Ergin Ataman: Efes is like an NBA organization

2022-05-20T20:37:53+00:00 2022-06-06T20:58:27+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

20/May/22 20:37

Ergin Ataman talked about Efes being a “national club” in Turkey, if Fener fans are going to support his team and the similarities between his club and NBA organizations.

By Antonis Stroggylakis /

Ergin Ataman compared his Anadolu Efes to an NBA organization, when it comes various aspects of the Turkish side: The fans, the basketball system or the way the club operates.

“We have a different style of people coming. We are like an NBA team,” Ataman said. “When I’m talking about NBA, I’m not only talking about the system or technical things but the organization. We are like an NBA organization.”

Ataman drew such comparisons after being asked about Efes being unique, in a way, among EuroLeague powerhouses as a club that is quite succesful and plays in a full house despite not having a football department.

Efes is a basketball club but is a national club,” Ataman said. “We have the support of the whole country and this is the first Turkish club that won the first European title in 1996 [the Korac Cup]. We dont have football club but we played in a sold-out arena in our last nine home games. ”

There has been a strong rivalry between Ataman and Fenerbahce fans that peaked during his days as coach of Galatasaray. Does he believe that Fener fans also cheer for Efes in the Final Four and ahead of the championship game vs. Real Madrid despite whatever feelings they may have for him?

“I don’t know. I don’t care,” Ataman said. “For me it’s important that the whole country’s heart is with us. Maybe the fanatics don’t enjoy us.”

Throughout the season, Ataman talked numerous times about a potential rematch of the 2021 Final against Barcelona and winning the back-to-back title in a similar fashion as last season. But that won’t happen since Real was the one to advance over the Blaugrana.

“Honestly, no,” Ataman said when asked if he’s feeling somewhat disappointed that Efes won’t play against Barcelona for the title. “Because I have big respect for Pablo he’s my good friend. and they deserved to win yesterday.

“If it was Barcelona it would be a good chance for me to finish the game this season because I don’t think I’ll be ejected in Final Four,” Ataman added, referring to his ejections in both games of Efes vs. Barca in the EuroLeague regular season.

“Next year i hope to come back to Palau arena with one more title and to resist getting ejected,” he joked.  “My fists aren’t against Barcelona fans. It was against organization [the officiating] in a bad situation. Because I like to finish the game. I think in that moment was a double standard with my situation and the coaches of Barcelona.”

“I wanted to repeat to everyone that we were the champions. Now we will be the champions tomorrow also”