By George Orfanakis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
In the last game of a most splendorous career, Euroleague legend Dimitris Diamantidis was once more the top performer of Panathinaikos. However, the Greens were defeated by arch-rival Olympiacos, and lost the title.
“This is a… weird night for me and the team”, said Diamantidis in the press conference. “On one hand we lost a game and a title. I am sorry. I want to congratulate Olympiacos for winning the title. It is a difficult moment for my team. For me the feelings are mixed. The way we lost the game upsets me. On the other hand, I am thinking of all those years I played basketball in this team. I didn’t expect that I will live all the things I have lived until now. I am truly blessed. What i experienced in Iraklis was incredible, it gave me the chance to go to Panathinaikos. These people helped me a lot. I thank all of them. These 12 years in Panathinaikos I lived incredible moments, the kinds of which I hope that every athlete will live. I thank the fans of Panathinaikos for the love they have shown to me. We thanks them as a team for their dedication. Panathinaikos is a team, it moves on. This is sports, whether we like it or not. It might look bad, but that’s how it is. I know I wasn’t the best… talker with you, the journalists. But I have a philosophy in my mind for what the relationship between a journalist and an athlete is. I thank you all. I wish you are fine and filled with health”.
A big applause filled the press-conference room as Diamantidis continued. “I want to say that it is a difficult moment, knowing that I want be with the team on September to begin the preparation for the new season. Right now I haven’t even comprehended that I retire. I will on due time. My decision was well-thought and that’s why i announced it when I did”.
When asked about Spanoulis’ three-pointer that decided the title, Diamantidis said: “I thought ‘Come on my man Bill… can’t you lose it? You have killed us some times’. But he made it! He show how great player he is and that he has the quality and skill”.
Will he continue in basketball? Perhaps as a coach? “I’m going to play basketball just for fun from now on. And there’s one certain thing, that I don’t want to be a coach”.