THE Eddie Johnson he does not forget his term in Greece and his collaboration with him Yannis Ioannidis. Upon hearing the news of the death of his former coach at Olympic, the NBA legend appeared on a podcast in a red and white jersey and talked about the “blonde.” In fact, he revealed how it helped him fight depression, while also referring to a hilarious scene with a black cat.
“I left the NBA in 1995 to take care of my mental health. This guy reborn me and allowed me to be myself on the floor. He was my coach in Greece. It was the best time of my life, I needed it. In 1993-94, when I was in Charlotte, I hit a wall mentally. I struggled with the idea that I was getting older and people were seeing me differently. I had gone with an exchange, they didn’t know if they would keep me and so on. I felt competitive, but the coach did everything he could to stop me. It was like he wanted me to not take minutes. I went through a difficult time, as many people do. When this happens, you either need to get help or get out of this situation. That summer I was single, I had proposals but I was patient. When the proposals came to me, I said that I want to try in Europe. I went to Olympiakos, stayed 3-4 days, saw the situation, met the president and decided to stay. I needed this change. My wife was surprised, she came a few months later too“, he emphasized.
“I didn’t know anything about Athens, I was alone, but I lived very well. I was in a four-story house overlooking the Mediterranean, I had a cook, I had a cleaner, I had everything, so don’t feel sorry for me. I was living the life! But I was far from my homeland. For nine months we trained twice a day. At one point I said to him ‘Coach, you’re crazy’, but then I saw that I was in the best shape of my life. I ate in Greek restaurants, I went to parties where plates and flowers are thrown, I knew the culture and it took away the pain I had. Coach Ioannidis allowed me to become myself again. He had given me the green light, people loved me, I felt like Jordan. The media was chasing me, I couldn’t go anywhere, I was living the life of an NBA superstar“, he added.
“The way coach Ioannidis kept me on the right path, who treated me like the others, brought me back. When he died, it pissed me off. All the memories came to mind. Everyone wants such a person in their life. I invite anyone who has such psychological problems to seek such a solution. No kidding, I was having a hard time before and people didn’t know it. They said ‘you’re in the NBA, you’re making good money’. But many children go through such problems. It’s a difficult position and you have to find the edge. This guy helped me out of this position. Even though he was crazy!“, he continued.
He then revealed the… sabotage he did in a training session by “stepping” on Ioannidis’ restraints. “We had taken the bus to go to a game. We stopped at a traffic light. I was always in the front seats, because I couldn’t stand the nonsense of my young teammates. I loved them, but they were stupid. Then a black cat passed in front of us and Ioannidis did not let the bus pass by the same spot. Greeks are very proactive. He forced the driver to take the coach from another road and it took us an extra 35 minutes to get there. We arrived almost at the start of the race. One day, because we had many cats near my house, I took a black cat, put it in the car and took it to the field, because I was bored to practice. I said to my teammates, ‘Guys, we’re going to have an off day.’ The black cat started running on the field, Ioannidis saw it and shouted ‘training is over’. I never told him until after the season was over and we had won the championship. He was a great coach. My condolences, we will miss you dearly“, he said.
Finally, he mentioned the resonance his name has in Greece. “If you go to Greece you will see it. Eddie is still great there. When my friends go to Greece, I tell them to say my name. If you do, you’ll be in for a treat. My Greek friends will treat you very well. I have 10-15 years to go, but I always have the best memories. If I went and the media was informed, I guarantee you the airport would be packed».
Source: Sport Fm
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