Dominique Wilkins, a living NBA legend still remembers his short stint in Europe when he was in Panathinaikos and Bozidar Maljkovic was on the bench, as he said on an interview at Greek television station COSMOTE TV. It was 1995 and the training method of Maljkovic is still fresh in his memory. “When I came, we had gone to some French mountains. He wanted us to run almost 5 kilometers and more on the way back. The next day, in the middle of the course, I turned to him and said, “Coach, I didn’t come here to be a runner but to play basketball. It didn’t go too well, but we were trying really hard in training. All of us. So he knew our skill level in every match.”
LeBron James and Zeljko Obradovic’s duo could only spark the European basketball fans’ imagination. Panathinaikos Athens forward Derrick Williams had the privilege to work with both on both sides of the Atlantic. Before getting coached by a nine-time EuroLeague champion Obradovic in Fenerbahce (2019-2020), he represented the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second part of the 2016-17 season when LeBron led the group to the NBA finals. “We would get a bunch of the IQ. A lot of IQ about the game. They would make the game so much easier for everybody else. That’s the main thing I’ve got from both guys,” Williams tried to imagine Zeljko’s and LeBron’s duo in the NBA. “Obradovic is so detailed about the game. Offense, and defense, we were always constantly studying the game and film. The film does a lot. Regardless it’s good or bad, I think you can always learn from the film,” Williams said in an interview with BasketNews.
Regarding LeBron, Williams shared a story that speaks a lot about his ability to read the game. “It’s been times when I’ve been on the court with him, and the other team is calling plays. And he saw his guard was in the wrong position. He knows exactly where he is supposed to be. And he says, ‘Hey man, you’re supposed to be on the other side. You’re not on the right play right now’,” Williams laughed. “The level of IQ that he has, knowing other teams’ plays, while they are calling plays, it’s just been a step or two ahead like in chess,” he continued. “That’s the main thing I’ve learned from these two guys. It’s always been able to be a step ahead.”
Bucks interested in George Papagiannis
Former lottery pick George Papagiannis is on the Bucks shortlist, per Eurohoops sources. Milwaukee is checking the Greek center and if they decide to sign him, his buyout from Panathinaikos is not an issue for them. “Big Papa” is also a member of the national team of Greece, where he is expected to play with Giannis Antetokounmpo in the upcoming Eurobasket.
Yogi Ferrell to Greece
Panathinaikos Athens announced the addition of former NBA guard Yogi Ferrell for the rest of the 2021-22 season. He will make his overseas debut and play in Europe and EuroLeague for the first time in his career. Ferrell, 28, had begun examining the prospect of playing in Europe earlier in offseason, in case he didn’t find a satisfactory deal with an NBA club. Now, he arrives at six-time EuroLeague champion Panathinaikos to provide a much-needed boost in the point guard position by covering a noticeable gap on the backcourt lineup of the Greek powerhouse.
Daryl Macon Jr. sat down with Eurohoops during the Media Day hosted by Panathinaikos OPAP at the outset of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season, his first in the premier European club continental competition. Macon, 25, discussed his goal of making it back to the NBA and also shared many of his experiences playing overseas. “Yes. For sure. It takes time. It’s not something that happens overnight,” he mentioned regarding displaying his talents in the NBA, “For the most part, I try not to think about it. It’s most definitely going to happen.”
Greece an option for Patrick Patterson?
George Zakkas: SDNA source: Panathinaikos BC are considering Patrick Patterson as an option for the PF position. #paobc @SdnaGr sdna.gr/mpasket/867144…