Euroleague.net interview: Antonis Fotsis, Dynamo Moscow
November 14, 2006
In the span of just 14 months, he has been European champ, ULEB Cup title winner and World Championships silver medallist. Now, one of the great talents of European basketball, Antonis Fotsis of Dynamo Moscow, is leading a new Euroleague club to a great start already. Fotsis ranks fourth in scoring and eighth in performance ranking after three regular season games, of which Dynamo has won two. At just 25 years old, he has already accomplished a lot, but Fotsis is ready for more. And as he says in this Euroleague.net interview, one of the important things that Fotsis has learned is that winning can become contagious. "Looking at the last year, I'd have to say these are the best moments of my career until now," Fotsis said in a joint interview for Euroleague.net and Dynamo's official website. "But I hope that in the future there can be more results like these - and even better."
This has to be the height of your career so far, right? How do you rank your achievements of the last year?
"Yes, looking at the last year, I'd have to say these are the best moments of my career until now, but I hope that in the future there can be more results like these - and even better. It's very difficult to make same kind of list and say, 'This is most important.' Each title is special in its own way. For example, in Belgrade my [national team] generation won its very first title and brought the European Championship back to Greece after 18 years. In Charleroi, I won a title with my new club Dynamo in my first season in Moscow and we won the right to play in the Euroleague. In Japan, we beat Team USA and we were the second-best team in the world.”
Greek basketball came out of crisis with this national team. What changed?
“I don’t know exactly, but something changed in a very positive way. I think that the most important work was done with young players. My generation is now at its peak. We have been very close friends for many years. We have excellent team ambition and we've learned how to win. In short, we are a team.”
One of your best friends is Lazaros Papadopoulos, your teammate in Dynamo. Did his presence play a factor in your decision to come to Moscow?
“Yes, of course. I don’t want to say that he was the main reason, but I called him, I asked him for some details and when he told me that Dynamo is very serious and ambitious club, I signed.”
How do you feel in Moscow?
“I am happy. Everything that Lazaros told me was true. The club is working very hard. Now in our new gym we have excellent conditions to work in. Now it depends on us to return their investment with good results.”
What do you like in Moscow?
“Many things... Today, Moscow is one of the biggest centers in the world and not only in the political sense. I like the museums, the churches, theaters, the main streets. I've been to the Bolshoi Theater a couple of times and I enjoyed it. Unfortunately, I don't have so much time for these kind of activities.”
And what you don’t like about Russian capital?
“The first thing is the traffic. I'll never be angry again about the traffic in Athens after seeing the situation here. Also the weather, but only sometimes. It can be very cold, but also spring and summer can be very nice.”
Back to basketball. What can Dynamo fans expect this season?
“We will fight in all three competitions and we will give our maximum. Now we have some problems with injuries, but I hope that this situation will be resolved very soon. Generally, I don’t like to set goals for the season. I prefer to go step by step, game by game. For me, the most important game always the next one.”
You and Lazaros played together at Panathinaikos. In a few weeks you will play with Dynamo in Piraeus against Olympiacos. How will you feel?
“The games between 'Pao' and Olympiacos are something special and can't be compared with another game. I played in Piraeus with Real Madrid, but it's very different. Local derbies have some special color. By the way, Olympiacos have a very strong team and I think that the Reds are the favorite in our group.”
And what about Dynamo's Euroleague chances?
“We've started well. For a new team to go 2-1 after three games is not bad. I am sure that we will reach the Top 16, but like I say, I prefer go step by step and now the most important game is against Prokom.”
If somebody ask you how is Antonis Fotsis is as a player, what would you tell them?
“It's not is easy talk about yourself. But, if you insist, I think that my strengths are shooting, running the fast break and rebounding. I can improve my defense and my one-on-one game and many another things. I feel that I'm a team player and I am very happy when my play helps my team win. I hope that will happen many more times this season."