By George Efkarpides/ firstname.lastname@example.org
A bit more than a month after being waived by the Sacramento Kings, George Papagiannis inked a 10-day contract with the Portland Trail Blazers. The work outing he put satisfied his new team enough to sign the Greek center to a new deal that goes through 2018-2019.
Following the victory of the Blazers over the L.A. Clippers in Staples Center, Sunday (18/3), Eurohoops caught up with the Papagiannis for a small Q&A regarding his deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, the offers he had from Europe while he was a free agent and the possibility of joining the Greek national team for the World Cup Qualifiers held on summer.
– How do you feel that the Portland Trail Blazers trusted you with a contract not only for this season but for 2018-2019 as well?
– “I’m really-really happy being with this team. This is the best thing that has happened to me these last two years. Every person here has been exceptional. From the coach to the GM and the management, the staff. All the players are terrific characters. I’m just happy being here.”
– What do you think is the biggest difference you feel between the Blazers and the Kings?
– “I can’t answer this right now. There are differences. But right now, I’m really happy with this team and I’m going to give my best for the Blazers.”
– Did you think of returning to Europe when you were cut by the Kings?
– “I had an offer to return to Panathinaikos. I want to thank club owner Dimitris Giannakopoulos for giving that offer, believing in me and trusting me to potentially get back. But I chose to stay in the USA and examine my options. After I was waived by the Kings. I immediately moved to L.A. and started training there. Going to the gym, even doing some boxing in order to preserve my physical condition.”
– Do you think about playing with the Greek national team in the World Cup Qualifiers in June?
– “Of course. It’s the biggest honor for every player to play for his country. I will talk with the coaches as well since this is a new team. I’ll see how to make in order to be there.”