Sarunas Jasikevicius shared his thoughts before the upcoming game against Olympiacos and reacted to Nick Calathes' comments on how Dimitris Itoudis gives him more freedom.

Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit BasketNews/Begum Unal

Sarunas Jasikevicius and FC Barcelona are preparing for their EuroLeague opener against Olympiacos Piraeus, and the Lithuanian head coach shared his thoughts before the upcoming game.

One of the questions Jasikevicius received was about Nick Calathes' comment about how Dimitris Itoudis gives him more freedom.

"As a player, you want to have some freedom. I'm not 20 years old, I know how to play," Calathes said. "I think over there, it was more of a system, Saras controlled it more. I think here coach Itoudis gives players freedom and things to do on the court, but he also has a lot of confidence in you, he believes in you, he lets you control the game."

Asked about Calathes' words, Jasikevicius made an ironic comment: "We are glad to live in a democracy so everyone can say what they want."

Talking about the upcoming season, Saras highlighted how demanding the EuroLeague is and that, at the moment, the new changes in the teams don't mean that much.

"It's the beginning of the new season, so you are always excited," Jasikevicius said. "This is a very long trip. We can talk a lot about rosters and teams... but it's only on paper. In five or six months, the teams will be different. The EuroLeague is extremely demanding."

"I would always like to start with a less powerful opponent, but Olympiacos is a Final Four team. They re-signed the coach and most of the players, it's a team that plays with heart.

They clearly dominated Panathinaikos in the Greek Super Cup. They have chemistry and very well-defined roles. They have experienced players and others who can change the game by themselves," he added.

Jasikevicius also said that he's happy with his team, and the reality is that he can't demand much from his players at this stage of the season.

"We are in good shape. People have been training with us for six or seven weeks, and the international players arrived after a tough EuroBasket. We lack training sessions, we lack people, and we need to spend more time together.

We have six new players, which is always difficult. It's all very normal at this stage of the season. We can't ask our guys to be very consistent now. When they have been together for such a short time, we have a new team, we are missing people. It's a bit difficult to demand something," Jasikevicius commented.

However, Saras also added that he saw some positives in his team.

"The third and last quarter against Baskonia is the example to follow. You can see that we can do this, and now the goal is to gain more consistency, to do it for longer periods of time, but little by little," Jasikevicius concluded.

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