Credit: Reuters – Scanpix
Credit Reuters – Scanpix

Every time Ergin Ataman stands in front of a microphone he gets all the attention. The coach of Anadolu Efes Istanbul provided some great quotes again, during the Media Day of the reigning Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champs.

The Turkish coach took the opportunity to clarify his recent statements to BasketNews and responded to those who openly disagreed with his belief that "Efes could make the NBA playoffs," with Mike James and Evan Fournier being among them.

"I didn't say we would be in the playoffs with today's squad. I said we could make it with two additions of star players. Maybe those two players could be Fournier and Mike James. Let them come, let them come with us," the Turkish coach said, according to Eurohoops.

"The NBA is a huge organization," Ataman continued. "Maybe there are 40 or 50 players who are extraordinary, but we see that other players now come to Europe, players who played there for 15-20 minutes and come here. I don't see those players dominating European basketball either. In that sense, I believe that EuroLeague teams playing for the title can easily compete with NBA teams face-to-face.

With the confidence I have in my own team, I say the following: EuroLeague champions Efes would play the NBA playoffs and even the Finals with the support of two NBA stars. I trust my players very much. Every now and then, NBA scouts call us and ask about our players. If I were the coach of any NBA team right now, Larkin would play between 25 and 30 minutes on my team, but they think differently.”

Watch the full conversation of Ergin Ataman with BasketNews:

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