By Eurohoops Team / firstname.lastname@example.org
Kostas Sloukas was present in the opening press conference of the “Pavlos Giannakopoulos” tournament and he talked about his past experience in the tournament as a Fenerbahce player, pointing out the difference between the way Olympiacos and Panathinaikos fans treated him as opponent.
Asked about his past visits as a member of Fenerbahce in the tournament, Sloukas stated: “As an opponent I always had a strange feeling, because I had been applauded, while usually there is a different approach to players who have played for Olympiakos… What I had said is that people respect my presence and that I do not provoke. The truth is that while I was playing for Fenerbahce, I was more booed by the fans of Olympiakos, than by the audience of Panathinaikos. I have already experienced great love from the fans of Panathinaikos, I am waiting for them to be next to us, so that we can achieve something special. I’m optimistic about the season”.
Besides Sloukas, Panathinaikos owner Dimitris Giannakopoulos was present in the press conference, coach Ergin Ataman and also coach Erden Can and Shane Larkin from Anadolu Efes, coach Pablo Laso and FIBA World Cup winner Andreas Obst from Bayern Munich and also the duo of Kevin Punter and coach Josep Maria Izquierdo from Partizan, since coach Zeljko Obradovic was excused in order to be present in the christening of his grand daughter.
The late, former co-owner of Panathinaikos Pavlos Giannakopoulos was “a unique figure in Greek and European basketball. An owner who loved his club, had faith in the team and gave his heart and soul to succeed”, added Sloukas.
Coach Laso added: “From the first moment I arrived in Bayern, everyone talked to me about this tournament. We are happy and proud to be here”.
As for Dimitris Giannakopoulos, he admitted that in the past as a host he was looking at coach Ataman, at Efes at the time, with envy: “I was watching him wearing blue and I was thinking that I wanted him in green”.