Olympiacos official presentation for the 2010-2011 season
Olympiacos BC officially presented the team for the 2010-11 season at the “Melina Merkoure” Room in the Peace and Friendship Stadium.
Representatives of our sponsors, reporters and volunteers of our team were present at the event, which was addressed by Panagiotis and Giorgos Angelopoulos and Dusan Ivkovic.
Next, our players were at the disposal of the Media for the annual Media Day organized by the Club.
On the new season: “I would like to wish a good and successful season to all, with lots of fans attending our games. The team was built according to the wishes of Mr. Ivkovic. Our goal is to win the championship, the way it’s been held, win the Greek Cup and qualify for the Euroleague Final Four. We have a new team and a new coach, who is the living history of basketball coaching. We believe that Mr. Ivkovic is the best man to lead Olympiacos to the top. I remember 1997, when we were touring Rome with Mr. Ivkovic and the European Championship. All these things have made us get involved with the team we love and adore, despite difficulties and the war against Olympiacos, in order to lead the team to the top. We have made a top class signing, that of Vassilis Spanoulis, who decided to leave Panathinaikos and join Olympiacos to win titles. This is not without significance, it shows the player’s character, and while there have been more good signings. Our goal is to win the championship, despite adversities.”
On the Referee Selection Committee: «It’s the first time that a team has made specific proposals on refereeing. We haven’t got an answer. As Mr. Symeonides has said, if it weren’t for Olympiacos and Panathinaikos, we would be seeing Americans only on friendly games. It’s not acceptable when one of these two teams makes serious proposals, which are acknowledged to State Secretaries, not to be taken seriously. I watched on video how the meetings of the said Committee take place and was appalled. Imagine what is being said with no cameras on. Mr. Symeonides should try to make decent draws and stop talking about improbable situations”.
On the Panathinaikos owners: «We expect from Messrs. Giannakopoulos to go and protect Olympiacos’ delegation at OAKA. We want to see that”.
On the new season: «I would like to wish a successful season, better for all us than that of last year. Olympiacos has had a good team last year as well. Half of the world’s and Europe’s selection had been on the team. This had not been enough to materialize our goals. This season, with the changes that have been made, our goal is the top, not just qualify for the Final Four, but rather repeat the success of 1997. We hope that we experience such moments this season, too”.
On the transfer policy: «When we are talking about the signings of Nesterovic from the NBA, Keselj, Nielsen and so on, we can see that there has been an adjustment and reasoning according to the standards we live in right now, which is going to extend at all levels”.
On the Referee Selection Committee: «Despite the statements made, nothing has changed in the summer for the Committee. We have been expecting for them, but nothing happened, no change. We could not have made our statements when the National team was playing for the Mundobasket. They would say that we had been transferring our problems to the National team. We have an excellent relationship with Mr. Vassilakopoulos on a personal level, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t had our disagreements, which are by the way huge”.
On the punishment: «We believe that the decision is wrong, but we absolutely respect it. Some people without tickets created problems before the beginning of the game and they busted into the gym. That’s where the Police responsibility lies and not ours. We will do whatever possible not to have incidents like that again. We had made a human shield, endangering our personal safety. No one was hurt. The gym was evacuated for the first time. I doubt there is going to be another evacuation ever if a similar situation is to be faced in the Panathinaikos home court. The newspaper “Prasini” was writing about “scum bugs who reign” and it the newspaper of Mr. Giannakopoulos. I haven’t heard any one responding to that. It just went unnoticed. A newspaper owned by the Panathinaikos owners said that we are lowlife”.
On the new season: «The team started preparation on August 16, without the players that had been playing in the Mundobasket. We have had five players playing for the tournament and three of them joined the team on September 14. The last joining the team had been Keselj, Teodosic and I on September 20”.
We have made good practices for one week and then we played a series of friendly games in Turkey. The games have not been of Euroleague level, but I’m expecting to enter the final phase before the Euroleague’s beginning in the next couple of weeks. I believe that the team is going to be ready. We are having some problems. Bourousis is on medical relieve, he’s eager to play, the bone in his hand is bound by 80%. It will take a little patience and time”.
On 1997 and the team’s potential: “Tradition is of no importance. What happened in 1997 is in the past. I have faith in the players. The goals are very high. Last season, there had been super star players, like Childress and Kleiza. However, this season, my team is very experienced, with players of the likes of Nesterovic and Nielsen, but also with some of Europe’s greatest talent behind them, like Keselj and Papanikolaou. I’m sure the team is going to be playing modern and nice basketball”.