Ergin Ataman has a deal with Panathinaikos for two-years

2023-04-21T22:19:08+00:00 2023-04-21T22:54:43+00:00.

Aris Barkas

21/Apr/23 22:19

The Greek club and Ergin Ataman have a deal for the next two seasons

By Aris Barkas/

Ergin Ataman will be the new coach of Panathinaikos for the next two seasons, as multiple sources confirm to Eurohoops. The interest of the Greek club for the Turkish back-to-back EuroLeague champion was already well documented but at this point, there’s a deal between the two sides.

With Ataman’s agent Misko Raznatovic arriving in Greece on Friday, things moved fast. Signatures are expected after the end of the season, however, Ataman practically has already announced his wish to leave Efes even if his team still has to fight for the Turkish League championship title.

There was even a phone call between Panathinaikos president Dimitris Giannakopoulos and Ataman to seal the deal.

Initially, Ataman’s side wanted a three-year deal, but ultimately the two sides agreed upon a two-year contract with no opt-out clauses.

Born in 1966, Ergin Ataman also coaches the Turkey men’s national basketball team. He was the EuroLeague coach of the year in 2021, he also won the EuroCup in 2016 with Besiktas, the Saporta Cup in 2002 with Siena, and the 2012 FIBA EuroChallenge, plus five Turkish League championship titles and six Turkish Cups.

Second Turkish team member for Panathinaikos after İbrahim Kutluay

Ataman will be the first Turk to coach in Greece, however, this is not the first time that Panathinaikos has a star from Turkey on their team.

Ibo Kutluay played in Panathinaikos between 2001 and 2003, plus a short stint in 2005, winning under coach Zeljko Obradovic among other titles a EuroLeague trophy in 2002.

Ataman recently talked about the possibility of coaching in Greece and also about Olympiacos, which will be his main rival in the near future. In the past, he has coached outside the Turkish borders leaving his mark in Italy with Siena.

He also admitted the interest of Panathinaikos setting the bar high and saying that his wish is to become the next Obradovic of the Greens. Zeljko Obradovic stayed in Athens for more than a decade winning five EuroLeague titles with the club.

The new roster

With Ataman onboard, Panathinaikos is already moving forward for next season’s roster.

Dimitris Moraitis will be leaving Peristeri to join the Greens, Luca Vildoza despite his denial about Panathinaikos’ interest is more than high on the list, and also Naz Mitrou-Long who is expected to finally get his Greek contract, having Greek origin from his mother, is also among the top targets.