Dimitris Itoudis Rumors
David Blatt had some success in Cleveland even though it didn’t work out that well in his second season with the Cavaliers. Were you kind of rooting for him to succeed in the NBA, being an European coach, so that doors would open for other Euro coaches in the future? Dimitris Itoudis: I actually think David Blatt did a very good job there. Everybody was surprised [he was fired] with all the respect to the owners. He actually advertised the European mentality and European coaching style. Every team, I assume, looks to combine and to marry the two continents and put it together because basketball is universal. When two different type of basketballs come together with the same purpose, the game can win after that.
What are your plans after the season? Is the NBA something that you are going to pursue? Dimitris Itoudis: Listen, like I said, I’m very happy over here. I’m a professional working on what I can control now and my only goal is to see how I can help my team to play better basketball and to win games. That’s what I concentrate on. I’ve got great agents there at BDA – Bill Duffy, Rade Filipovich, Nikos Spanos, Quique Villalobos… Everybody is working towards that direction and looking at the options after the season ends, but my first option is to help CSKA.
Detroit Pistons were collaborating with Panathinaikos for the past seven seasons through Dimitris Itoudis and now it’s the right time for the next step. Legendery Serbian coach Zeljko Obradovic and his longtime assistant, after taking a year off from coaching a team, will travel to USA in order to attend the training camp of the NBA team, seven exhibition games and the first official match of the new season. The most successful coaching duo in Europe for the last decade will spend almost a month in Detroit and Dimitris Itoudis talked to Eurohoops.net about this new experience. “I have been in three summer leagues, but for the first time I will take part in the training camp. Together with coach Obradovic we will participate in the coaching stuff of the team and it will be a great experience for us, a chance to see different things. The Americans want to have ties with Europe and want also to learn from us”, he said and elaborated on his personal relation with the NBA team: “I feel at home in Detroit. We have created a very special relationship, specially with GM Joe Dumars and we have a very fruitful collaborations”.
Next week Zeljko Obradovic will be also on board on the plane heading to the USA. It’s a first for him, since many times he has stated his indifference towards the NBA, even when he was there on the fall of 2007 in order to face San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets on the bench of Panathinaikos. Things this time are different, as Itoudis explains: “It’s the perfect timing for us. We don’t have any contractual obligations right now, we accepted the invitation of Joe Dumars and decided to travel together to Detroit, to attend the training camp and exchange ideas and views about basketball. It’s a very good chance for Zeljko and me”.