Having grown up in Thessalonica (Go PAOK!), I can attest to the fact that the Greeks are absolutely crazy about basketball. So it was fun to read this article on Josh Childress, formerly of the Atlanta Falcons, and his new home in Athens. I also liked Childress’s newfound appreciation for team-oriented play:
Childress, who is averaging 14.5 points per game along with 6.0 rebounds for Olympiacos in two Euroleague games before Thursday’s contest with Cibona of Croatia, says he’s unsure of his role. He says he was floored when his coaches praised him for scoring just 14 points in a preseason friendly against Maccabi Tel Aviv.
“I can tell you they don’t want me to score 30. They don’t want me to score 25. Probably don’t want me to score 20. They want me to be well-rounded.”
“We didn’t bring Josh here to make 40, 30 or 50 points,” Olympiacos head coach Panagiotis Giannakis confirms.
In Greece, statistics mean nothing unless the team wins.
“We must win every game,” says Christos Stavropoulos, Olympiacos’ general manager. “Maybe in the States you can lose some games. Not here.”