By Eurohoops Team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
During the recent Media Day hosted by Olympiacos to open the 2021-22 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season, Thomas Walkup revealed to Eurohoops the reason he opted to join the Reds in June, playing alongside Kostas Sloukas, head coach Giorgos Bartzokas, and more.
“I think our games complement each other very well,” he said regarding backcourt partner Sloukas, “Both of us can pass. I can take the defensive load off of him. Most importantly, I think we both know our roles. I think we can make a great tandem on the court. I think we enjoy playing with each other. I think that taking that defensive pressure off of him will be huge for him.”
Walkup, 28, penned a multi-year contract during the offseason. He was coming off three seasons and 96 appearances in the EuroLeague as a member of Zalgiris Kaunas.
“The ambition of the club was something huge. When I talked to the GM when I talked to coach Bartzokas, everybody was really on the same page as far as what our goals were,” he explained to Eurohoops, “It wasn’t like we were building something or we are working toward this or that, it was like we want to be in the Final Four next year, we want to win the Greek League this year. Everything was set immediately. That is the mentality I want to be a part of. I like the team goals that we have.”
“It’s still early in our relationship, but we had a few open conversations about how we are feeling and how we are doing. I appreciate him being very clear about what he wants from me,” he added on Bartzokas, “Not just from me, the system, everything. He is definitely a player’s coach. He is teaching on the court and also making sure we are taking care of our bodies and we are healthy, not over practicing or under practicing. I think we have a good system right now. He doesn’t have a ton to teach, as the new players like myself and Tyler (Dorsey) are picking stuff up.”
“We have the same expectations as the fans,” he mentioned setting his sights on championships, “It’s winning now. That’s what I want to do. I know I am not getting any younger. I don’t want to let years waste away.”