Ergin Ataman says Panathinaikos is in contact with very important names

2023-06-18T20:13:01+00:00 2023-06-18T20:18:13+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

18/Jun/23 20:13

Panathinaikos and Ergin Ataman aim big for the next season.

By Eurohoops

After finishing his last season as head coach of Anadolu Efes by winning the Turkish BSL championship, Ergin Ataman now looks ahead to the next chapter of his career that will find him at the helm of Panathinaikos Athens.

The goal of both Panathinaikos and Ataman is to build a team with EuroLeague championship aspirations and that starts by signing some big-time players. “Currently our club president and general manager are in contact with very important names,” Ataman said to Turkish channel A Spor. “The transfer market for high-level names in Europe hasn’t been fully opened yet but there’s going to be a very serious change and it’s certain that it will be a team aiming to make the EuroLeague Final Four and win the EuroLeague championship.”

“After all, it’s not just about the coach,” Ataman said. “It’s not about what a coach can do alone. We’re in agreement with the Panathinaikos administration on this issue. There’ll definitely be a very strong squad but I cannot give a name right now. But in 2-3 weeks, transfers will begin to happen, gradually.”

Panathinaikos, a six-time EuroLeague champion, hasn’t participated in the Final Four since 2012. In the last two years, the Greens even failed to make the playoffs, finishing with an 11-23 record (prior to a deduction of two points for breaking Financial Fair Play rules) last year.

“There’s nothing guaranteed in sports but, as you know, I’ve managed to break new ground with Siena, Besiktas, Galatasaray and Efes, throughout my career,” Ataman said, referring to winning the 2012 EuroChallenge with Besiktas, the 2016 EuroCup with Galatasaray and the 2021 and 2022 EuroLeague titles with Efes. “Now there’s a new challenge. I’ll try to make it happen with Panathinaikos.”