Germany star Dennis Schroder was praised by his new teammate in the Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James, and Franz Wagner, who helped him take the national team to the podium after 17 years.

Credit: FIBA
Credit FIBA

The whole Mercedes-Benz arena was chanting his name. Dennis Schroder did his duty for the country, bringing his national team to the podium after 17 years before returning to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Player of the Game
Johannes  Voigtmann
EFF
27
Johannes Voigtmann
Points 14
Accuracy 4-7
Rebounds 9
Assists 6

Germany, led by Schroder, won the first medal since 2005 when Dirk Nowitzki took the national team to the EuroBasket final.

On this special night in Berlin, Nowitzki applauded the next generation of new winners from the VIP lounge.

"We've worked for this the last 8-9 years since I joined the national team. To finally get something like this... Of course, you want to go for the gold, but at the end of the day, the main aim was the medal," Schroder was happy after the third-place game victory over Poland 82-69.

However, it's possible that Schroder won't be bringing back his bronze medal home.

"I'll see if we can find another medal. If not, my bronze medal will go to Robin Benzing," Schroder revealed.

Benzing was in Germany's national team camp this summer but didn't make the final 12-man roster.

Benzing played for Germany in five EuroBaskets (2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017), two World Cups (2010 and 2019), and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics last year. He was also a long-time Germany's national team captain.

That was just one of the leadership examples that Schroder showed during this national team campaign.

Schroder set the tone for the rest of the group both on the floor and in the locker room. He helped his coaches to lead this young team and stepped up at challenging moments.

The German future star Franz Wagner took a lot from his experience playing next to Schroder.

"I told him I think he had a hell of the tournament. Not just playing, but he did a really good job of leading us and pushing us as a group," the Orlando Magic forward told BasketNews about the conversation with Schroder they had after the game.

"I think that's special. His commitment and leadership give everybody else more confidence. I think that's a huge part of why we played so well in this tournament," Wagner assured.

The NBA front office people also recognized such presence in the locker room.

German media reported that LeBron James could have been in attendance on the final day of the EuroBasket 2022.

Potentially LeBron could have witnessed his new teammate winning his first medal with the national team.

"People told me that about it five days ago," Schroder commented on rumors about LeBron's appearance in Berlin. "But I texted him right away, and he said he was not coming."

"Yessir!! So damn happy to have you back!! You're like that! LFG!!!" LeBron James posted on Instagram straight after the news about Schroder's return to Los Angeles.

They already talked about his return to the Lakers.

"I can't wait. I've been talking to him. I can't wait to go back. I want to go for something this time," a 29-year-old point guard said.

"LeBron said he was glad he got me back," Schroder added. "It's unfinished business. That year when I was there, there were no fans. There was covid, everybody was hurt. This year hopefully, everything stays good, everybody stays healthy, and then we'll try to go for something."

Schroder is leaving the EuroBasket 2022 as one of the biggest winners of the tournament.

He led his team to the podium, made a run for the EuroBasket MVP award (22.1 PPG, 7.1 APG), and finally signed a one-year $2.6M deal with the Lakers.

"I've been talking to the Lakers for the last three months. I knew I was going back, but I wanted to take my time," Schroder explained.

"I didn't play in the last year's Olympics because of the contract situation. That's the reason why I didn't do it. But everybody sees this commitment that I've been there even without having a contract," Schroder emphasized. "I love these guys, and I love this federation. I'll keep playing until I can't walk no more."

Three NBA All-Team members, Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Nikola Jokic, weren't here when Schroder jumped on the podium with a bronze medal in his hands.

Not many saw that coming.

"It happens. They're still one of the best in the world," Schroder analyzed. "It happens. Twelve guys are playing, and everything can happen in 40 minutes."

Schroder returns to Los Angeles after averaging 15.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, 5.8 assists, and 1.1 steals in 61 games for the Lakers during the 2020-21 season.

He appeared in 64 games for the Boston Celtics and Houston Rockets last season, averaging 13.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 4.6 assists.

Schroder made the playoffs in seven of his nine NBA seasons. The last time the Lakers made the playoffs in 2021, Schroder was their starting point guard.

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Germany
Poland
44%
24/55
Field goals
42%
25/60
37
Rebounds
29
23
Assists
21
5
Steals
7
88
Efficiency
55
16
Fouls
22

Best players

Dennis  Schroder
26 PTS
7/10 FG
8/9 FT
Michal  Sokolowski
18 PTS
7/13 FG
2/4 FT
Johannes  Voigtmann
9 REB
8 DREB
1 OREB
Poland
Few players
6 REB
Germany
Few players
6 As
A.J.  Slaughter
10 As
2 TO
30 MIN
Johannes  Voigtmann
27 EFF
0% 2P%
80% 3P%
Michal  Sokolowski
19 EFF
83% 2P%
29% 3P%