Barcelona and coach Georgios Bartzokas part ways

Georgios Bartzokas has been released by Barcelona, a year into his original two-year, plus one contract, after the Catalan club were eliminated in the first round of the Liga Endesa Playoffs by Valencia.

Bartzokas was seen as the perfect replacement to Xavi Pascual at Barcelona. The Greek tactician joined in July of last year having guided Lokomotiv Kuban to the EuroLeague Final Four the previous season and before that helped Olympiacos to the 2013 EuroLeague title in London.

However, Bartzokas’ reign began when he learned that Petteri Koponen suffered a terrifying car accident that kept him out for several months and the injury list continued to pile up, leaving the 51-year-old unable to maintain constant team cohesion throughout the season.

Barcelona finished a lowly 11th in the EuroLeague and failed to win any domestic silverware this season, culminating in a first round exit to Valencia in the Liga Endesa Playoffs.

Some will say that Bartzokas deserved a second chance and that he was helpless coaching a team that was too injury prone this season. But the Barcelona board feel that the club needs to go in a new direction.

Zalgiris coach Sarunas Jasikevicius and Baskonia playcaller Sito Alonso are the two leading candidates rumoured to replace Bartzokas.