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“Τhey haven’t seen me play”

By Nikos Varlas/

Kostas Papanikolaou was picked at no 48 of this year’s draft, but it was the New York Knicks fans reaction after hearing his name that made headlines around the world and provoked many comments! However, until now there wasn’t any comment by the 22 years old forward about that night. Papanikolaou remains a player of Euroleague champion Olympiacos but as he clarified to he wants at some point of his career to take the next step and prove that he has a place in the NBA.

“To get drafted at the 48th pick by a team like New York was a good experience for me. I was really very happy because it’s a new opportunity for me in my life to try something new. You know, whenever a kid starts to play basketball, his dream it to play in the NBA. So I would love one day to be there, become a part of the NBA and to work it out, to make it happen let’s say”.

How did he experienced the Knicks fans’s reaction? He was in Brazil with the rest of the Greek national team and just minutes before being picked he was joking with his teammates and predicted that New York would picked him at no. 48. But a little later the joke was on him. “For the fans and all that they did on my pick…they didn’t like it when the Knicks actually picked me. I don’t have any problem with that, because they don’t really know me, they haven’t seen me play yet. So it’s didn’t bother me at all. I just want to get there and show to them that I can make it and I can be a part of the NBA”.

Of course, now his destination would be Portland and not New York: “It doesn’t change much to me. It’s still an opportunity to be there, to play there…I don’t really like to think now when I will make the jump, in which summer. I am still a player of Olympiacos and that’s all there is on my mind”.

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