Two-time EuroLeague champion Ergin Ataman addressed inquiries about his successor at Efes, Erden Can, who, during a dispute with his teammate Erten Gazi, asserted, “I am not Ataman.”

Additionally, in a gesture of respect, Can kissed the hand of Zeljko Obradovic during a preseason tournament named “Pavlos Giannakopoulos” when Efes competed against Partizan.

“Erdem Can is a new coach. He can become very successful. But it would be better if he was a little more careful with his words. I understand that what he said was on the spur of the moment. Sometimes we are “caught” saying something.

“This happened to him too. Then he called me to tell me there was a misunderstanding. I told him to look after his work, but to know that he is in one of the biggest clubs in Europe,” Ataman said about the incident with Gazi.

He also added: “What bothered me the most was when he kissed Zelimir Obradovic‘s hand. As a person who has passed through Anadolu Efes, I was surprised. Of course, there is absolute respect.

“I have the same respect for Aydin Ers (ex: former coach of Efes Pilsen and Fenerbahce), but I wouldn’t kiss his hand in front of people. I would hug him of course. Erdem Can is a respected coach, but I can say that this bothered me, because above all there should be a competitive spirit.”