SPORTS

Respect issue pushes Obradovic out of Greens

By George Georgakopoulos

After 13 years at the helm of Greece's most successful club in all team sports, Zeljko Obradovic will not be sitting on the Panathinaikos basketball team bench as of next season, as the two parties jointly announced the end of their cooperation on Tuesday.

Much to the dismay of Panathinaikos supporters, who saw the Serb lead their team to five European crowns and 11 domestic titles, the Greens parted ways with Obradovic, thanking him for his years of «spotless, full and substantial cooperation,» «which is proven by the titles our club has won."

Although reports had suggested that Panathinaikos and Obradovic's divorce would be due to differing plans on next season's budget, the coach made it clear that there was a personal issue at stake that had to do with respect.

"The principles I have from my family always remind me that the most important thing is to respect people if you want them to respect you, and that is something I wish to stress at this moment,» the Obradovic statement read.

This the first time after two decades that the affairs of the basketball club are being managed by young Dimitris Giannakopoulos and not by his father, Pavlos, or his uncle, Thanassis.

Reports in Turkey suggest that now that the Serb has left Panathinaikos he is close to taking over at Anadolu Efes.

Online