By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
After the defeat of CSKA Moscow by Laboral Kutxa, Dimitris Itoudis wasn’t shy about his opinion for the way the game was called. As he said: “This was a wrestling match, not a basketball game”.
The Greek coach was furious: “I usually start every post-game conference congratulating the opponent when we lose a game. I don’t want to disrespect the team of Laboral Kutxa, the organization and the coach, but tonight it wasn’t a basketball game, it was wrestling… I was never explained by the referees who are supposed to be our collaborators on the court why I got a technical foul. I don’t know yet! They escaped and never answered me. My colleague (ed. note: Laboral Kutxa’s coach Velimir Perasovic) was saying before the game against Olympiacos that the referees are making adjustments to the physicality of Olympiacos and in favor of their style. I am telling you now that I will prepare my team for that, because this is the game they want. We have made millions and thousands of meetings between referees and coaches and some touches are not allowed. But their position is you do 100 fouls and we will call approximately 40″.
For Itoudis the issue has to do with the way the game is played in Europe: “If this is the basketball that Euroleague wants, then we will also play like that. Wrestling, pushing, elbowing, hacking and playing not physical, the other word…”
Itoudis explained what happened with the refs: “I want to say that I just said to the referees: “Please call the fouls and clear the game”. And that applied to both teams. I got a “T”. Maybe we should bring basketball some years back when coaches were curshing mothers, fathers, families… but no, they know me many years and I never curse nobody. If their idea for clearing the game is calling technicals for no reason, somebody has to judge them too”.
The reaction of Velimir Perasovic after that was the following: “We like to play physical opponents like Olympiacos, but we are not wrestlers. We play quality defense. Dimitris says that he respects us, but talking only about the refs, he shows no respect. He has to right to not give us the credit. You can’t score 81 points just by being physical…”