German national team coach Dirk Bauermann dished out plenty of praise for Panathinaikos guard Dimitris Diamantidis in an interview, in which he also addressed the likelihood of Dirk Nowitzki and Chris Kaman playing for Germany at the 2009 EuroBasket.
In the interview with heinnews.com, Bauermann was asked which team he would pick to win the Euroleague. And the nine-time German league champion coach answered:
Well, I think Dimitris Diamantidis has taken his game to another level on the offensive side. He was always an absolutely great defender. But now I think he is one of the best offensive players in the Euroleague as well. So, for that reason alone I would probably pick Panathinaikos. But none of those teams would surprise me
Bauermann also offered the latest on Dirk Nowitzki and Chris Kaman playing at 2009 EuroBasket, saying:
I talked to Chris two weeks ago and he said he was interested. He is back playing but he is not sure about things in the situation in Los Angeles. So that’s up for grabs. It will also depend a bit on what Dirk does.
I will be seeing (Dirk) in April in Dallas when they have a three-game home stand. I will go and try to convince him to play. I’m pretty optimistic that he will play. That’s too long a summer for him not to play. He would get bored I think if he didn’t play.
Bauermann admitted that Lucca Staiger, playing college basketball in the U.S. with Iowa State, could have a big impact on the German national team. And he also said that the Germans are thinking about finding a summer league in the U.S. to get Alba Berlin’s bench-riding German international Joe Herber some playing time before the Germans meet for training camp in Mallorca.
After last season, the German basketball federation forced Bauermann to choose between solely national team duties or coaching for a club. And less than a full year after deciding for the Germany it sounds like Bauermann is getting antsy about returning to the sidelines for a club team.
When asked if he could see himself coaching a club again, he answered:
Well, I don’t know if I can do it in Germany after causing such an uproar. But I accept my role as national team coach right now. I think I have a contract for four or five more years, something like 2011 or 2012. I don’t even know. But I don’t think I will be able to sit and watch these games being played for nine months. But I will definitely take a close look. This first year has been good. It’s given me a chance to reload my battery. But I don’t think I can do it for four more years. If something comes up that is a really intriguing offer, I will really look at it long and hard.
That sounds like a man just yearning to get back on the sidelines.