Anadolu Efes head coach Ergin Ataman admitted he was in contact with several NBA teams this offseason. However, as he explained to the Turkish digital channel “VOLE”, the possibility of working as an assistant does not excite him.
“No European coach has ever gone from Europe to the NBA as a head coach. There is none NBA history, zero. There are some Europeans who are head coaches, like Kokoskov, but he went there 20 years ago, settled down, worked as an assistant for years.”
“I’ve had contact with a few teams this year. What they always say is, ‘You have to come here and coach for a while first.’ 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-centered 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 you can feel it when they are talking”.
Coming off a great run with Efes the last five years, it would be a huge surprise for Ataman to take a job as an assistant in the NBA. Ataman is currently working with three players from the top-tier basketball competition, Cedi Osman, Furkan Korkmaz, and Alperen Sengun.