NEWS: Zalgiris has fired Coach Ramunas Butautas only a day before their trip to Malaga to take on Unicaja. The team will be run in the interim by joint assistants Darius Maskoilunas and Gvidonas Markevicius. If anyone has an explanation, we’d love to hear it.
IMPACT: I imagine it went a little something like this: “Hey Coach, good to see you. Thanks for coming. We just wanted to thank you for getting us into the Top 16. Considering we were 1-7 before that, it was pretty much an unthinkable freaking miracle, so good work with that. 12-2 in the Baltic League ain’t half bad either, and while you’re here, kudos on the undefeated record in the Lithuanian League. Good stuff. That’s all, you can go now. Oh wait, one more thing: you’re fired. Later, pal!”
I don’t understand this at all. Yes, they’re 0-2 in the Top 16, but this time last year the Euroleague was a distant memory. Not to mention, these guys are playing without the league’s best rebounder in Travis Watson and they’re relying largely on young and inexperienced players like Mirza Begic, Martynas Pocius, Mantas Kalnietis, and now newcomers Aleksander Capin and Mario Delas. And what about all this double coach business? Considering the team’s players speak a handful of languages to begin with, one voice in the huddle is already hard enough to follow. I’m sure they’ll figure something out. On second thought, maybe not. For this week at least, Unicaja is dealing with some problems of their own and are 2-5 after starting the season with 5 victories. This game might take the shape of a YMCA run n’ gun pick up special. I’ll be watching closely.