By Antonis Stroggylakis / firstname.lastname@example.org
Fenerbahce Beko is the team that has been undergoing the most impressive transformation in the current period of the EuroLeague regular season. The Turkish side is currently riding on the longest winning streak of the competition with five straight victories, after hitting a rough patch of seven losses in the eight previous games.
For Fener swingman Dyshawn Pierre, a key reason behind his team’s recovery from that horrid stretch was preserving a strong positive mentality even when the team looked like it had hit “rock bottom” (as he described the blowout loss to Zalgiris).
“During that period we really tried to fight and bring a positive attitude to practice every single day,” Pierre said for Eurohoops’ Live Show. “Eventually, things started to click and this is where we are right now. We have a lot of things that we still have to do to keep going.”
Pierre also underlined how his squad stayed united under coach Igor Kokoskov who often took the sole responsibility for the defeats and absorbed some of the pressure for his players.
“When you are losing, it’s very easy to be doubtful of yourself and really look around and people can really point fingers,” Pierre said. “But even on that period, people weren’t pointing fingers at each other. A lot of times, the coach [Igor Kokoskov] was taking the loss on himself when he could’ve easily been pointing it on everyone else.”
Pierre has been putting up some solid numbers (8.0 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists in 21:19) in his debut EuroLeague season. Yet it’s mostly the things that don’t appear his paper, namely his effort on both ends of the court and overall hustle that have already won the hearts of Fenerbahce fans in his first months with the club already.
“I think we have one of the best fanbases… anywhere,” Pierre said. “The fans have been very supportive, on Instagram… Twitter, you see blue and yellow hearts everywhere. It’s cool you know. For me coming in, I haven’t had a fanbase like this. Obviously I played in places with good fans but I still hadn’t understood how this fanbase can be.”
In a conversation with Bugra Uzar, Mehmet Bahadir Akgun and Antonis Stroggylakis, Pierre also discussed the process of joining Fenerbahce, the trust that Kokoskov and club general manager Maurizio Gherardini showed to him by bringing him on board, his adjustment to EuroLeague basketball, Marko Guduric‘s impact, what his former Canadian national team teammate Anthony Bennett (a EuroLeague champion with Fenerbahce 2017) told him about the team and a lot more.