Interview: Begüm Ünal


The day before Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Round 13 game in Milan, we’ve had an amazing interview with Ioannis Bourousis, the big star of Panathinaikos. 

Thank you for accepting our request. My first question will be about your new ex-teammate Alessandro Gentile. He is now a Panathinaikos player. What do you think about this transfer? You played with him some time ago in Olimpia, so you know his game style.

First of all, I am happy because Alessandro decided to come Panathinaikos. Yes, I know him because we played in Olimpia Milano together. I think it is a good choice for our team. We need him because he helps to some very important parts of game.

This question is about you. During summer there were rumours that we were going to go to NBA. Did you really want to go or were they among those typical rumours?

It is true. I wanted to go to NBA last summer. But to go only for one-year? No, I don’t want to go for one year. That’s why I didn’t go. I tried to find a team with two-years contract but the problem was I needed to wait more. It is difficult to wait longer because after a time I would lose Panathinaikos.

Would you try to go again? Or is it over for you?

I don’t know, but you never know.

It is good to leave the door open… I am curious about the point guard you enjoy playing together the most. Who is he?

It is difficult to answer this at the moment because I am still playing basketball. When I stop playing, I will answer this question. Do you believe me for that? (He smiled)

ioannis bourousis

Yes, I do. Last year in Baskonia, your basketball was at another level. You were very dominant and while we were watching you it was so visible that you were comfortable on the court. What was different in your role while playing in Baskonia compared to past and today?

In the teams I have played basketball I don’t have this rule to have all players around me. This happened only in Baskonia. First of all, I really don’t have problems with doing what coach has asked me. When you change the team, it is not easy to ask to try to do what you did in your last team.  For me now it is very important that Panathinaikos wins and from my side I need to give my hundred percent to the team. 

Due to the very high level of rivalry between Panathinaikos and Olympiakos not many players are exchanged between two teams. With the transfer of Spanoulis, the number of players who moved from one to other has increased. What would you say for that?

First thing is that my case is not the same as his. Spanoulis went to Olympiacos from Panathinaikos. For me it was different. I played five years away from Greece, Milano, Real Madrid, Vitoria… So I don’t have any problem about this.

I needed to ask this question, because like last week Sloukas was catcalled everytime he touched the ball.

Yes, I know. This is normal in Greece.

Panathinaikos is one of the candidates for Turkish Airlines EuroLeague F4 this season. As you know, recently there has been so many bad incidents happening in Turkey. Are you afraid of coming to Istanbul for the Final Four?

I am not afraid of going to Istanbul. This is one part of the city, one part of Turkey… But as you see it happened last night also in Berlin. In US it happens, in France. This is a bad thing for the world.

My last question is about National Team. Do you think that you will be in Eurobasket roster?

Who told you to ask me this questions? Greek journalists? (He laughed)

No, no. I am curious about it.

I think it is too early at the moment to think about the National Team.

Thank you so much for your time.

You are welcome.

Begüm Ünal

Twitter: @beggysworld

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