Calvin Watkins: Not only was Kostas Papanikolaou’s option picked up by the Rockets, he’ll play for Greece National Team this summer.
Emiliano Carchia: Igor Kokoskov is the front runner for Panathinaikos head coaching job for next season, according to sources
Aris Barkas: What was the thing that surprised you the most in Europe? Xavier Silas: “The first thing and the biggest thing was that I believed that basketball is the same all over the world.But now I see that European basketball is totally different. I don’t think that one style is better than the other, but they are different. And the other thing were the great players that are here and people in the States have never heard of, because they have the NBA. To see how good they really are and to watch them it was a revelation. It’s not that easy for Americans to beat the Europeans right now”.
Aris Barkas: Your end goal probably remains the NBA, but all this means you are more open than ever to Europe? Xavier Silas: “Growing up it was always only the NBA, because I am from the States and that was all I knew, but being here and understanding Euroleague and all the great players from Europe my views changes. I spend a lot of time here watching a lot of film. I am talking about Theo Papaloukas, Spanoulis, Diamantidis, Juan Carlos Navarro and Sergio Rodriguez. Now my end goal is to be one of the best players in the world. I can do that in the NBA and I can do that in Europe also. If you had asked me this four years ago, I would say to you that my end goal is the NBA. Period. Now I understand that there are great players everywhere”.
Aris Barkas: What will be the ideal situation for you? Xavier Silas: “I just want to play for a great coach in a great team, either in the NBA, or in Europe. Somewhere where I can win! Winning is the most important thing and it helps everybody. I just want to be part of something great”.
According to the book, Drazen had decided to return to Europe and his first choice was Panathinaikos, even if he had many more offers. He wanted to stay for one or two seasons in Greece and then return to the NBA in order to sign with the Celtics. It’s been said that he had a soft spot for teams which had the shamrock as their emblem, like Panathinaikos, Notre Dame and the Celtics.