Dario Šarić is an experienced NBA veteran and an important player for the Croatian basketball team

Before becoming an NBA player, scouting reports for Dario Šarić most often described him as a skilled player who is not necessarily an athlete who will fly above the rim. However, almost every report cited his energy and proven desire to win.

Due to his skillset, especially when it comes to assists (and he is 208 cm tall), Dario is a rarely seen as a hard worker or a warrior. It is often said that he is a born winner, taking into account that in the structure of his DNA there are small basketballs (his parents were successful players, and his younger sister is also a member of the Croatian national team), it could be said that it is lucky that he was born in the basketball city of Šibenik – where Dražen Petrović is also from. Still, everything that Dario has achieved in his career (and he is 29 years old) is a result of hard work.

Start in Šibenik

His parents say that Dario started training basketball at the age of 5 with their support in order to use up at least part of his “limitless” energy. Of course, the basketball DNA of the Šarić family was the “luck” factor that made Dario very quickly taller than almost all of his peers. However, it is well known that height in basketball does not guarantee success, and a fighter like Dario would certainly succeed even if he was a few centimeters shorter.

Dario, who everyone knows of today as a team player, was not always like that. One of his first coaches stated that he needed to be reeled in and grounded in the huge expectations he had of himself, but also of his teammates, which he would make clear to them. Regardless of these turbulences, even at the age of 12, Dario started winning competitions and best player awards.

Arrival to Zagreb

It made sense that Dario soon began to receive international offers, but after a very complex legal negotiation process regarding his departure to Spain, Dario chose basketball club Zagreb as his first stop after his native Šibenik, where he became teammates with Mario Hezonja, and then he moved to Cibona.

Everyone who followed basketball closely at that time knew who Dario Šarić was because he had already collected a significant number of trophies and personal awards by dominating the younger age groups with the Croatian national team (winning the title of U-16 and U-18 European champions). He further enriched all of that in Cibona, by leading the team to its only championship in the regional ABA league.

On the way to that title, Dario was the MVP of the regular season, and then the finals as well. By the way, that year he was also the best young European player of the year according to FIBA.


Soon after that, Dario moved to Anadolu Efes, even though he was already on the radar of many NBA scouts, and he wanted to go to the States. Nevertheless, he then made a wise decision to gain additional European experience so that his departure “across the pond” would be timely and even more successful.

Immediately after signing for the Turkish team, Dario declared for the NBA draft, where he ended up being the 12th pick for the Orlando Magic, who immediately traded him to Philadelphia for the their 10th pick who was Elfrid Payton. For the 76ers, this turned out to be a great draft because they also “stole” Joel Embiid with the third pick.

City of Brotherly Love

After playing two seasons in Istanbul, Dario was ready to go to the City of Brotherly Love and join the 76ers in 2016, who were slowly rising from the bottom they had been pinned to for some time. There he was met by a promising and colorful group of teammates with whom Šiši (the nickname he inherited from his father) fit in well on and off the court and became “the Homie” (new nickname).

He was equally well received by fans, who at one point became worried if Dario would even join the team (there were rumors that he might stay in Europe). All of this added up to an exciting season during which the Homie shined brightly several times and continuously improved, which resulted with a selection to the NBA All-Rookie First Team, while also finishing with the second highest number of votes in the Rookie of the Year voting (behind Malcolm Brogdon, who became the lowest selected – 2nd round, 36th pick – winner of the award ever).

During all of this, a positive shift occurred for the 76ers, as they recorded as many as 28 wins, which is not a lot in the NBA, but it should be noted that before this, they needed two seasons to accumulate the same number of victories (’15-’16: 10 wins; ’14-’15: 18 wins).

A series of trades

As is the case with many NBA players, Dario experienced what it was like to be unexpectedly traded, so by the end of 2018 he a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves. It is a known fact that he was not at all happy with this outcome.

The situation changed for the better the following year with a move to the Phoenix Suns where he fit in much better. Dario was an important player for the team that reached the NBA Finals in 2021, but unfortunately he suffered a serious injury to his right knee after just two and a half minutes.

During a long rehabilitation provess, a new trade happened in 2023 sending him to Oklahoma City. In just 20 games there, he proved himself as an experienced veteran who could be an excellent mentor for young Thunder players.

National team

We have already mentioned how much success Dario had playing for the younger age groups of the Croatian national team, but that trend did not continue at the senior level, but we are hoping and cheering for him that he will add some more achievements in this category to his great career!