Dimitris Diamantidis – Best Defender in Euroleague

Dimitris DiamantidisPanathinaikos and Greek national team star Dimitris Diamantidis should be getting used to taking this prestigious award. 3D, as Diamantidis is called among the fans, won the 4th consecutive Best Defender award. 27-year-old guard has once again been impressive in defense.

Terence Morris of Maccabi finished second in the voting. David Hawkins of Lottomatica finished third, Boniface NDong (Unicaja) and Omer Asik (Fenerbahce) were fourth and fifth respectively.

Here's what Dimitris Diamantidis had to say to Euroleague.net

Dimitris, once again the Euroleague coaches have recognized your efforts with the Top Defender Trophy. How does it feel to be their choice for the fourth out of four times they have voted for this award?

"Sure, this is something great and makes me happy, because there are specialized people who recognize my efforts and see things that are not always so easily viewable. To win the trophy for fourth consecutive season is a big acknowledgment, but to be honest, it doesn't depend only on my abilities. I have to say that my coach, my team and every teammate help me to be like that. Unfortunately, this distinction comes only to me and not to the team, since we failed to make the Final Four in Madrid and defend our trophy, but this is something that happens in the sports world. Next year, we will try harder and we will be back."

Defense is something that doesn't get counted much in the statistics. How would you define what makes you such a good defender?

"Defense is a matter of desire, focus, dedication and of some specific technical things. OK, it doesn't get counted much in the statistics, but from day to day, people are used in monitoring the defensive efforts and estimating them. There is not any special secret that makes me a good defender. I am always trying to do my job as good as possible in both ends."

Did you watch and admire any players for their defense while growing up, or have a particular coach who helped make you a great defender?

"I would say that everything came from my instinct. As a kid, I was watching a lot of players, but I didn't copy any of them. Sure, I worked a lot to develop my defensive ability with all my coaches, but I think that it is something I was born with. I realized that I am good in this part of the game and I made everything possible to be much better."

Of course, you would rather be defending the title at the upcoming Final Four, but looking back, was this one of the toughest and most unpredictable Euroleague seasons you have seen?

"No doubt, the level is growing every season. There are a lot of great teams and new players who appear on the stage and a general evolution of the game. I would agree that it is one of the most unpredictable seasons I have played, and I am looking forward in seeing how it will end at the Final Four in Madrid."

Now that you have so many Top Defender awards, will you go for the Top Scorer trophy next?

"To be honest, I would prefer to get the Top Scorer Trophy. Coach Obradovic says that I have to be more aggressive on offense, so I will follow his orders.