By Lefteris Moutis/ email@example.com
Daniel Hackett talks to Eurohoops.net and praises the character Olympiacos has built over the last years, explains why he left Armani Milano before the end of his contract and admits how proud he was for Italy’s national team.
His career is full of challenges which he accepts in order to get better. After college, he tried to get to the top, playing for Benetton Treviso and Skavolini Pezaro, which is also his hometown. He claimed trophies with Siena, and then signed with the new big force of the Italian basketball, Emporio Armani Milano. However, he wasn’t so successful there, as he earned only one trophy with Giorgio Armani’s team.
Although he had a contract with the Italian club until 2016, he chose to leave one year earlier, as he was looking for a new challenge in his career. Olympiacos gave him that opportunity and Hackett grabbed it, explaining to Eurohoops.net why he chose to join the Reds:
So, what went wrong with Armani Milano: “I don’t want to say that there were faults. Only four teams in Europe reach the Final Four. It’s never so easy. When you finish a season without trophies, it means that something went wrong, either the chemistry or maybe we didn’t work hard enough. I don’t like to blame others but myself first. That’s why I moved out of Milano and found a new home. I want to be successful with Olympiacos.”
Can Olympiacos, though, give him what he is looking for? “Since I grew up and watched Olympiacos, the last decade, they showed the way to play hard defense, smart basketball. I appreciate the way Olympiacos made a come- back in two finals and also made it last season. It’s magical. I’m blessed to be here and work with these players.”
Given the presence of Vassilis Spanoulis in the team, what is Hackett’s opinion about his role in the team? “I think coach Sfairopoulos has made clear to his mind the system we want to run, and whatever my role is I will accept it, I will try hard. Hopefully my work in the practice will translate to the games and we will win the games.”
“I became a better player and person”
At the same time, Hackett played for Italy in the 2015 Eurobasket, as Simone Pianigiani created one of the deepest squads the country ever had in the last few years, however they failed to exceed the expectations and were eliminated in the quarter- finals by Lithuania.
However, the 27-year-old guard still feels blessed for everything he accomplished with his compatriots in the 2015 Eurobasket, even though he had more limited role offensively, as the Italian stars from the NBA were the team’s leaders.
“It was really great for me to be in a group like this. It was like family, the atmospohere was great. We had a good first part of the season, but we missed the semi-finals because Lithuania played a great game. We must respect them. We had our chances to win the game, but this is basketball. Sometimes the ball goes to different ways, but overall we reached our goal to be at least in the Preolympic Tournament. I’m happy because I became better as a player, as a person and as a team also.”
Italy created high expectations, based on their performance, although many people believed they lacked the right chemistry, due to the presence of many superstars in the team. Was it easy for him to act as the supporting cast: “It was the first time all the guys came together and obviously when you have so much talent, so many weapons, you must find the best way to use them. So, some of us realized that we had to put ourselves a little bit aside to give space for Andrea, Marco, Danilo, Gigi. These players are great talents and I think we had good team chemistry.”