We have talked with one of the most talented coach in Europe, Dimitris Itoudis. London journey with Pistons, working with Zjeliko Obradovic and headcoaching career that waiting for him...
Ugur Turker : Hello Coach Itoudis, you were in London last week, invited to watch the NBA game played there? Dimitris Itoudis : Yes, I was invited from Pistons organization ,Joe Dumars specifically and his assistant George David ,to spend with them some days in London and have the opportunity, like this summer, to exchange ideas about basketball.
Ugur Turker : As an expert in Euroleague, how do you see the comparison between the two leagues and could they be combined in any way in the future?
Dimitris Itoudis : First of all I believe that on the organization part the NBA is far ahead from teams in Europe. Of course there are some teams that try to do the best and they have to be the example,but the NBA has match bigger amount of money that invest in order to be all very but very organized. On the other hand ,regarding basketball as a game, there are differences,but Europe positively has been influential to many NBA teams. I want to say that Basketball ,like Joe Dumars use to say is Universal. Now, I do see in the future that the two leagues will have a lot of common things. I do really believe that Euroleague 's future is to have a close league like in NBA. This will be the first step. There many other steps to be done ,like the rules for instance or the dimension of the court and some other really important things. I am sure and I know that Mr Bertomeu and his assosiets are thinking how to make the game more interesting and in the future will see this for sure.
Ugur Turker : How do you think top Euroleague teams would perform in the NBA? Is there a way for them to be competitive if they increase their budget by more revenues?
Dimitris Itoudis : Without any question, the Top Euroleague teams could perform well, but they need to support this with the other things we just mention before,regarding the organization.
Ugur Turker : How was the past summer for you? You were approached to head coach by some organizations but you preferred not to accept the offers ?
Dimitris Itoudis : Yes it is true I had some offers, but after 13 very successful years with Panathinaikos ! the way of the approach was not what I was expecting and I didn't agreed. And I want to be clear, it was not the money the issue, but the vision and the plan. You know when one team approach me, I ask them, what are the expectations and the golds. If we can found the chemistry then we can go together.
Ugur Turker : What are your plans for the present and near future? Dimitris Itoudis : As you probably know I am analyzing Euroleague games officially at Euroleague.net and I am trying to give to people the coach approach to the game. Other than that I am watching basketball ,at different leagues. But also I do have more time to be with my family,that miss me during the season. You know this is my first year I don't work after 22 years continuously. Some times it is good to stay out and watch the things from a different angle.
Ugur Turker : If your plan is to be head coach a Euroleague organization, how would you feel if you had to face up Zjeliko Obradovic as an opponent? What would you tell him before the game?
Dimitris Itoudis : Yes I do plan to be a Head Coach ,but as I said before on a team that have vision and expectations. Now if I am going to face Zeljko ,that will be very strange ,but it will be only during the game, because before and after we will have some good dinners and talks. You know that Zeljko is my Best man and the relation we have is build with very strong bridges.
Ugur Turker : You have won 5 Euroleague championships, what would you say is the secret to go all the way in these championships?
Dimitris Itoudis : Dedication, knowledge, believe, plan,organization,collaboration. All this and one more is hard work with your players, and your staff . The very first thing is that the summer,after you and the management put the targets on the table, to BUILD a winning team. A team that can compete. A team that has players that have golds in their life. That's the first step and it's the most important. After that there are many other details that you have to consider as well.
Ugur Turker : Do you believe that basketball in the court has changed over the last few years with all the changes that happened?
Dimitris Itoudis : Yes and I really hope it will be changed a lot more in order to have better and more exiting games.
Ugur Turker : Can you describe the ideal team for you in terms of the style of basketball and the philosophy it would have?
Dimitris Itoudis : My friend all the teams I was part of and spend hours and hours on the court with, are the ideal teams and ideal players. I was privileged to work with a lot of Top players.
Ugur Turker : Have you followed the Turlkish championship? What do you think is the reason that there have not been any Turkish Club with final four presence in Euroleague in the recent past that Turkish teams havemade so big investements in basketball?
Dimitris Itoudis : Obviously i do follow Turkish league.Turkey last years really invest in Basketball. Has made very good steps ahead. People love basketball like sport. The Turkish league is among the best three leagues in Europe. I know that the mentality of Turkish people is similar with my country and they want immediate results. I don't blame them ,because this kind of pressure they put is that makes you want to be better. Obviously going to Final Four is not an easy think and definitely at final four they don't go only the teams that invest the more money or they are favourites.
Historic season to culminate with 2017 Final Four in Istanbul! - 1 day ago
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A world-class city that witnessed two of pro basketball's most spectacular season-ending shots ever will have the same opportunity again next spring when the 2017 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four returns to Istanbul, Turkey, Euroleague Basketball announced on Tuesday. Istanbul will host the best four EuroLeague teams from May 19 to 21 in what is sure to be a thrilling finish to a ground-breaking season, the first in European basketball history in which all the teams in the continent... [read more]
A world-class city that witnessed two of pro basketball's most spectacular season-ending shots ever will have the same opportunity again next spring when the 2017 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four returns to Istanbul, Turkey, Euroleague Basketball announced on Tuesday. Istanbul will host the best four EuroLeague teams from May 19 to 21 in what is sure to be a thrilling finish to a ground-breaking season, the first in European basketball history in which all the teams in the continent's premier competition are guaranteed to play each other. The 2017 Final Four will take place for the second time at the Sinan Erdem Dome, which officially opened its doors on April 16, 2010 and two years later played host to a memorable Final Four that was one of the most successful in EuroLeague history. "Basketball has seen outstanding growth in Turkey in recent years, while Istanbul already has a Final Four tradition that's second to none, so we are excited to be crowning the EuroLeague champion there next May," Jordi Bertomeu, Euroleague Basketball President and CEO, said. "We will return to the Sinan Erdem Dome, one of the finest arenas anywhere in which to watch basketball and the perfect venue to culminate a season in which fans will see all the stars in their own cities for the first time in history. With the way Turkish fans continue embracing the EuroLeague more and more each year, it will be great to have them with us for the very biggest games at the Final Four." The event will feature an expansion of a strong relationship begun at the start of this decade between Euroleague Basketbal and Turkish Airlines, which had a pivotal role in bringing the Final Four back to Turkey and will host the event, as well. As title sponsor of the competition, Turkish Airlines heads a family of Euroleague Basketball partners in Turkey to which a new member was recently added, Odeabank. The season's crowning weekend also will mark the first Final Four to be held under the 10-year joint venture between Euroleague Basketball and IMG. 'We highly treasure our partnership with Euroleague Basketball because it has allowed us for many years to be part of a great sport - commented Mr lker Ayci - This year we are even more proud to be the title sponsor of this championship, since the Final Four will actually take place in our city of birth and global hub, Istanbul. We are sure that the international atmosphere and innovative traits of our city will add an extra touch of innovation and thrill to such an amazing event. Furthermore, every year we commit to ideating, together with Euroleague Basketball, new and exciting ways to deliver a sporting experience that truly goes beyond expectations to all basketball fans and travellers'. Istanbul has been the unforgettable scene of an unmatched history of memorable Final Four moments. The 1992 Final Four ended with legend Aleksandar Djordjevic making a three-point shot with time running out as Partizan Belgrade won its only continental title in an upset at Abdi Ipekci Arena. Two decades later, Olympiacos Piraeus rallied from 19 points behind with 11 minutes to play at Sinan Erdem to defeat CSKA Moscow on the season's final shot, by Georgios Printezis. The Sinan Erdem Dome has a capacity for 16,000 spectators for basketball and, in addition to the 2012 Final Four, has hosted such prestigious basketball events as the 2010 world championships. The upcoming 2016-17 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season that ends in Istanbul will be the first in which there is no possibility that two opponents can meet for the first time at the Final Four. The new competition system features 30 regular season games among the competition's 16 teams, each playing the other 15 both home and away before four playoff series decide the semifinalists who will compete for the title in Istanbul. As such, the champion who wears the crown in Istanbul next May will always be remembered as the first who had to go through every single one of the very best clubs in Europe in order to survive. The new champion must play a minimum of 35 games, as well, making it also the longest season ever to survive in order to become Europe's elite club competition champion. The 2016-17 EuroLeague season opens on October 12 in the Spanish capital of Madrid with the replay of the first game of the modern EuroLeague on the same date in 2001, Real Madrid vs. Olympiacos Piraeus. Courtesy of: euroleague.net
Melih Mahmutoglu extends contract with Fenerbahce - 21 hours ago
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193-G-90) and Fenerbahce have agreed on terms of a new contract. The guard has penned a new three-year deal with the Istanbul powerhouse. Melih Mahmutoglu has been playing for Fenerbahce since 2013. Last season the guard notched 6.0 points and 1.0 boards per game in BSL. In EuroLeague his stats read 4.0 points per appearance. He has been the member of the Turkish National Team since 2013. [read more]
Melih Mahmutoglu (193-G-90) and Fenerbahce have agreed on terms of a new contract. The guard has penned a new three-year deal with the Istanbul powerhouse. Melih Mahmutoglu has been playing for Fenerbahce since 2013. Last season the guard notched 6.0 points and 1.0 boards per game in BSL. In EuroLeague his stats read 4.0 points per appearance. He has been the member of the Turkish National Team since 2013.
Defending champion CSKA Moscow (VTB) tabbed 29-year old American forward Jeff Ayres (206-109kg-87, college: Arizona State). He played most recently at LA Clippers in the NBA. But in 19 games he averaged just 1.7ppg and 1.2rpg last season. Ayres also played that season for another team D-Fenders in U.S. semi-pro league D-League where in two games he had very impressive stats: 16.5ppg, 13.0rpg and 1.5apg. In 2009 he was drafted by Sacramento Kings (NBA) in second round (31st overall). The f... [read more]
Defending champion CSKA Moscow (VTB) tabbed 29-year old American forward Jeff Ayres (206-109kg-87, college: Arizona State). He played most recently at LA Clippers in the NBA. But in 19 games he averaged just 1.7ppg and 1.2rpg last season. Ayres also played that season for another team D-Fenders in U.S. semi-pro league D-League where in two games he had very impressive stats: 16.5ppg, 13.0rpg and 1.5apg. In 2009 he was drafted by Sacramento Kings (NBA) in second round (31st overall). The former Arizona State staris in his eighth season in pro basketball. Ayres was selected to D-League All-Star Game in 2016. He won NBA championship title in 2014. He has played previously professionally in NBA (Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs and Indiana Pacers) and D-League (Salt Lake City Stars and Iowa Energy). Let's have closer look into Ayres' outlook:
(by Borko Popic for NBADraft.net in 2009)
He is a competitor, battles at all times to establish post position and is very active His motor is excellent and he shows it by running the floor as well as anyone in the country Around the basket he is very active and he knows how to move without the ball to get to open spaces Has been the beneficiary of some great passes, but a lot of it has to do with his ability to read the action as well as being able to catch pretty much any pass that is thrown his way.
His repertoire in the post is limited, as a result he does not demand much attention from defenses Struggles getting his shot of against bigger defenders.
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