By: Sam Meyerkopf / @HoopLikeDrazen
We are LIVE IN BERLIN! Here are quotes from the Fenerbahce Ulker and Laboral Kutxa Vitoria media session. To checkout player and coach quotes from the earlier media session of: CSKA Moscow and Lokomotiv Kuban.
What can you bring from your Olympiacos experiences?
Antic: “The team spirit. That is the only thing you know to stick together and to work together throughout the whole game and tournament. It’s not a time to be a superstar or whatever. Just team spirit and we have to play hard and play a team game.”
What’s the team spirit of this team?
“The friendship that we have. The love that we have between us. And we have Zeljko.”
What’s its like playing for Coach Obradovic?
“It’s a great thing. You’re learning something everyday. I was thinking that I always play against him but never for him. So this was a big thing to be asked to play for him, to come here. And the first talk we have was let’s reach the Final Four. That’s why I came back from the NBA. That’s the first thing he said but we came here and that’s not enough, so we have to play.”
What makes Coach so special?
“You should watch some video man. You watch some videos from the game and you will see what’s special. But friendship, the friendship he has for the players. He is on the court always trying to help us and he is different off the court. But great friend for us.”
What’s the key to stop Vitoria?
“Basically coached said in an interview today, they have three point guards. Bourousis at center and the two point guards and Adams and the other guy (James). So that’s their main guys but there are also role guys who do the dirty job and we have to fight the whole game versus everybody.”
How has coach gotten you guys ready for the Final Four?
Datome: “Practicing and meetings. We arrived here because of work, concentration, motivation, and we are trying to do the same tomorrow.”
What’s the key to the team’s success?
“Great people who sacrificed themselves and worked hard. Winning ahead of everything. No matter who scores more or plays more, the focus is on the win. And we have a lot of good players who share the spotlight. Everyone is ready to contribute.”
Does that idea of sacrifice come from coach?
“Yes of course, he wants to win. He’s here to help us to win. He doesn’t care who plays more, shoots more, scores more. He just focused on winning. He uses us to win the game. You have to adapt to his philosophy for sure, he is the boss.”
When was the first time you Dunked?
James: “18 actually. When I was 17 I was always trying to dunk and I was mad because all my friends can dunk and I couldn’t. So I kept trying and trying. So eventually when I did my high school coach was like now you have to dunk all the time.”
So is that how you got the motivation to always put one on someone?
“Yup, my high school coach. Now he told me you have to dunk everything. Dunk when you can. And I have fun doing it.”
What were the big differences between last year’s failures and being such a great team this season?
“Just another year under our belts. I mean me and Darius came in half way. And really had never played Euroleague. I hadn’t even played in a European competition. So just the experience and us having experience together. We brought back seven or eight players and that helped a lot.”
How do you and Darius Adams feed off each other?
“It just works. We know how to put each other in positions to score better. I know that he likes to shoot 3’s. So if I give him the ball in open space he’s probably going to shoot it and he’s probably going to make it. So it’s just knowing each other’s tendencies, where each other like to score, and where each other like the ball.”
What did you guys focus on this week?
“It’s hard to focus on Fenerbahce because they have like 10 players who are amazing. So it’s hard to focus on just one thing so we just focused on being us. We don’t want to come here and re-invent something or do anything different.”