By Niki Bakouli/ firstname.lastname@example.org
One of San Antonio Spurs’ assistant coaches at Las Vegas summer league is Olympiacos’ assistant coach, Christos Marmarinos and of course we wanted to know all about his unique experience, which starts at 08.00 in the morning and ends late at night. But as he says “when you love your job… you forget all about time. For example, last night I was presenting to my colleagues how I do my job –I used one game against Panathinaikos- and they did the same, showing me a game vs. Utah. We exchanged opinions and ways, so both sides will be better”.
- Let’s take this story from… the top. How you got here?
“In January I received an email from San Antonio Spurs’ president, who was offering me the chance to come over here for Las Vegas Summer League, under their coaches exchange program and of course I couldn’t miss this opportunity. It was a great honor. First, I flight to San Antonio, where we had some practices and then we came here”.
- Can you point out the biggest differences you noticed?
“First and most important concerns all the aspects of organization. They execute everything really quick, from the trips from one place to the other (we left our luggage when we were about to leave and… we found them in our hotel rooms) till how quickly every member of the stuff is moving for the common good. Everybody respects everybody. They are very well organized and they don’t leave anything to chance. And of course, they don’t chance habits when it comes to the actual game. Coach Popovic set the program for the Summer League, so we will work based on the same philosophy with the first team. The only thing I didn’t notice any differences is at coaching dynamics. I can name few coaches from Europe who could work at the NBA. On the contrary I don’t know many executives who would be able to work over there”.
- From this experience what will you try to pass on Olympiacos?
“I will try to use everything I learn here, so we can be more effective and quicker in the way we work and function”.
- It’s a fact that this year everybody will want to take down Euroleague’s champion…
“I don’t think our title puts more pressure on us. For many years, everybody wanted to beat us, cause we were the team which got to Euroleague’s Final Four and to Euroleague’s Final, or because we had the biggest budget. Our bet is to… beat ourselves, by becoming even better”.
We talked to Marmarinos, before the Spurs vs. Haws tip off. We asked him which guy will find his place at San Antonio’s rotation and he assured us: “Kawhi Leonard. He is strong, focused, he works really well at the practices, he knows his role and he will get his spot. He started to show what he is made of, at the end of last year. The best are yet to come”. Then, we watched the 21 year-old small forward taking over the fourth quarter in Spurs win.