What’s the word for “beyond crisis”? Whatever it is, that’s the word for what’s going on at Žalgiris Kaunas.
No coach – again, that would be coach no. 4 this season – has been named as of yet, while Žalgiris fights for the LKL title against perpetual rival Lietuvos Rytas. But Žalgiris owner Vladimir Romanov was this morning quoted in the Lithuanian newspaper Lietuvos Rytas (o yes) that he prefers player Marcus Brown to coach the team.
Audaciously calling it his “dream,” Romanov cited Brown’s “high basketball IQ” and “years of experience.” (Ahem, though none of it coaching, cough cough…)
As for why he fired Zalgiris’ most recent victim head coach Darius Maskoliunas, Romanov stated that he did it “for a brighter future for the club,” specifically “There is a club development strategy which all club members must follow. Maskoliunas […] did not.”
Of course, folks in Scotland are used to this sort of behavior from the man who also eccentrically owns Hearts football club, as he was proclaimed to have “officially lost his mind” back in 2006 by the excellent The Offside based on his apparent spiritual channeling of a simian in the British press.
Update: Formal investigation into firing requested
The Lithuanian Basketball Federation today requested that Lithuanian national league (LKL) officials address the issue of the Maskoliunas firing.
Mindaugas Balčiūnas of the Federation told local media that such addressing would most likely take the form of a formal investigation. Balčiūnas stated that such the investigation must be centered on whether the current LKL championship series is being fairly contested at all.
The federation asked LKL officials to investigate the motives behind Maskoliunas’ dismissal. The LKF also asked for the league to “closely monitor the situation and report any objective facts that might affect a fair fight between the teams.”
Ironically, Balciunas admitted that the only reason the request was being made was the Zalgiris statement issued on the coach’s dismissal, which suggested that Maskoliunas was not giving maximum effort in winning games.
Game four of the LKL championship series is on Thursday night. Lietuvos Rytas leads, 2 games to 1. A win in the series would award L. Rytas with a spot in the 2010-11 Euroleague season; Žalgiris has already clinched a spot.