Greek coaches have become a trend in Israeli basketball in recent years. The chain effect following the success of Yannis Sapropoulos at Maccabi Tel Aviv brought Stefanos Dadas to Hapoel Holon and Yannis Castritis to Hapoel Tel Aviv, and although only one of them will open the upcoming season in Israel, the “degeneration” trend is well felt in the high levels of European basketball.
In the upcoming Euroleague season, four Greeks will be on the lines – more than any other country. Yannis Sapropoulos at Maccabi Tel Aviv, Dimitris Itudis at CSKA Moscow, Dimitris Priptis at Panathinaikos and Yorgos Bratzokas at Olympiacos will hope to achieve and maintain their reputation.
“In the last 7.8 years the Greek coaches have established themselves in the consciousness of European basketball. We have raised the level, and we have become a consensus,” Sapropolos said in an interview with the Greek media that conducted an extensive article on the subject. “It was not easy to gain the trust of teams from foreign countries, but we took on the challenge and caused the fears of the team managers to dissipate. We just coped.“
Sapropolus lists two main reasons for this. “The Greek league has helped us to develop. It is a league that is worked on in a not easy atmosphere, with a lot of pressure, and in some cases it helps you a lot to be successful abroad as well. At the same time, some of us have worked with some senior foreign coaches on the continent. We learned from them, we took things from them, we got a lot of knowledge from them, and we used it. ”
Sapropoulos also referred to the intermediate stage in which Panathinaikos and Olympiacos are located, two of the top teams on the continent that in recent years have reached poor achievements in the Euroleague. “I think both clubs are on a renewal trend. The level of budgets also has an effect, because the goals are less high in the first place. But I believe it will be over in a few years,” he said.