By Aris Barkas/ email@example.com
The fact that Vassilis Spanoulis is coaching in the Basketball Champions League created a buzz even before the start of the season. With his team, Peristeri, starting the season with a 2-0 record including a win over the defending champions Lenovo Tenerife, he proved that the hype was right.
As Peristeri is preparing for its first road game, in Lithuania against Rytas Vilnius, Spanoulis and his players will be tested, but at this point nobody bets against them. And it’s not only because of the fact that Rytas has not registered a win yet.
When legendary players make the transition to coaching, there’s no guarantee about the result. On the contrary, it’s very hard for the former players as coaches to measure up to their own legends.
Still, Spanoulis has lowkey avoided those kinds of comparisons and put his focus on the floor.
Peristeri has the third-best offense in the competition and the fourth-best shooting percentage. They are second in assists, seventh in steals, and fourth in efficiency. Yes, the sample is just two games, however, they have already faced arguably the strongest opponent there is, playing the defending champions.
And while you may see here and there an explosive reaction, that reminds you of the fire Spanoulis had as a player, he is usually in total control, having a well-prepared game plan and usually all the answers to the possible questions of his players.
This is not a surprise.
Spanoulis lives only for basketball and that’s why everyone expected him to become a coach almost directly after deciding to call it a day as a player.
He is a hoops maniac, watching videos constantly, and rarely he talks about anything else, even when he is in the company of friends.
This kind of obsession partly explains everything he has achieved as a player and also it’s more than handy when you want to become a head coach of legendary status.
Make no mistake: Spanoulis will not settle for being just a “good” coach and will nobody admit it yet, Peristeri is already thinking big.
That’s why this storyline is one of the most intriguing in the competition. And imagine what will happen if Spanoulis makes it to the Final Four in his first season as a coach…