Fenerbahce head coach, Zeljko Obradovic, referred to his relationship with the late Pavlos Giannakopoulos.
Here is what the Serbian coach said during the press conference for the 1st “Pavlos Giannakopoulos Tournament”:
On his relationship with the “Greens” legendary owner: “I would like to thank Panathinaikos for the invitation. It’s something special to me. I spend 13 years together with Pavlos Giannakopoulos and his family. He did many things for the European basketball and not only for Panathinaikos.
He taught me a lot of things, he spoke to me about life, its value and things that I talked about only with persons really close to me. I can’t express my exact feelings, but I am very happy to be here. It’s easy to understand how they changed basketball. I will repeat that it’s a privilege for me to have the honour to speak with Pavlos for things like life.”
For his part, Panathinaikos owner, Dimitris Giannakopoulos, said:
On his father and the creation of the “Pavlos Giannakopoulos Tournament”: “The creation of this tournament is the least we can do for a person who gave so many. I would like to thank the EuroLeague that included the tournament in its official pre-season calendar and also want to thank Fenerbahce, Khimki and Maccabi Tel Aviv for accepting our invitation. I am glad, because this is a tournament among friends.
All the revenues will go to the “Pavlos Giannakopoulos Foundation”. Its cause is to bring the children to the sports. We are in talks with the Greek authorities in order to create new venues and improve the existing ones.”
On the “Greens” relationship with the EuroLeague: “A quarrel is never one-sided. We both made mistakes. We crossed the line in some cases. We sat together and discussed. All that belongs to the past for the good of the sport.”