By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Itoudis, who is also the coach of the Greek national team, talked on the issue explaining the pressure that EuroLeague coaches and players feel in this peculiar situation, with him traveling from Istanbul to Crete, where the Greek national team will play, together with Fenerbahce star and Greek national team starter Nick Calathes.
As he said: “I appreciate that we are discussing this issue, I have to say thanks to Fenerbahçe for letting me go to Greece for the game. The Greek federation made a great effort to arrange a plane for me and Calathes to travel. My assistants prepared the players, they do the work.
At the same time, Panathinaikos is playing an important match in the Euroleague, so they could not give up players. Olympiacos is playing tonight, I don’t know how it goes, but it’s a team that needs its players. We are between two worlds. There are players in the team I have never coached before in my life. We are playing against a very good team with better chemistry. We will try to do our best and be competitive”.
Itoudis asked for better communication between FIBA and EuroLeague: “The discussion should be about what FIBA and Euroleague want. Do the best players want to play? Then, they have to find a way to communicate better and play the best possible players in the national teams.
There are four national team coaches who are also coaching in the Euroleague and it is not easy. It is a big deal that the Turkish Federation rescheduled league games to better prepare the team. We couldn’t do that. Serbia took players from the Serbian teams, even if Partizan did not give permission to Papapetrou”.
For Itoudis the whole debate is not fair, since it doesn’t involve NBA players, even if he understands why: “I understand the players. Greece and the national teams need players, and FIBA sees this. Is all this fair? No. Is it equal? No. We have to discuss this, all this pressure on Euroleague players, coaches, and teams. We take it for granted that there are no NBA players coming, and I understand that.”