Georgios Bartzokas has been officially presented as head coach of the FC Barcelona Lassa basketball team. At his first press conference in his new role he discussed his plans for the team in the company of the director responsible for the section, Joan Bladé, the director of professional sports, Albert Soler, and the basketball general manager, Rodrigo de la Fuente.
Asked why he accepted the post, the Greek coach replied that “if Barça call, you have to say yes. This is the club where everybody wants to be … There is already a lot of talent here and what I will try to do is create a nice kind of basketball that the fans will enjoy.”
The new head coach also made a point of mentioning the work done by his predecessor Xavi Pascual. “He was a very methodological coach” he said. “He was here for eight seasons, which shows how important he was. He’s part of the history of this club.”
On star player Juan Carlos Navarro, he commented that “he’s a legend who has to lead the team on and off the court”, while new guard Tyrese Rice “is the kind of leader who can drive the team.”
Bartzokas is also delighted to count on Víctor Claver, who he already knows from his time at Lokomotiv Kuban: “He’s a great player and a grand person” he said. “It’s important that he can play in two positions, and I think modern basketball needs that kind of player”. The coach also commented that he wants to add a ‘tall player” to his roster, while agreeing that “the guard position is very important. Rice is a team leader but after having to change two of the guards, he needs to be covered.”
De la Fuente also had plenty to say about the new-look squad for the 2016/17 season, saying that “our priority is to find a second guard to accompany Tyrese Rice” and admitting that “we are interested in Guillem Vives although he has a contract with Valencia Basket. We have a good relationship with the ‘oranges’ after the Claver transfer, but he isn’t our only option. We are also looking into alternatives.”
De la Fuente also revealed that one option could be Ludde Hakanson, who went on loan to Sevilla last year “and is one of the candidates to take the guard position”.
He also accepted that both Satoransky and Abrines will be sorely missed, “but we are still putting together a side that will be able to compete with anyone.”