It is one of the few cases that a media day placement is of such great value. SPORT24 and Show Must Go On did the obvious thing, they asked Barzokas what the Olympiacos world and the basketball public are wondering and the 57-year-old coach answered in his own unique way, a special monologue of almost six minutes.
He admitted that in the summer Olympiacos offered exorbitant sums for players who were ultimately not acquired. He explained that in some cases he himself puts a stop to the Angelopoulos when they press him for an addition. He made it clear that he is not “selling” any of the players who made his team a champion and supported McKissick as never before.
He informed that Olympiacos is looking at the market and if it finds what it is looking for it will be strengthened, closing the window in guard, but leaving open the front line. Barzokas’ six-minute monologue was delightful and shed light on many shadows.
The plan had been drawn up since the beginning of the week with Pantelis Diamantopoulos and Pantelis Vlachopoulos. Given that the discussion about his stranger Olympiakou had caught fire and in many cases we found ourselves in a situation to speak even on behalf of others, we decide to… apply the obvious. Let’s ask Giorgos Bartzokas.
The start of Wednesday’s “Show Must Go On” was exactly the same as Olympiacos’ media day – which is open to all media every week – so the show began with a Live link from the Peace and Friendship Stadium. And when the questions about the match with Baskonia were finished, the SPORT24 took the baton and “shot” him with questions.
- What exactly is going on?
- Does Olympiacos want a player?
- Does Bartzokas want it and the Angelopoulos don’t take it?
- Do the Angelopoulos want it and Bartzokas doesn’t get it?
- Neither the Angelopoulos nor Bartzokas want it?
- Or do Bartzokas and Angelopoulos want a player?
Many questions, but essentially one. And it had more to do with the anxiety of the people for his team, perhaps also for the concern that exists for the roster of the red and whites. Therefore, through SPORT24 and SMGO, everyone interested had the opportunity to watch the process live and get the answer in the most direct way.
And Giorgos Bartzokas, with a six-minute presentation, solved many questions. In his own way.
He knows why people are worried
First of all, he showed that he knows and understands the concern of the world, he does not live in a world of his own that does not hear or see anything. Although he is not active on social media, he has knowledge about everything. At least not directly. At the same time, he has an opinion on the discussions taking place about the need for aid.
“I don’t have social media and it doesn’t affect me that much. Of course they convey to me what is being said and what people think”he explained and even during his statements he went into the mini process of dialogue and clarifications for the addition of players in the perimeter and front line and his answer was multifaceted.
What does he think about the district?
“You journalists write that Olympiacos needs two players. Let me give you an example. In our district, McKissick will return in the next few days. Compared to last year’s team, we already have +1 player in the district with Brazdeikis.
If McKissick also plays, then (if there is a new addition) we will be +2 players compared to last year. How am I going to make use of all these players? How will this thing be done“?
In other words, at this stage Bartzokas does not look at the guard. Until a few days ago he might have been looking, now the countdown has started for McKissick’s return and he thinks that with his own presence the problem will be solved. But it is not only McKissick’s abilities that lead him to the decision to support him.
The rule for players who have helped
The 57-year-old coach’s next statement was perhaps more significant: “I have the following rule and it doesn’t change. The players who have helped the team win every domestic title there is, I trust and support them.
It doesn’t mean that just because McKissick is out for a month or a month and a half I’m going to trade him, I’m never going to do that. He has been important for Olympiacos in recent years and I will not sell him.
It’s over and done with, that’s right. If the team needs to be helped with a player while someone is out or to help in the rotation, the presidents have given me 100% free rein to do that.”.
What does this show? And Bartzokas’ philosophy and outlook on life. His ideals. “I don’t sell my players”. He doesn’t sell out his people.
McKissick is not just a number, a contract for Barzokas. Perhaps for everyone else the American is no longer able to help Olympiakos.
But his coach tells him he is not “selling” him, even if Shaquiel himself did not come back as ready as he should have been in the summer.
The answer for the Angelopoulos and no to exorbitant amounts
At the same time, he started the process of putting things in their place regarding the Angelopoulos. Even putting himself in a difficult position.
The easy and simple thing would be to say that the presidents of Olympiakos want to make an addition and put a full stop. What he said and the way he said it showed everyone that he wasn’t doing PR, but he said what he really believed.
The Angelopoulos want a player or players, in fact they are already pressuring him and he and his partners are holding them back. Looking at the long term and the overall good of Olympiakos.
“All these things that are said that money is not spent, I find it funny and unfair. We are open to the market. We had agreed with the presidents – apart from trying to make some exorbitant summer signings.
Olympiacos offered certain players – who will be told who and what – sums that were beyond our logic, which I am also against, because there are always balances within the team. For some reason those transfers didn’t happen,” he said of the summer – obviously meaning the occasions Nikola Mirotic and Mike James.
The Clarification of Who Says No
At the same time, he spoke about the present: “We agreed that when the team comes in and plays, the image that will be given to us, if the team hurts somewhere, we can do it.
To get a player where the team will have a gap. Fortunately the team has created expectations and requirements. This means that we have to bring in a better player than those who exist or a player who will give us a boost with his quality.
The presidents have never spoiled me while I’m at Olympiakos for a player renewal, addition or transfer, telling me they can’t do it. What has happened is the opposite. I tell them no”.
This, therefore, also with regard to the Angelopoulos from Bartzokas, essentially assuming all the responsibility. Most – if not all – would send the ball to the stand and let everyone figure out what they want. The coach of the Red and Whites left no room for doubt.
The “let’s get a player” and reality
And he explained how the situation is now:
“Unfortunately at the moment, with the back-to-back injuries, we don’t have a full picture of what the team can give because they never played a full games.
And all this is a chain, because if someone hits and someone plays more time, he gets injured afterwards, because he is overloaded.
Plus the fact that we had seven players in Mundobasketball, which means those players are tired, physically and mentally. So, circumstances have forced us to look at the market.
This “let’s get a player” is very relevant because it has to do with the level of the team. In order for a player to play immediately and make the team better, he must be of a very high class.
In essence we are in the market because of the many injuries and accidents that we have this year. We are in the market to add something. But we will only do it with a player that we believe can help us”.
This is what the market is looking for
But what exactly is Olympiacos looking for in the market? Given the placement for McKissick and the regionals, it seems that at this stage the red and whites are looking high. Either for 4, or for 4-3, or for 4-5. He didn’t say it exactly, but the “translation” makes it…
Because it closed the peripheral window, but left it open for the front line: “All those who say ‘go get a player’, tell us which player to get. Who is the one who will come to Olympiakos and make it better?
So since I have a position of responsibility and I have to be okay with the players of our team, especially with the presidents and the people of Olympiakos, I will say that at least we have proven that we have a good criterion in how we staff the team.
The fact that we have so many injuries and misfortunes has affected us, but let’s look at the whole team together to fully assess them. We are close to doing that.
In any case, since we are in the market, we are likely to make a move once we believe that the one coming will really help us“.
The pit for the megaton bombs from the NBA
And of course he photographed that he wants and prefers a player with European experience, because he questioned the direct additions from the NBA:
“I would like you all to analyze yourselves, all these transfers, megaton bombs as they are reported to have happened in the summer… what they have to offer their teams.
All the NBAers that came with big scrolls, what effect do they have on their game? Those teams that are now in the market, right now there are 5-6 teams in the market, look at which player they get or don’t get, what player they can’t get.” were his exact words.