By Antonis Stroggylakis/ email@example.com
Erick Green was well aware of what Vassilis Spanoulis is capable of but was still stunned by the dominant fashion his former teammate “killed” Valencia tonight in Piraeus.
“He is amazing! He is 35, going to be 36 in May and he is still doing that? That’s unbelievable”, Erick Green told Eurohoops.
Spanoulis finished with a season-high 25 points (including a decisive streak of seven in the last minutes), plus 9 assists. Green couldn’t help but tip his hat off to “Kill Bill” for his feats.
“It’s really impressive. I got to say that. He is a special player. A great leader. He is still one of the best European players and I am blessed that I learned from him and got to be his friend. I was to him like a little brother. We are still in contact, so to watch him be able to do that, it’s still very impressive”.
Speaking of the loss to Olympiacos, Green admitted that something was missing for Valencia to beat such a powerhouse on the road: “I couldn’t find my rhythm in the first half, which is ok since my teammates stepped up and they really help. In the second half, we were right there in the game. It was a one-point game and we just couldn’t get the rebound. When you play a good team like that, you have to play a full game for 40 minutes in order to beat them”.
At least it was an improvement compared to the performance of Valencia in the Copa Del Rey. The “Taronja” were eliminated in the quarterfinal by Tenerife with a game which was… colorfully described as “sh_t” by coach Txus Vidorreta.
When asked if Valencia really played like “sh_t” in the Copa, Green was frank: “I agree. We did. It was a bad loss against Tenerife. It was an embarrassing loss. The point is to learn from it, to have a good week of practice and bounce back”.
The American combo guard joined Valencia last summer and has only the best to say not only for the club but everything his new experience encompasses: “I love Valencia. I love the team, I love the city, I love the fans. The difference is that you are going to see me to have the ball, make plays, pass the ball, score. Here I had a backup role, but also the opportunity to learn from Spanoulis. I still appreciate the opportunity and I feel blessed, but you see the real me in Valencia.”.
Green also spoke about Bobby Brown, the newest addition of Olympiacos: “He is a great player, great scorer. He will fit right in, helping from the bench and giving to the team something extra in order to win the Greek championship and get to the Final Four”.
Valencia came close but didn’t manage to escape with the road win over Olympiacos. It was a bittersweet feeling for Erick Green since this game was something close to a homecoming for him: “It was good to be back. I was happy to see everyone, the fans, the coaches, the players. It was great, I wish could also get the win, but it was a good game. I really appreciated it, I have the utmost respect for the fans and also for the coaches and the Olympiacos program. They are a great team”.