The first “eternal derby” is just around the corner and bwin, Official National Partner of Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, “interrogates” Nick Calathes.
Thursday, December 5th. It’s almost noon at Olympic Stadium of Athens and Panathinaikos is about to start the last… rehearsal before the “performance” against Olympiakos for Euroleague’s 12th round. After eight years –in two spells– in the green shirt, Calathes is the most appropriate player to talk about the “eternal” derby. The Panathinaikos’ leader “reveals” himself on bwin camera and sheds light on all aspects of the big game, on a leading role of course!
A full house at Olympic Stadium can reverse the morale of the team and the same happens with a victory over Olympiakos, which under certain circumstances may change the whole season, “as happened two years ago”, Nick recalls. Of course, this year is special since both clubs were used to meet each other at least 5-6 times per season, but this time more than two encounters look improbably. Their mutual fixtures are always special and Calathes recalls both the good times and the one which hurt him, such as the fifth final of Greek league in 2012.
Back then, the international guard was under the guidance of Zeljko Obradovic and at the current season there’s another legend of world basketball on the helm. Calathes’ cooperation with Rick Pitino was constructive last season. Then Argyris Pedoulakis took over and his tactics, systems and philosophy are still embedded in Panathinaikos’ DNA until now. Of course, coach Pitino has put his mark again at the new philosophy of the team and Nick can’t wait until summer, when the manager and the player will cooperate again at the National Team, ahead of the Pre-Olympic tournament in Canada.