The Euroleague officially opened the festivities for the 2011 Final Four yesterday with a squall of press conferences, publicity and media events – but BiE will give you the short version, as presented in video form by the big league itself.
From yesterday’s opening press conference held in the Barcelona town hall, here are the coaches. Interestingly enough, Panathinaikos head coach Zeljko Obradovic may have accidentally thrown a verbal gauntlet due to problems with English – or maybe not. Check out the video about one minute in to hear him state, “I want to wish good luck to all the teams … because we are the best team in Europe this year, without any question.” (See, English-language students? The plural form is important.)
David Blatt speaks as well, but offers no word on his apparent newfound relationship with God.
Below, Maccabi Tel Aviv’s David Blu, Richard Hendrix, and Sofoklis Schortsanitis answer a few questions. Blu comments on how the Maccabi front court will deal with Felipe Reyes and Nikola Mirotic, dudes whom Hendrix describes as “relentless off the glass.” And it kinda looks like “Baby Shaq” has been studying O’Neal’s interview techniques…
Drew Nicholas and Mike Batiste of Panathinaikos offer a few words, including Nicholas’ thoughts on how he’ll match up (again) with Rimantas Kaukenas.
Representing Montepaschi Siena were Shaun Stonerook, Nikos Zisis and Marko Jaric. Most importantly they attempt to answer the damn-near-metaphysical question, “How can these guys stop Dimitris Diamantidis?”
Finally, Clay Tucker answers questions about the pace of the game, Rising Star Mirotic speaks about fulfilling a lifelong dream with Real Madrid (at the age of 20, for Naismith’s sake), and Sergio Llull speaks of revenge.