By Eurohoops team / firstname.lastname@example.org
Zalgiris Kaunas head coach Martin Schiller joined the fourth edition of Eurohoops’ EuroLeague live show to talk with Antigoni Zachari and Antonis Stroggylakis about a plethora of different topics. Some of the discussion’s main points included Zalgiris currently having the second-best record in EuroLeague, his relationship with players, and his efforts and mindset when it comes to helping them cope with the coronavirus lockdown.
Schiller, who was named G League Coach of the Year for his 2019-2020 run with Salt Lake City Stars, also talked about some misconceptions that people – especially in Europe – may have for the championship.
“I think there is arrogance towards the G League, I would say though that there is arrogance from both sides towards each other,” Schiller said. “There is the arrogance from Europe towards North America and especially the G League that is ‘not good’ basketball’ or ‘not sharing the ball.’ Then there’s the arrogance from North America towards Europe, where players say ‘I’ll go overseas and play and earn a lot of money’, which all of us know it’s not that easy. It’s the same sport, but it’s really two different games. That has to be the first thing mentioned.”
“The G League stigma is vanishing though. To be honest, the G League is a fantastic thing. Why do we Europeans have a little bit of this image of it? Because the game and its dynamics are very difficult to understand. You’ve got deep rosters that change from week to week, which means continuity in your culture and style of play is very difficult to gain. You’ve got players who are fighting to get out of the league. Which means that team play is often difficult to generate. Because players want to get numbers. You have high interest, focus on player development from the parent team, which leads to weird team play. Because you have players who are supposed to play a certain amount of minutes, who are supposed to run a certain amount of pick n rolls… .for their individual development.”
“On the flip side, the G League is a fantastic place for players to develop, in the right team, a fantastic place for coaches to develop because you get out there and coach, and a fantastically organized thing. If you want to be successful in the G-League, it’s not an easy thing. It’s 28 teams. If you get teams to defend and move the ball in G-League, you’ve done a lot. But it’s not an easy thing at all. It’s super challenging and I’d be very careful to be arrogant towards it.”
Photo: EuroLeague Basketball