"Full gyms everywhere"

The draw of the Greek League was held Monday night (click εδώ for the schedule) and during the election fever Zeljco Obradovic and Panagiotis Giannakis took part in a basketball debate.

The interview was published in the official site of ΕSAKE.

Do you thing that the fact that Panathinaikos and Olympiakos rule in the A1 is a disadvantage for their efforts in Euroleague? This year Barcelona and Real that participate in a more competitive league seems strong opponents.

Obradovic: "I don't think that it is a disadvantage. It is certain that Real and Barcelona will be very strong, but I cannot say that the Greek League lacks quality or competiveness. It is hard to win in any gym and that means a lot".

Giannakis: "Politics and Sports are two different things. Everybody that loves basketball wants to see progress and progress comes when you go to the next level. It is true that Olympiakos and Panathinaikos have made a lot steps forward, but that has to add motive to the rest of the teams to use young players, to be more organized in order to become more competitive and healthy in a financial way. From our side we do what we can do to get better in every game, every practice in every possession".

Greece is on the top of Europe thanks to the national team. Which is the reflection of that success in the league?

"The National team was very successful and very positive. The bronze medal will help the Greek league, because it will bring more people in the gym, which is the main concern".

Giannakis: "The National Team is standing on the top for several years now, like the big clubs. The potential is there and what we have to change is the way we see and deal with the sport. We have to make up our minds in what we want to accomplish and which way we are going to do it. Basketball has to have people that will help it make a step forward. The potential are not enough by themselves..."

What about the troubles in the stands?

Obradovic: "It is something that we have to deal altogether, in order to avoid such bad impact, not in any gym. Everybody must have the will to help, not the half or a few of them. With the word "everybody" I mean the good supporters, who are facing the problems when things go bout. They have to help, too".

Giannakis: "We have said a lot about the issue. I have to say again that there is solution and it is simple. Everybody has to mind his own business. Unfortunately in Greece everybody is looking what the other person is doing and nobody minds his own business. There are laws and the question is if they are used".

What can be the pleasant surprise in the season?

Obradovic: "I would like to see gyms full of supporters. I would like to feel the proper atmosphere, which will help to bring some good games on the court".

Giannakis: "I don't want any surprise. I want the fundamentals, the laws to be used, the teams and the players to have the leading role and to have some progress in basketball".

Which can be the motives for young kids to play basketball or to become fans?

Obradovic: "Family is the first motive. With the help of the family and the coaches we can create the proper fans. We have to teach the kids from a young age what does it mean to be an athlete and have the right behavior. It is a part that school plays an important role".

Giannakis: "The goal is the kids to love sports and become good fans. Everybody is responsible for that. The first thing we have to do is stop thinking like "if I were the prime-minister for one day I would fix everything" and just concentrate in our job. The rest will follow".

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