Not only is Marjanovic one of the newest members of the Dallas Mavericks who has been a hit with his basketball prowess and his comedy routines, he’s also making waves on the acting front.
Marjanovic played the role of an assassin in the American action thriller, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. The movie, released last spring, stars Halle Berry, Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne and Anjelica Huston.
“It was my first time to do something like that,” Marjanovic said. “We filmed it in New York with Keanu, who is a world famous actor in the movies, too, and it was so amazing. It was so good to be around those people.”
So, from a movie critic’s point of view, did Marjanovic give himself two thumbs up for the role that he played?
“To be honest, I’m not an actor,” he said. “But I gave my best to be as good as possible.
“We had a premier in (Los Angeles). Everybody turned to me on the end of my scene and I got a big applause. I got a lot of notes from a couple of people – of course all positive – and it was good to hear.”
On the basketball front, the Mavs felt like they got rave reviews when they were able to secure Marjanovic via free agency after he signed a two-year, $7-million contract in July.
“He’s a terrific basketball player,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “He’s got a great feel for the game, he’s a force on the inside, he’s a weapon for us.
“I don’t know exactly what the minutes are going to look like, I don’t know what the rotation exactly is going to look like. But I do know that we’ll have some nights where we’re probably going to sit some guys for load management reasons, and he’s a great guy to have sitting there ready to play.”
At 7-3 and 290 pounds, Marjanovic is a massive specimen. So massive that even Kristaps Porzingis (7-3, 242) is in awe of his unique physique.
“Great personality, obviously everybody knows that, but on the court he’s just huge,” Porzingis said. “He’s so big. We’re the same height, but it feels like he’s three times bigger than me.”
Marjanovic’s power during training camp this week has posed a problem for Porzingis.
“The way he can get position, the way he gets offensive boards, you feel helpless,” Porzingis said. “Even I feel helpless when I’m fighting against him.
“When I box him out, I box him out like face-first, like trying to get him out of there, because he’s so big and so strong. So, he’s going to be a weapon for us for sure.”
Not only can Marjanovic employ his powerful body as a weapon, but his hands are also lethal. Each hand is 10.75 inches long and spans 12 inches from his pinky to his thumb.
Officially, that registers as the largest hands in the history of the NBA. Second on that list is Shaquille O’Neal (10.25/12) and third is Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo (9.85/12). The legendary Wilt Chamberlain is 10th on that list at 9.5 and 11.5, respectively.
In other words, the basketball nearly disappears once it reaches Marjanovic’s hands.
“The ball is like a tennis ball in his hands,” forward Dorian Finney-Smith said. “And he does a great job of creating space.
“When he rolls, he draws so much attention, so guys have to be ready to shoot. When he catches it, he keeps it high. He’s got a nice touch, too.”
Marjanovic, who helped Serbia finish fifth last month in the FIBA Basketball World Cup, is an extremely productive and gifted player. Last season he finished tied for 49th in the NBA in points per 48 minutes at 18 points per game. That put him ahead of such players as De’Aaron Fox, Pascal Siakam, Chris Paul, Kyle Lowry, Ben Simmons, Harrison Barnes, Clint Capela and Eric Gordon.
In 36 games for the Los Angeles Clippers last season, Marjanovic averaged 6.7 points and 4.2 rebounds in just 10.4 minutes per contest. And following a mid-season trade to Philadelphia, he averaged 8.2 points and 5.1 rebounds in only 13.9 minutes per contest while playing 22 games for the 76ers.
“Whatever the coach wants me to do, I’ll give my best,” the 31-year old Marjanovic said. “I think everybody should enjoy basketball.
“It’s so much fun. I’m looking forward for the first game.”
Now about that movie career. Hollywood is searching for the next James Bond. Is Marjanovic interested?
“I’m ready,” he said. “I was having so much fun (with John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum).
“I was like, this could be my second job. I can be a basketball player and after I finish my basketball career I can join the movies.”