Ergin Ataman led Anadolu Efes to the Turkish League title on Saturday and got emotional, as he bid farewell to the Turkish club.
The Turkish head coach will take over Panathinaikos, aiming to bring the “Greens” back to the top after a few disappointing campaigns.
“Sorry for the EuroLeague. We had a dream, so we set out to do something that no one else could do, but we failed, we couldn’t make the playoffs. If we could make the playoffs, a lot could have happened there too, but it didn’t happen. It’s not easy for me. After all these years, I worked at Anadolu Efes not like a professional, but like an amateur. I will be happy if I can be called the legend of Anadolu Efes in the future.”
“All my life, I’ve been challenged. Panathinaikos is also a new challenge for me. I will try to represent my country in the best way in Greece. Anadolu Efes is my home in basketball and I wish them success for the upcoming season. We wrote a great story for 5 years. Documentary friends are also here. They started the season to shoot for their third EuroLeague title but it didn’t work, it ended with a drama. We failed.”
“For the first time, we failed Anadolu Efes in the EuroLeague. Everything is over in Efes, Ergin Ataman is already leaving, when it is said that this team will not finish the season, and moreover Fenerbahçe. After the 42-point away defeat by Fenerbahce, we resurrected and remembered our character. We put our heart, strength, and character on the field. Our character never gives up,” Ergin Ataman told media after the sweep over Karsiyaka in the Finals (0-3).
Panathinaikos has already started making changes to its front office and roster, as they aim to return to the top next season.
Hence, the “Greens” hired Sani Becirovic as the new Technical Director, with the Slovenian returning to the club for a third time (2006-2008 as a player, 2015 as team manager).
The six-time EuroLeague champions ended the season in a disappointing way after losing the Greek Basket League title to Olympiacos on Thursday. The game never ended, due to the incidents that took place in the stands and a heavy sanction is now expected for the team.
Panathinaikos will go into a full rebuild this offseason and will seek to return to the top next year with Ergin Ataman as head coach.