Greece NT for Eurobasket 2009
Posted 15 December 2008 - 11:01 AM
The other names in the media were Ettore Messina, Dusko Vujosevic and Fotis Katsikaris.
Posted 19 January 2009 - 10:01 PM
Posted 05 February 2009 - 02:58 PM
Posted 06 February 2009 - 02:55 AM
Jonas Kazlauskas is the new coach of Greece's national team.
The Lithuanian struck a deal with the Hellenic Basketball Federation on Thursday and his first major assignment will be this summer when the Greeks go for gold at EuroBasket 2009 in Poland.
Kazlauskas, one of the best known coaches in Europe, has strong ties to Greece following a spell as Olympiacos boss.
He has been without a job since leading China at last year's Olympics to a place in the Quarter-Finals where they were upended by another national side he once coached, Lithuania.
FIBA Europe President and President Emeritus of the Hellenic Basketball Federation (HBF) George Vassilakopoulos and HBF General Secretary Panagiotis Tsagkronis met with the 54-year-old Kazlauskas and confirmed his appointment.
Vassilakopoulos said: "We had a matter to solve and I believe it was solved in the best possible way by agreeing with Mr Kazlauskas about the national team.
"We move forward as always, believing that we are going to be ready to claim new success with the national team."
Kazlauskas, who nearly engineered one of the biggest upsets in Olympic history when his Lithuania team suffered a narrow Semi-Final defeat to Team USA at the Sydney Games in 2000 before settling for a bronze medal, is eager to face this new challenge.
This summer, Greece will play in Poznan in Group A against Croatia, FYROM and Israel.
"We talked with Mr Vassilakopoulos and Mr Tsagkronis and we agreed," Kazlauskas said.
"For me it's an honour and a challenge to take the reins of the Greek national team - a great team that always sets high goals.
"The Greek team has excellent players. What I would like to do now is watch as many games as possible.
"I know the players, but I want to see them again and start working!"
Kazlauskas replaces Panagiotis Yannakis, a legendary player and coach in Greece who enjoyed a terrific run in his second stint as national team boss.
Yannakis was asked to coach Greece shortly before the 2004 Olympics and his team lost in the Quarter-Finals to eventual champions Argentina.
The next year, Yannakis and Greece won EuroBasket 2005 in Belgrade while at the 2006 FIBA World Championship, Greece beat Kazlauskas' China in the first knockout game before upsetting the United States in the Semi-Finals. Spain then beat Greece in the title game.
Greece finished fourth at EuroBasket 2007 and fifth at last year's Olympics.
Yannakis' decision to replace Pini Gershon at the helm of Olympiacos in the middle of last season led many to believe he would not coach Greece again after the Olympics.
"We had left something open and I believe we put closure in the best possible way for the Greek national team," Tsagkronis said.
"Our collaboration with Mr Kazlauskas begins today, with expectations that our team will be successful."
Kazlauskas will be officially presented as the new coach on Monday in Athens.
Posted 11 February 2009 - 12:31 AM
New Greece coach Jonas Kazlauskas is a great admirer of the way the national team has played in recent years but he nevertheless plans to make some changes before they go for gold at this summer's EuroBasket in Poland.
The Greeks will compete in Poznan in Group A against Croatia, FYROM and Israel.
"There are a lot of good elements in the Greek team," the 54-year-old Kazlauskas said at his unveiling on Monday in Athens.
"As coach of the national team of China, I have faced Greece in recent years.
"The strongest point is the guards of the team and we would like to develop their dynamics.
"I have certain ideas, but it is too early to speak about these things now."
There wasn't much not to like about Greece when they were at their best under the legendary Panagiotis Yannakis, whose contract as coach of the national side expired after the Olympics.
They wore opponents down with tenacious defense, a relentless pounding of the boards and a patient, methodical approach on offense.
The Greeks also had a flair for the dramatic, including victories in two of the most famous games in recent international history.
At EuroBasket 2005, they made a stunning comeback in the final minute to upset France and then defeated Germany to capture the gold medal.
One year later and Greece travelled to Japan and shocked the United States 101-95 in the Semi-Finals of the FIBA World Championship.
Kazlauskas will try to incorporate what he liked best in the Greece teams of recent times but he will incorporate his own ideas, although the players won't know too much about the changes until they gather for the warm-ups ahead of Poland.
"I am a little bit different as a coach," Kazlauskas said.
"I want to add my own elements to the team. I believe that they work out well.
"I will try to take advantage of every good element, but I believe that at the end we'll have a different style.
"We must check all these things on the court. We cannot change everything in six weeks."
Kazlauskas did make a very interesting comment when asked what was missing from the national team.
"In China we lacked a point guard," he said.
"Maybe Greece lacks a player that will run the floor and shoot or a play that will lead to it.
"The Greek team is the best team in pick n' roll, but if someone stops it, then we have a problem.
"We have to prepare something different!"
One of the big questions about Greece is the make-up of the squad and whether or not Utah Jazz rookie Kostas Koufos or NCAA star Nick Calathes, a member of last year's Greece team at the U20 European Championship, will be involved.
"They surely are young and talented," Kazlauskas said.
"I haven't talked yet about the roster of the team with anyone so I wouldn't like to get more into it right now.
For sure we cannot leave talented players out of the team. But it's not proper to start giving out names at this time of season."
Kazlauskas spoke with pride and enthusiasm about his new role.
"It's a great honor for me to be the head coach of the Greek national team," he said.
"It's a great honor for every coach in the world to be in this place, precisely because we speak about the Greek team, which aims for the top in every competition.
"I will give all my knowledge and energy to continue its course of success."
Kazlauskas said that Yannakis had been in touch with him since the news broke of his appointment.
"He called me and he wished me all the best," Kazlauskas said.
"He supports me and I am happy for our good, friendly relationship."
FIBA Europe president and President Emeritus of the Hellenic Basketball Federation (HBF) George Vassilakopoulos offering encouraging words about Kazlauskas.
"I was chosen to present Mr Jonas Kazlauskas," he said.
"It's an easy task since Mr Kazlauskas is already well-known for his character, his ethics, his coaching ability, his personality. He has already left his mark on the world basketball."
Posted 11 February 2009 - 12:35 AM
He will surely call some new players who will fit his style of the game. Players who will mainly be pure shooting guards and small forwards and play at the wings. They must be good and FAST threepointer shooters. So players like Kostas Vassiliadis might be called.
I can't wait to see Greece playing like Lithuanian
Posted 23 February 2009 - 11:04 PM
Posted 14 May 2009 - 05:46 PM
Posted 18 May 2009 - 06:52 PM
Hope they make me a good birthday present
Posted 18 May 2009 - 07:01 PM
Hope they make me a good birthday present
That's great news because for the first time we will be hosting top teams in Europe (Spain is coming here too). It should be a nice game.
Posted 18 May 2009 - 07:26 PM
Will it be a tournament or just two single friendly games for Lithuania?
Posted 09 June 2009 - 06:29 PM
There was much debate about whether Papaloukas would travel to Poland in autumn or sit out of the tournament because of fatigue, as he has been playing for Greece National Team non-stop for many years in a row.
Teo Papaloukas made up is mind after meeting with the Greece National team coach, Jonas Kazlauskas where the Lithuanian coach assured him that he would be allowed to follow his own training schedule which will allow him to rest and get in full shape in the latter stages of the training camp.
This will be Papaloukas' 5th Eurobasket in a row as he has also played in 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007 while it will be the second tournament in a row where he will be the National Team's captain, after the Olympic Tournament last summer in Beijing.
Papaloukas will be the only veteran of the Greek National Team as the remaining 11 players will all be under the age of 30. It seems that Greece is one of the few nations who will travel to Poland with all their 'weapons' and they will be definitely one of the main favourites for a medal.
Great news for Greece NT
Posted 17 July 2009 - 08:15 PM
So Greece will be run by Spanoulis and Zisis. They will either be great or disaster, probably the latter one...
Seems that the PG spot will be the poor one in Poland. Saras Papaloukas, Diamantidis, Holden, Calderon and I'm sure more I'm fogeting about right now... all out!
Posted 17 July 2009 - 08:15 PM
Posted 18 July 2009 - 09:53 PM
It is also easier for the 'system' to undermine a foreign coach than someone like Giannakis.
Kazlauskas is pissed and he showed it.
Posted 31 July 2009 - 07:53 AM
Now that those 3 are gone, Greece will finally be able to score the basketball when they need to.