By Bugra Uzar/ [email protected]
EuroLeague Coach of the Year Ergin Ataman was mentioned as a candidate for NBA assistant positions earlier this summer. However, as he explained to the Turkish digital channel “VOLE”, the scenario where he would go to the NBA as an assistant does not excite him, and it is also more than impossible to expect what him, or any European coach coming directly from Europe. , will have the chance to be head coach.
As Ataman explained: “My goal of going to the NBA has diminishing chances because I see the NBA is a different world… Their view of basketball coaches in Europe is very different. No European coach has ever passed from Europe to the NBA as a head coach. There is no NBA history, zero. There are Europeans who are head coaches, like Kokoskov, but he went there a while ago 20, settled down, worked as an assistant for years, then coached.There’s Maccabi’s David Blatt, but Blatt is an American after all.
Ataman confirmed he’s had a few talks with NBA teams, but nothing solid has emerged, or at least an offer that would see him quit back-to-back EuroLeague champions Anadolu Efes, who is currently targeting a hat-trick. history: “I had contact with a few teams this year. What they always say is, “You have to come here first and train for a while. Okay, I appreciate that, but they always say, “The NBA is a player-based league.” It’s important in the NBA. “There is a player-centric system. Coaches are very dominant in Europe. We don’t think you can manage a team here. They don’t say it exactly like that, but it feels when they speak.
Ataman is currently working with three NBA players, Cedi Osman, Furkan Korkmaz and Alperen Sengun, as a Turkish national team coach. And while it’s tempting to become the first European coach to go straight to a head coaching job in the NBA, it’s something that just seems impossible at this point: “It’s great to be the first to do something. I always say I won’t hesitate if an offer comes from an NBA team, but I see they have no such intention. They just say, ‘You’re going to be an assistant coach here for a few years’. Messina did just that. He went to Popovich and was an assistant coach for four or five years, but he didn’t get a head coaching offer. So frankly, I find it difficult, but if anyone wants, we can sit down and talk.