Credit: AFP, Reuters-Scanpix
Credit AFP, Reuters-Scanpix

Ergin Ataman's interview with BasketNews provoked some strong comments from Evan Fournier and Mike James.

Evan Fournier

Evan  Fournier
Position: SG, SF
Age: 28
Height: 201 cm
Weight: 93 kg
Birth place: Saint-Maurice, France

The coach of Anadolu Efes, while speaking to Donatas Urbonas, said that if Anadolu Efes Istanbul participated in the NBA, they would stand a solid chance of making the playoffs. Ataman has won a total of four European trophies with his teams: the 2002 Saporta Cup with Siena, the 2012 EuroChallenge with Besiktas, the 2016 EuroCup with Galatasaray, and the 2021 EuroLeague with Anadolu Efes.

However, the Turkish coach's view did not find any support in Evan Fournier, or Mike James.

The Frenchman strongly doubted that claim on Twitter, while explaining his position: "We are talking about the NBA here. If a team were to make the playoffs, they would have to go through an entire season. The difficulty for a EuroLeague team would be in the depth of the bench and the sequence of games played," Fournier wrote. "The gap is very big. Portland would beat them easily by 30 points," he went on to argue.

Mike James admitted that he loves Ataman's confidence, but maintained that the venture would be impossible: "He believes his team can do anything at any time. Dope dope dope, but that being said they have no chance in hell of making the playoffs in the NBA," he concluded.

Malcolm Delaney joined the conversation and went along with James, in a rather explicit way:

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