Dinos Mitoglou referred to Ergin Ataman's approach, weighed in on the EuroLeague derby against Olympiacos, and singled out Panathinaikos' strongest opponents in the competition, but also the transfer that impressed him the most.


Credit: Vangelis Stolis
Credit Vangelis Stolis

Dinos Mitoglou missed 495 days of action after receiving a 32-month ban in March 2022 that was eventually reduced to 16 months. The Greek forward received a heavy sentence for breaking anti-doping laws but managed to convince the Court of Arbitration for Sport that he had been a victim of a female doctor who was said to have promised treatments for various conditions. 

Konstantinos Mitoglou

Konstantinos  Mitoglou
Team: Panathinaikos Athens
Position: PF
Age: 27
Height: 210 cm
Weight: 111 kg
Birth place: Thessaloniki, Greece

Mitoglou, 27, was then eligible and expected to play with the Greek national team in the World Cup, but on the eve of the tournament's premiere, he was ruled out due to a fissure fracture of the little finger of his left hand. Additional tests showed that the forward would not be able to play at full strength.

Mitoglou didn't make what would have been his first major tournament since the 2021 Olympic Qualifiers in Canada, but he did recover in time for Panathinaikos Athens' training camp. 

Having been a resident of OAKA in the past, Mitoglou returned to the Greens after a short spell with EA7 Emporio Armani Milan that was cut short due to his doping case. In an interview with Vassiliki Karamouza of SPORT24, he referred to Ergin Ataman's approach, weighed in on the EuroLeague derby against Olympiacos, singled out the strongest opponents in the competition, but also the transfer that impressed him the most.

Asked whether this one is slated to be the season of his rebirth, Mitoglou welcomed the idea. 

"The season of my rebirth...You could say that. I like it, yes. Sure," he replied. 

"I want to be a better player with the team. You know what? I do what I love and I get to be with people every day who are very pleasant and very nice guys, all of them," he continued.

"That makes me work extra and want to play for the team. There's nothing better than having your team succeed."

Having played with Panathinaikos from 2017 through 2021, Mitoglou can spot the basic differences in the way the club operates.

"There are big changes both on the court, with regards to the coach and the very good players we have signed, but also off the court, in terms of how the club is organized. Those details make a difference in winning games, which is very good for us. It all starts with the owner (Dimitris Giannakopoulos), who has made a great effort and we are here to support him," the Greek forward pointed out. 

Mitoglou named four teams as the most probable EuroLeague contenders: Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul and Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv.

He singled out Barca's Jabari Parker as the most interesting summer signing. "I'm very curious to see him because I played him as an opponent in college," PAO's power forward said. However, the truth is that the two never played against each other in college. Parker spent his sole NCAA season with Duke in 2013-14 season before taking the step to the NBA, while Mitoglou joined Wake Forest one year later, in 2014-15. 

In any case, Mitoglou is looking forward to the games against Barcelona.

"Certainly. Who wouldn't want to play against Barcelona?" he wondered. 

He's also eager to face Olympiacos, a match-up that's likely to take place three times in one month, since the two rivals will square off on October 6 and 28 for the EuroLeague and the Greek league, respectively, in addition to their potential showdown for the Greek SuperCup the upcoming weekend. 

"I am very happy for these games. I can't wait to get started," Mitoglou assured. "Probably the most important game of the season. I have no words. They're our main rivals, so if we face them three times in one month, it's very important to start with a win. That's our goal. We have to be ready."

The Thessaloniki-born athlete called Ergin Ataman "different" from all the coaches he's worked with.

"He's a serious professional. Excellent. He works very hard, which I respect very much. He wants actions. He might say big words to the media, but he's not that talkative to us," Mitoglou revealed.

"He demands hard work, which I respect very much. He wants results and wins, which is what someone would expect. I'm looking forward to us having a good, strong start to the season."

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