Bartzokas on coaching his players: “I do not want them to think they are pawns”

2024-05-15T11:13:37+00:00 2024-05-15T23:19:33+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

15/May/24 11:13

Olympiacos head coach Giorgos Bartzokas talks to Eurohoops about his side advancing to the Final Four of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague

By George Adamopoulos/

Wins are wins and championships are championships. History is written by the victors remains relevant in sports, behind the pressure for results.

Those looking for wins do not necessarily need excuses. Expressive or perhaps dogmatic for some, Giorgos Bartzokas insists on his own approach and coaching philosophy but is also receptive to new conditions for Olympiacos this season.

Pausing preparations for the Final Four, the Greek tactician sat down with Eurohoops to walk through the 2023-24 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague campaign and the demanding nature of single-elimination contests in the Final Four.

“I had to learn how the new players think and react to the pressure,” Coach B talked about roster adjustments, “We wanted to be a team that faces each game collectively.”

The head coach of the reigning league and cup champions in Greece has been around for numerous win-or-go-home situations in the season-ending tournament of the EuroLeague. “Ultimately, it is a matter of instinct and personality,” he discussed the required approach to the games in Berlin’s Uber Arena stressing luck as a key factor as well.

“I do not want to overcoach my players or make them think they are pawns, that it is all about me and my thoughts,” Bartzokas further illustrated his coaching philosophy, “It is a game that is played by people. They need to be ready for the game.”

Last season, a game-winning shot by Sergio Llull separated Real Madrid from the Reds and captured the EuroLeague title in Kaunas. “I do not think it will affect us,” stressed Bartzokas, heading to a rematch in the Semifinals of the 2024 Final Four.

The Final Four Semifinals, including Olympiacos facing Los Blancos, are scheduled to be played on May 24. The championship and third-place games follow on May 26.

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