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“It’s the perfect timing”

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By Lefteris Moutis/

Detroit Pistons were collaborating with Panathinaikos for the past seven seasons through Dimitris Itoudis and now it’s the right time for the next step. Legendery Serbian coach Zeljko Obradovic and his longtime assistant, after taking a year off from coaching a team, will travel to USA in order to attend the training camp of the NBA team, seven exhibition games and the first official match of the new season.

The most successful coaching duo in Europe for the last decade will spend almost a month in Detroit and Dimitris Itoudis talked to about this new experience. “I have been in three summer leagues, but for the first time I will take part in the training camp. Together with coach Obradovic we will participate in the coaching stuff of the team and it will be a great experience for us, a chance to see different things. The Americans want to have ties with Europe and want also to learn from us”, he said and elaborated on his personal relation with the NBA team: “I feel at home in Detroit. We have created a very special relationship, specially with GM Joe Dumars and we have a very fruitful collaborations”.

Next week Zeljko Obradovic will be also on board on the plane heading to the USA. It’s a first for him, since many times he has stated his indifference towards the NBA, even when he was there on the fall of 2007 in order to face San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets on the bench of Panathinaikos. Things this time are different, as Itoudis explains: “It’s the perfect timing for us. We don’t have any contractual obligations right now, we accepted the invitation of Joe Dumars and decided to travel together to Detroit, to attend the training camp and exchange ideas and views about basketball. It’s a very good chance for Zeljko and me”.


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