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This summer you will be wearing Greece: the risks and opportunities behind the fascinating appointment of Oded Katash - Walla! sport


The fear of an opportunity not to return. The modest goals for the upcoming season. The keys are still in Yanakopoulos' hands. And the possibility that Olympiacos is the one who will help him: Ahrela Weisberg analyzes the complicated situation that awaits the Israeli coach at Panathinaikos

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Ahrela Weisberg

Behind the Scenes

This summer you will wear Greece: the risks and opportunities behind the fascinating appointment of Oded Katash

The fear of an opportunity not to return.

The modest goals for the upcoming season.

The keys are still in Yanakopoulos' hands.

And the possibility that Olympiacos is the one who will help him: Ahrela Weisberg analyzes the complicated situation that awaits the Israeli coach at Panathinaikos


  • Oded Katash

  • Panathinaikos

Ahrela Weisberg

Thursday, January 14, 2021, 4:00 p.m.

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Oded Katash's reunion meeting with the stars of Panathinaikos (video editing: Nir Chen)

On May 20, 2000, exactly one month after starring in the unforgettable Euroleague final against Maccabi Tel Aviv, Oded Katash dropped off the basketball court for the last time.

The Auka was filled with 18,000 spectators, Panathinaikos cruised to a 63:76 victory over Paok Thessaloniki and 0: 3 in the Greek playoff final, and the Israeli coordinator scored nine points.

Zeljko Oberdovic earned him a standing ovation, a minute and a second from the end, and no one could have guessed that at 25 he would never play again.

Starting today, Katsch is green again, and holds a new record: he is the first foreign player in Pau history to return to it later as head coach.

But the club has changed beyond recognition since he left, and behind the exciting closing of the circle, the renewed opportunity to coach on the main stage of Europe and the appointment to one of the most prestigious positions a basketball man has ever received from Israel, there are many risks and opportunities for him.

When he first enters the gates of the Oaka, the crusher will find a tangled and complex reality, not to mention depressing.

Panathinaikos fans are very excited about Katsch's return.

Although he wore the clover uniform for only one season, the way it ended burned him into the collective memory as one of the most popular players in Athens.

Unfortunately, he will not be able to enjoy the love of the audience in the home hall, but only through social media.

And in order to cut the coupon, he will have to survive and get to the next season - according to his contract.

More on Walla!


The meeting that ignited the matchmaking: "Oded Katash has a big part in the history of Panathinaikos"

To the full article

The first foreign player to return to Pao as a coach.

Oded Katash with Zeljko Oberdovic (Photo: Official Website, Action Images)

The upcoming season, or what’s left of it, is already shaped to one degree or another: the Euroleague campaign is lost for the Greens, who have amassed 12 losses and don’t look like they could even get close to the dial zone of the playoffs;

Therefore, the new coach's main task will be to stabilize the rocking ship, to put some order and systematicity in its limited staff - and most importantly, to end the season with a winning picture and win the Greek double.

Pau, despite all the problems she suffers from, is ranked first in the league.

Despite narrowing the gaps from its main rival at the top, a.k.a. Athens, it still retains the quality and depth advantage, and cannot afford to lose the championship;

Certainly not this season, perhaps the last one in which Olympiacos is stuck in the sub-league and not blowing its back.

Assuming that Katsch will meet the modest and realistic tasks he faces - stopping (at least relatively) the Euroleague crash campaign, and maintaining hegemony in the local arena - he will arrive in the summer when his status is supposed to be stable.

Then a series of questions will open, illustrating the magnitude of the risk he has taken: What will Panathinaikos look like next season?

What budget will be available to her?

Will there be a change in the composition of the management?

Who will be left of the Greek player skeleton?

And will the audience be allowed to re-fill Ouaka?

If not significantly improved, it may lose the Greek skeleton in the summer.

Katsch (Photo: Official Website, FIBA)

Last week, when we unveiled at Walla!

Sporting the decision of the management of Panathinaikos to go for Katsch, he was subjected to a difficult deliberation.

He recognized the danger lurking, and was not complete with the departure of Hapoel Jerusalem during the season, but ultimately decided to win the Greek option for three main reasons:

One, after the successes he has recorded in recent years with the reserve team, Israel and Jerusalem, Katsch feels due .

Since he has not yet entered the loop of Euroleague coaches, it was clear to him that the first opportunity to return to the senior factory, 13 years after he was fired from Maccabi Tel Aviv, he will only get in a crisis situation like this.

The second concerns the fear that this is a one-time chance.

In the first place, immediately after the dismissal of Georgius Vobras, Pau tried to import Dimitris Priptis from Onyx Kazan.

When he refused her offer, she switched to the Israeli option.

Katsch would have preferred to arrive at the end of the season, when he is not bound by a contract for another team, with the construction of the squad under his control and with a clear picture laid out before him about Pau's future aspirations and abilities,

It is not inconceivable that even if the Greeks had now appointed a coach on a "band-aid" standard for the next few months only, they would return this summer to the exact same spot - and turn first to Priptis.

If this time he had responded in the affirmative (and there are indications that this would have happened), the coach of the Israeli national team would have been left empty-handed.

The third argument has to do with the historical connection between Katsch and Pao, and above all - with the people who run it.

Last year, when I united the winning heroes from 2000 for a cycle meeting, it was hard not to notice the immense love and appreciation they have for him.

And once his good friends, Yorgos Claitsis and Frankie Alvertis, became two of the strongest people in the club - it was clear it was only a matter of time before they considered joining them.

Last summer he was not a candidate at all, because the position was promised ahead of time to Wobaras, and now the Greeks have managed to quarter the circle and release him during a lightning strike from Jerusalem.

If he comes back, there will be more money.

But Katsch will also have to face him.

Yanakopoulos (Photo: Official Website, Action Images)

Katsch's trouble is not just due to the fact that he is coming to Panathinaikos during its biggest downturn in 30 years.

The worrying fact is that his chances of success over time depend not only on him, but on none other than Dimitris Inacopoulos.

Yes, again Dimitris Inacopoulos.

The owner announced in the summer that he was stepping aside from running the club and putting it up for sale for 25 million euros;

He stopped the flow of funds to the team, leaving it with the lowest budget (probably) in the Euroleague - when the future is vague and unclear.

The prevailing propaganda in Greece is that Shinakopoulos did not really leave, and intends to return to his role as a kind of savior, so that the failures of the present serve his purpose to one degree or another.

While he may not have a huge budget like the top teams in the Euroleague, Pau's flow in previous years has always been enough to place her regularly in fourth place and sixth place in the table, and until this season she has not missed a performance in European playoff series.

If Yanakopoulos decides that the time for the coming of the Messiah (i.e .: the coming of the Messiah) will come as early as this summer, then Katsch will have much better and more comfortable opening figures than those that preceded him.

Economically, of course.

The return of the capricious owner also has other meanings, less comfortable, when it comes to the conduct of the coaches in front of him.

In the last two months, a rumor has been circulating in Greece that a wealthy (and probably foreign) businessman has been found interested in buying the club.

Such a move, although it does not seem particularly realistic at the moment, has the potential to return Pau to her natural place at the top of the Euroleague.

If Olympiacos returns, Pau will not allow herself to remain so weak.

Vasilis Spanoulis (Photo: GettyImages)

The worst-case scenario for Katsch can be defined in one word: stagnation.

If Panathinaikos continues to set a budget on a scale similar to the one it has now, or it will grow by a relatively small percentage (for example, the audience returns next season only), the Israeli coach may find himself in a worse position than he was.

The Greens lost Nick Klatis in the summer, but at least managed to keep Yorgos Papianis, Ioannis Papatro and Dinos Mitoglou, who agreed to a significant pay cut and make up the Greek skeleton;

If there is no improvement in the economic and professional situation of the team, it is not inconceivable that at least Papatero and Mitoglou will leave for other Euroleague teams, leaving scorched earth behind.

And perhaps, the one who will eventually come to the aid of Katash, and the help of Panathinaikos, is Olympiacos at all.

Greece are convinced that the chairman of the local basketball association, George Vasilkopoulos, will end his role in the coming year - then the ground will be prepared for the Reds' return from Piraeus to the first league. The number of teams has dwindled this season. The

derby, in Greece more than anywhere else, above all - and if Olympiacos resumes the fierce rivalry and battles for the championship and the trophy, Panathinaikos will not allow itself to remain as weak and exposed as it is today.

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Source: walla

All sports articles on 2021-01-14

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