By Nikos Varlas / firstname.lastname@example.org
Olympiacos captain Vassilis Spanoulis spoke to Eurohoops before the new EuroLeague season tip-off during the team’s media day in Piraeus earlier this September. The experienced guard talked about hot topics such as retirement, critics and adversity, as well as his goals for the season and how he manages to remain motivated after winning so many titles throughout his career.
“I’m starting this season and I haven’t thought either about its outcome or the decision to retire”, said Spanoulis. “The game itself will lead me to it. At this moment, I am ambitious, I have motivation and my own goals in my mind that I want to achieve. People can say what they want, this is a recurring event for me for the past six years. On top of that, each year they even decide my playing time, how long should I keep the ball, whether I should pass the torch on to someone else, or if I am ready to hold back. All of these come along in the game, your coach will tell you what to do, the chemistry of the team, what you have to do to win. Nobody can tell all about it on his own”.
As a well-established player among the elite of European basketball, Spanoulis then discussed his reaction to all kinds of critique and possible adversity.
“The farther you go, the more people will talk about you and you have to be open to being criticized. Of course, there’s both good-willed criticism and ill-intended. Since we have chosen this job, we have to be ready for every kind of critique, even negative. Hadn’t I been criticized, I wouldn’t have become the player that I am now. I’ve said it before and will say it once again. I thank everyone for their criticism throughout the years and for getting me where I am today”, mentioned Spanoulis.
The Reds’ captain also commented on the fact that this may not be a championship run for his team and how he plans to deal with that throughout the season.
“Of course it’s not the best thing for an athlete, though we have to accept it. For me, a title would be to make it to the playoffs, because we haven’t made it there for the last two seasons. A bigger title would be the next step. We have to have motivation within the season and set goals we can achieve. To reach the playoffs at this point, for me counts as a title. Then we will see where we are at and what we can do to make one step further”
Spanoulis reunited with Kostas Sloukas, for the first time after winning back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013, a circumstance he is excited about.
“I love this team so much, we’ve all bonded with each other. The arrival of Kostas is very important for the present and the future of the team, but especially the present because I don’t like to think that far. I believe it has also shown the team’s dynamic and we must congratulate the team owners for bringing in a player of his level, that we haven’t been used to signing in the last years. They spent a significant amount of the budget to sign him during tough times and won a player whose stocks in the market were high. Moreover, Kostas is part of the family, he knows its DNA. It’s like he had never left and now he returns more experience and ready to help the team even more”.