Credit: BNS
Credit BNS

Former Zalgiris Kaunas head coach Martin Schiller broke the silence and featured in the Talkin' Basketball podcast, where he discussed the differences between coaching in G-League and the EuroLeague.

After taking over in the summer of 2020 and winning the Lithuanian league with Zalgiris, Schiller was relieved of his duties after the first two games of the 2021-22 EuroLeague season.

The Austrian revealed that last summer, before joining Zalgiris, his expectations were far away from Europe.

"After our success and me being the coach of the year in G-League, of course, there was an expectation of getting an assistant coach offer (in the NBA)," said Schiller. "And that summer before joining Zalgiris, I had this expectation."

"That summer was the Covid summer, and it was not an easy one due to financial unknowns caused by the virus. Until mid-summer, I didn't get any offers. 

Then, Zalgiris called me. They needed a coach, it was getting late, and their scout knew my name. Then in some days, from Salt Lake City, I've moved to Northeast Europe and had an interesting year," he continued.

Schiller also remembered the whole process of joining Zalgiris, admitting that he was amazed by the way everything was handled. 

"I was impressed by the interview process. The EuroLeague is not comparable with G-League in this aspect. It's out of the discussion," he noted.

Asked about the differences between coaching in G-League and the EuroLeague, Schiller was clear that the pressure in Europe is way bigger.

"The very good thing about G-League is that even if you have 3-20 record, you are not necessarily fired, the Austrian said. "You continue coaching if you are doing your job well."

"You are criticized a lot (in G-League), but you are being criticized for your work. You are criticized tactics and leadership-wise. You are criticized in positive and negative ways. It is much different than what happens in Europe. In Europe, you lose your first five games, and your head coaching career is in danger," he continued.

Despite that, Schiller also found similarities, adding that, in his opinion, he was handling a new situation well.

"The number of games played and little time for practices were the similarities. What I managed well last season was different tactics and techniques in the game. In Europe, the game is more physical with much less athleticism.

It was a huge change from fresh graduates and young athletes to Paulius Jankunas, and I had to adapt to it," said former Zalgiris coach.

Finally, the Austrian admitted that the departure from Zalgiris wasn't a pleasing experience, but as he says now, he's doing well.

"What happened is the reality of this job. It didn't feel good, but it is not the first time it didn't feel good. 

At the moment, I'm doing well. I had sincere feedback from people around me. This gave me stability. If one wants to do this job for a long time, one needs to handle these situations as well. This is an intensive and not an easy job," Schiller concluded.

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3-pointers this season

Points made: 8,6
Accuracy: 34,8%
Place in standings: 9
Record max: 13
Record min: 5
Most made 3FGs: Artūras Milaknis