By Aris Barkas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Dimitris Itoudis has won two EuroLeague titles and he is the only Greek coach who has achieved that. However, this count can also be considered wrong and coach Itoudis’ nationality isn’t more important than the fact that he did it twice representing the CSKA Moscow powerhouse.
“It’s not about being the first Greek coach to win the EuroLeague twice, but having the satisfaction to win the title after such a marathon”, said Itoudis to Eurohoops just after the announcement of his new deal with CSKA. “You can see the satisfaction in the players, in the management, and in our fans. We are the ambassadors of a great country like Russia, a great city like Moscow and also a great club like CSKA. It’s also great personal satisfaction and I don’t feel that I have won two EuroLeague. I feel like I have won seven. The five titles that I have won with Panathinaikos have a special place in my heart, my collaboration with the club and with Zeljko Obradovic was something unique, it was an experience for life”.
Itoudis is one of the distinguished members of the EuroLeague Head Coaches Board and he will be present in the meeting that will be held in Badalona in July, just before the start of the first ever EuroLeague Head Coaches clinic that can be turn out to be an experience for life if you sign up and attend it.
“It will be a high-level clinic from coaches of a great experience”, said Itoudis. “It can be a great chance for every coach who will attend. If someone watching from the stands takes just 10% of the things that he will hear and make them his own, it will be an amazing gain. Imagine if this percentage is even higher… I think that if you attend, you can only gain something. And this clinic will be repeated in the future in Turkey, in Greece, in Russia, in Italy and in other places. We want to reach as many coaches as possible, to think without borders and meeting with everyone is something big”.
After all, the idea of the EuroLeague Head Coaches Board was not something that happened overnight. “We have talked about it during the EuroLeague coaches meeting last year and we finally made it happen this year”, explained Itoudis. “It’s a great movement because every profession should have its own association, its own syndicate if you like to call it like this… We as the founding fathers decided to start with EuroLeague Head Coaches and honorary members only, but the goal in the future is to open up to all coaches who are interested to participate. I was in favor of creating the EuroLeague Head Coaches Board as it gives us greater leverage with stakeholders to try and find improvements in the sport and in the working conditions across Europe. We believe that having this framework agreement will allow us to do this for the good of the sport”.
And as Itoudis explains, despite what anyone may think, there’s a sense of camaraderie between coaches that can only be augmented by the EuroLeague Head Coaches Board: “There might be a rivalry, but it doesn’t extend outside the court. Everyone wants to win, it’s natural. On the other hand, there’s an inherited sense of respect, like in every profession, and the Head Coaches Board can really help even more in that direction. We have to have a sense of respect toward the opponent and we can be factors in transmitting this respect to the fans and to everyone watching the sport”.