While on the NBA matter, the 55-year-old Efes coach also addressed the rumor mill surrounding EuroLeague MVP Vasilije Micic as well as the upcoming departure of Sertac Sanli to Barcelona. “There are a lot of candidates for the NBA, especially Vasilije Micic, but we are doing everything we can to keep them. While we were worried about Micic, Sertac Sanli’s transfer to Barcelona came out. He’s talking very seriously right now. Although, during our last visit, President Ergodan also warned him. He said, ‘what would you do there? Why would you leave the champions for the runner-ups?”. I’m saying the same thing.”
Ataman was asked about whether or not he would ever join Fenerbahce and admitted that he has received offers from other European clubs, though he wants to stay committed with Efes and try his luck in the NBA in the future. “I’m very happy at Anadolu Efes. Not Fenerbahce, but I got many offers from Europe this year. My goal is to continue to win championships with my team. I hope maybe someday in the future, something that has never happened before, the NBA, You know, this is the top of the show business. A European coach has never been hired in the history of NBA basketball. This is my next goal, not Fenerbahce”, says Ataman.
And we aren’t even talking about the demands of the local broadcasters these teams rely on or the complication of the Tokyo Olympics scheduled to begin July 23. From the team executives I talk to, the Tokyo factor was an underrated schedule pressure.
How newsworthy is it in 2021 if a current professional athlete comes out during his or her career? Kate Scott: I think it depends on the league now. We’ve seen the WNBA and NWSL continue to lead the way when it comes to the inclusion and celebration and thus, normalization of their LGBTQ+ athletes. Meanwhile, it’s been 40 years since MLB had an openly gay active player. I just finished reading “Singled Out,” the Andrew Maraniss-written book on former Dodgers and A’s outfielder Glenn Burke, and that absolutely blew my mind. Forty years! Then I realized the NFL and most of the other professional men’s leagues in the U.S. have never had an openly gay active athlete, so hey, 40 years ain’t so bad! What I’m trying to get at is it would be a massive deal if an active NFL, MLB, NBA or NHL player were to come out and I truly hope someone or a group of players band together soon to do just that.
Sources said the league disagrees that the schedule or short offseason has increased injuries or wear and tear on players or that it has limited the amount of time for rest and recovery. Citing internal data, the league says injuries rate similarly to last season. Officials note that in a normal calendar year, teams play 82 games and return after 14 weeks off. Over this two-year period, the average team played 20 fewer games than it would’ve played in such a stretch and had an additional two months off. Of course, those numbers don’t take into account the complicating factors wrought by the pandemic, such as early testing times or other elements tied to COVID-19 protocols.
Sources said the league is expected to engage general managers and other team staffers on all manner of competitive issues, including the schedule, in a more formal manner in the near future, which will help inform how next season’s schedule is impacted.
“I was looking at my career like, ‘Maybe I should do something different.’ It was (2005),” Coach K told Colin Cowherd on Thursday. “USA Basketball was offered to me five years later and I not only scratched that itch, I scratched enough where I would never have that itch. I love the pro game, I loved coaching the pro players. I think if today I was 57 and had won a few National Championships, I think there’d be a better chance I would be a pro coach in today’s college game than at that time.”