Giorgos Bartzokas on Olympiacos: “It would be a mistake to change our mentality”

2022-09-29T11:48:54+00:00 2022-09-29T12:04:32+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

29/Sep/22 11:48

From returning to the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four, Olympiacos gears up for a brand new season

By Aris Barkas/

Olympiacos under the guidance of Giorgos Bartzokas is not looking to change the way of thinking in the 2022-23 edition of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague.

Bartzokas, 57, in his interview with Eurohoops, discussed the approach to the new season and the general direction for all teams in Europe’s premier club continental competition.

“Nobody here will say the team is aiming to win EuroLeague,” he said pointing to the players and coaching staff preparing for the next EuroLeague season in the Peace and Friendship Stadium, “I don’t think any EuroLeague team can support such a claim. The competitive environment of the EuroLeague has become very demanding. About 15-16 teams can potentially make the Playoffs.”

“Our mentality last year led us to finish the Regular Season in second place and reach the Final Four. It would be a mistake to change our mentality and talk about winning EuroLeague this year,” he added during the annual Media Day, “The first step is to rank in the top eight, a tough task in itself.”

The Reds went 19-9 to rank second in the 2021-22 Regular Season. After eliminating AS Monaco in five games, they played in the Final Four but suffered a narrow loss to Anadolu Efes and ended up in fourth place. The Turkish side went on to edge Real Madrid and complete the back-to-back.

“Our team does not spend 40M per year to achieve its goals. In whatever way, it gets the job done. At the start of the last season, everyone projected Greek teams to miss out on the Final Four for years to come. But we did it,” noted Bartzokas, “We will not change our approach.”

Focusing on specific areas to improve the squad, Olympiacos picked up Joel Bolomboy, Isaiah Canaan, Alec Peters, Tarik Black, and George Papas in the offseason.

“I believe we have all the parts to play basketball related to this era. Basketball now depends on speed, rhythm, intensity, strength, and outside shots. I don’t believe a team can be successful without being a threat from the perimeter, regardless of how good it is in other areas,” said Bartzokas.

“Having size across all positions is clearly the heading for EuroLeague,” he made out the direction for his side and elsewhere in EuroLeague, “Teams need rebounds, speed, and shooting. Missing something, it would take a spectacular job in every other area to be successful.”

In 2020, The Greek tactician returned to Olympiacos for a second stint. He signed a new contract this summer committing until the end of the 2024-25 season.