.

As a kid, Simonović took up chess, which he was taught at age five by his father, an avid player himself. [5] Simonović played the game frequently, later citing it as the first arena in which his competitive nature had been displayed. [5] He also loved playing football.

Chess Strategy board game

Chess is a two-player strategy board game played on a chessboard, a checkered gameboard with 64 squares arranged in an 8×8 grid. The game is played by millions of people worldwide. Chess is believed to be derived from the Indian game chaturanga some time before the 7th century. Chaturanga is also the likely ancestor of the Eastern strategy games xiangqi, janggi, and shogi. Chess reached Europe by the 9th century, due to the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. The pieces assumed their current powers in Spain in the late 15th century with the introduction of "Mad Queen Chess"; the modern rules were standardized in the 19th century.

He got the nickname Duci after the Hungarian word böci. [6]

Club basketball career

Simonović started out with KK Sloga from Kraljevo.

Red Star Belgrade

Simonović moved to Belgrade in 1967 at the age of 18 in order to play for KK Crvena zvezda as the latest addition to a talented squad led by 26-year-old Vladimir Cvetković with a slew of up-and-coming youngsters such as 19-year-old small forward Dragan Kapičić and 18-year-old mercurial point guard Zoran Slavnić. Having graduated from the XI Belgrade Gymnasium  [ sr ] and simultaneous to his duties at the club, Simonović enrolled at the University of Belgrade's Faculty of Law, attending lectures and studying for exams. As a freshman at the University, Duci took part in the 1968 student demonstrations.

1968–69 season

Coached by Milan Bjegojević, Zvezda, somewhat improbably, won the 1968–69 Yugoslav League title in Duci's third season at the club.

1969–70 season

Winning the Yugoslav league title meant an automatic qualification to the European Champions Cup for the following 1969–70 season. Starting off well against lesser opposition in the early rounds, Zvezda eventually got into a difficult quarterfinals group, losing all three of its home-and-away ties against Alexander Gomelsky's defending European champion CSKA Moscow, Aca Nikolić's Varese, and even the seeming minnows of the group ASVEL.

On the domestic front, the club surrendered its title, finishing second to Olimpija as Simonović recorded another stellar season that recommended him for national head coach Ranko Žeravica's Yugoslav national squad at the 1970 FIBA World Championship.

1970–71 season

Coming off the greatest success of his career, being part of the squad that won the 1970 World Championship, Simonović continued developing his game as Zvezda went through a head coaching change with Đorđe Andrijašević being brought in as replacement to the longtime head coach Bjegojević. Andrijašević wouldn't end up sticking around for long, victim of Zvezda's another indifferent season in the Yugoslav League despite winning the Yugoslav Cup.

In 1971, Simonović graduated from the University of Belgrade's Faculty of Law.

1971–72 season

Bata Đorđević became the new head coach, infusing new energy into the team by introducing new players Goran Rakočević and Dragiša Vučinić as Zvezda began piling up wins, both in the Yugoslav League and in European Cup Winners' Cup. Simonović, who turned 23 years of age midway through the season, became the team's number one option on offense, putting up tremendous scoring numbers. [7] Among his many stellar displays throughout the season, one stood out — playing away at Hala sportova against the eternal crosstown rivals KK Partizan he scored 59 points. [7] Making this feat even more impressive is the fact that the three-point shot hadn't been implemented yet. [7]

The season ended dramatically, as Zvezda lost the Cup Winners' Cup final in Thessaloniki 70–74 versus Olimpia Milano in late March 1972 before finishing the domestic league with the identical 17–5 record as KK Split (Jugoplastika), which meant playing a single-game playoff decider for the title. Zvezda won 75–50 thus claiming its second title in three years.

1972–73 season

By the summer of 1972, the Slavnić-Simonović-Kapičić trio had finally seemingly matured and big things were expected in the upcoming season.

Despite Simonović having an incident-filled summer with the national team at the 1972 Olympics, he was initially able to put it behind him and contribute greatly to Zvezda's European Cup run. However, all was not well inside the Zvezda locker room as a simmering rift between local Belgrade-born-and-raised players who came up through the club's youth system (Slavnić and Kapičić) and those brought in from the outside (Simonović and Vučinić) had been gaining in intensity.

Cliques were being formed within the squad and things eventually boiled over on 10 January 1973 in Tel Aviv during the away contest versus Maccabi, the first game of the quarterfinals group stage. Zvezda had been leading throughout the game with Duci pouring in baskets from all positions, however, he was not satisfied with the frequency and the quality of passes he's being fed by point guard Slavnić. Slavnić in turn didn't like Simonović's attitude so he decided to stop distributing the ball to him entirely. It wasn't long before Simonović threw a fit, cursing out coach Đorđević right on the floor for not reacting to what's going on, as everything fell apart — despite Simonović scoring 38 points, Zvezda still ended up losing 113–102. Upon returning to Belgrade, Simonović got fined YUD300,000 by Zvezda for "excessive individualism" and "inappropriate behaviour". Deeply dissatisfied over what had transpired and extremely stung by the fine, right after playing a Yugoslav League game versus KK Željezničar Karlovac, [8] Simonović announced a decision to stop playing basketball, saying he'd like to devote his time and efforts to science, having already been pursuing a master's degree in law after earning an undergraduate law degree two years earlier. [9] Considering Simonović had just turned 24 years of age, the Yugoslav media went into overdrive, speculating on the real reasons for what it considered to be a shocking decision. [8]

National team career

Simonović debuted for the senior Yugoslav national basketball team at age 17, going on to make 109 appearances with them in total, and scoring a total of 1,018 points. His playing career ended, while he was a player-coach in Stara Pazova, due to a burst capillary in his throat.

At the EuroBasket, he played in 23 games, at the FIBA World Cup he played in 6 games, and he also had 4 appearances in the Summer Olympic Games, and 15 at the Balkan Games. All together, he won 6 gold medals and 2 silver medals. For Red Star Belgrade, he wore number 11 while for the national team, he wore number 5.

1972 Summer Olympics

The Yugoslav national team arrived to Munich, for the 1972 Summer Olympics, as the reigning world champions from Ljubljana 1970, and still hoping to win one of the medals, though the team was quite changed. The team's victory over Italy, 85–78, at the beginning of the tournament improved their expectations, but in the second round, the Yugoslav team was defeated by Puerto Rico, by a score of 79–74.

It was later proven that two players from the Puerto Rican side had used illegal doping substances, prompting a protest from the Yugoslav players. Simonović however (aged 23), was ejected from the team, upon continuing to protest after the Yugoslav players had been silenced. [6] Yugoslavia eventually finished 5th in the tournament.


After his retirement from sport he has written various books, including: "Rebellion of Robots", "Professionalism or Socialism", "Olympic Deception of the ‘divine baron’ – Pierre de Coubertin." [10] His books center around a critique of Olympism and professional sports.

He authored a piece about the mystery behind the 1987 death of German heptathlete Birgit Dressel at the age of 27. [11]

Published books

Personal life

Simonović is married and has three children. [6] In the 2015 Serbian sports drama We Will Be the World Champions , Simonović is portrayed by Jovan Belobrković. [12]

See also

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  1. Bamberg Season 1976/77 (in German)
  2. Bamberg Season 1977/78 (in German)
  3. Politika (2010-02-27). "Moj pas je živeo bolje od mene" (in Serbian). Retrieved 2019-02-17.
  4. 1 2 Nešić, Miroslav (27 March 2011). "Sportski spomenar: Duci Simonović". Radio Belgrade . Retrieved 2015-03-15.
  5. 1 2 Ljubodrag Duci Simonović: O svemu i svačemu – samo ne o košarci!; Tempo , 1971
  6. 1 2 3 Urban Book Circle (2016-07-15). "Ljubodrag "Duci" Simonovic, PhD (biography)" . Retrieved 2017-10-18.
  7. 1 2 3 Stanković, Vladimir (29 August 2016). "ISTORIJA: DUCI SIMONOVIĆ, BUNTOVNIK S RAZLOGOM". Koš magazin blog. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  8. 1 2 Tešić, Dragan (9 March 1973). "Šta se, u stvari, dogodilo". RTV Revija. Retrieved 2015-03-14.
  9. Ljubodrag-Duci Simonovic, the rebel genius; Euroleague.net, 28 October 2012
  10. "inauthor:"Ljubodrag Simonović"". Ljubodrag Simonović via Google books . Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  11. The Death of Birgit Dressel article by Ljubodrag Simonović, PhD at Urban Book Circle (in English)
  12. Full Cast & Crew of We Will Be the World Champions