P.Motiejūnas: On Shar's Retention, Inevitable Change and the Grunwald Phenomenon


Wednesday of the Euroleague | Fenerbahchen – Grunwald | Series 1-0 | 20:45 | Istanbul

At the WiZink Arena in Madrid, Paulius Motiejūnas argued fiercely with Tom Masul at the Euroleague table. Kaunas Zalgiris killed Real Madrid, but the greyhounds were not sure if they were in the quarterfinals.

Although all scenarios and mathematical combinations showed that Žalgiris was at the last moment, he fell on a train, P. Motiej was only ashamed when a star appeared on the Zalgiris tournament table, symbolizing access to the next stage.

The chief of Žalgiris was close to the team and very joyful and painful moments.

With Zalgiris, the club director traveling for most of the season is sitting on the bench and becomes one of the greyhounds.

There was never an audience of the Greeks against the censorship of P. Miejūnas. On the contrary, if the team fails, it rises vigorously and encourages players to stay even when the quarter-finals team is separated by a double-digit difference in Piraeus and a miracle.

Even when Euroleague coaches laughed at the Greyhounds' chance to enter the quarterfinals, the Žalgiris boss tried not to play dramas.

Like the 33-point strike in Istanbul, the quarter-final of the Euroleague took off.

"Many emotions because we all want to win and pursue the same goal.It is difficult because the emotions are very bad.But there is no drama – 24 seconds In Istanbul, P. Mosiejonas believed. – Speak, look and try not to talk about feelings, but talk about actions: what was, because it happened. We are trying to understand what we can change to move on.

The players come to Žalgiris to play not for money, but to show the result. You see, they're trying. If they try to give up, do not think of any means.

Clearly, there are video reviews that are stricter to support the control of the technician. But here's the team.

More importantly, it has never been that you would not want to be with these people. Even if you lose, meet with them, communicate with them willingly and seek the goal. "

VIDEO: Euroleague Day: Who did that bad Grunwald match with Fenerbahce?

P.Motiejūnas after the team races in the match follows the training and the match. It handles the strategic issues of Žalgiris remotely and is backed by a solid management team.

However, many jobs are waiting in Žalgiris arena in the office of P.Miejjnnas. When the season reaches the finish line, the latest answers to the most important summer issues should be used.

The maintenance of Šarūnas Jasikevičius, the inevitable change in team composition and the development of the Žalgiris phenomenon are just some of the many tasks foreseen in the agenda of P. Miejūnas.

About this – 24 seconds interview with the leader Zalgiris of Istanbul.

"Paul, what did you learn as a guide during that critical moment when Grunwald was in 13th place on the tournament table?

– It's a shame, but in the past I've had more shows that seem to be playing better, but getting worse (smiling). This body has grown.

There are things you can control and there are some that you can not. Try to separate yourself from the uncontrolled ones and try to change something.

This season was no different. The management has a long-term strategy for the club and we try to avoid the rails. Do not start extinguishing fires that consume a lot of energy and do not change anything.

Therefore, this season was not exceptional, because it has already been tried. Only there was more to the wrong end (smiling).

photo Getty Images / en.urzea.net / Tomas Masiulis, Šarūnas Jasikevičius, Darius Maskoliūnas and Paulius Motiejūnas

photo Getty Images / en.urzea.net / Tomas Masiulis, Šarūnas Jasikevičius, Darius Maskoliūnas and Paulius Motiejūnas

– Whatever the end of the series, how does Grunwald evaluate the season?

– Let's wait for the end of the series because there is still much to do (smiles).

– Despite the results, Žalgiris fans have created a phenomenon and filled the whole arena even with 10 regular season matches of 15. How to sell all the tickets to the game with Budučnost?

"There is not a thing here. Do not come and do not do this sold off.

Here's how I play: When teams change trainer, they win another game statistically. But do not change 15 coaches to win 15 matches. You're not going to do this. sold off.

You need to work, have a base of support, work on it. I think we've been doing this for a long time. Clearly, Shar, the team's victory, atmosphere and struggle are contributing. Everything goes hand in hand. It is important not to interfere and exploit it.

I do not know, we did not do anything special when we sold tickets for a match, for example, with "Darushafaka". But the whole season felt an inhuman support for the fans. Probably due to the good season due to the very good atmosphere in the arena. Maybe that's why they managed to sell.

People began not to watch the rival, but to support the team and enjoy the atmosphere in the arena.

Top players will definitely lose – fact. For example, according to what you can win, Brandon plays a few less times for the second season. It is normal for him to skip and go where the money will be.

"When the Grunwald Arena was still under construction and when fans did not always fill Halle, there was the fear that the greyhounds would play in a half-empty arena." How did Zalgirio's viewer grow and sell 10 of 15 regular season games? the next steps?

In the first 2-3 years it was very easy because people were going to the arena because it was new and everyone wanted to see what was happening. But then, a lot of work was needed.

Ticket prices can be increased at any time. We are the first to participate, but we are not the first to win a ticket. Far from it. That's one thing you can do. But the other thing is new spaces like the Ramirent Club, parquet flooring, the same business club, more successful salon sales. We have all kinds of actions.

But there are two points that need to be implemented: one, more ticket revenue, and second, an even better thrill for fans not to stop, sleep or be monotonous. Always change and offer something new: more impressive, more beautiful and better. And it is not easy.

Photo by Joshyd Elinsky / 15min / Fans of Kaunas Žalgiris

Photo by Joshyd Elinsky / 15min / Fans of Kaunas Žalgiris

– How much does Žalgiris pay for the sold-out tickets?

– It depends – one easier to sell, the other more difficult. But it ranges from 100 to 150 thousand. EUR

Often depends on the opponent. Better team – not Daruššafaka, but CSKA, Olympiakos – bigger names can sell more. But it's very important from Thursday to Friday.

So if the match takes place on Friday, it's easier to sell tickets because people get to the game bus, bus. Then everything gets easier because you do not need to work the next day.

Because we are a Lithuanian team, many locals arrive. But now others say we are a Baltic team because Estonians and Latvians are coming.

It is difficult to break the team strategy change so that we have a leader who would pull the team and the other would be assistants. I do not think we're going to change that.

– Žalgiris arena match attendance – vid. 14,737 supporters. It's close to the NBA's Brooklyn Nets Team. Are European clubs interested and asking how to improve their recordings in the Euroleague?

– When we played with Bayern, I counted the presence of 7 different countries.

We try to show what we do. It's not a ticket sales strategy, but people want to see how things are happening here: minute intervals, presentation, dancers, all life in the hall. From the entrance to the island to the exit.

These departures were tense, but both were Finnish and Norwegian, and Turks, French, Germans, Estonians, Latvians.

These people usually come and show all the steps. And then it depends on your willingness and ability to choose something. We keep the doors open and we are willing to share information to make basketball more interesting and attractive across Europe.

"Initially, the regularly filled" Grunwald "arena seemed like a utopia, but you did get the point. As the utopia seemed to be more than 10 million 10.7 million euros – You raised $ 10.7 million Is it possible to break 11 million Euro Limits?

– I like to plan more modestly. We have a painful experience that when you get too tight, you need to lick your wounds for a long time. So it's better to plan less.

Maybe this year we might even exceed what we've been talking about. But we have to wait for those numbers and we'll see.

Placing a ceiling is always risky because you use a knife blade. Better calm. You will have the surplus – the next year will vary. But it is better to have a surplus than to delay players to pay some wages, sit back and shake, collect money next season. This state did not like it very much.

It is now much more enjoyable to work when you know you can look to the future for young people, send a list of youth coaches. There is something to improve on our training base, arena. Therefore, it is better not to survive, but to improve, so we can move forward.

Photo by Joshyd Elinsky / 15min / Paulius Motiejūnas and Jordi Bertomeu

Photo by Joshyd Elinsky / 15min / Paulius Motiejūnas and Jordi Bertomeu

– Žalgiris has a number of player contracts. Do you see many changes in the summer?

– Every year is the same. It seems like everyone is going to leave and everything will be new. But often it changes by half, it comes to three and we go again.

In this case, the situation is similar. I hope it's not different from every year.

Top players will definitely lose – fact. For example, according to what you can win, Brandon plays a few less times for the second season. It is normal for him to skip and go where the money will be.

I'm just referring to Brandon as an example. There are also several other players you can be with.

But that's why the fun in Zalgiris is that 90% contracts are later better than when we get to us. Players grow and go where they pay more – this becomes a stepping stone to their careers.

– During the critic "Grunwald", the competitors failed and did not try to buy Brandon Davies, other popular players?

"Perhaps it was not because of the stringent Euroleague rules that limit transitions.

On the other hand, we have repeatedly said that we do not want to mess up and change teams in the middle of the season. Maybe there was another hangover, but even with agents we said that if you want to measure a player's progress, you have to stay at the club all season.

Photo of Sigismund Gedvila / 15min / Brandon Davies

Photo of Sigismund Gedvila / 15min / Brandon Davies

"We talked about Žalgiris's financial ceiling. And what is the contractual ceiling of the player of Žalgiris?

"This competition is increasing, but our logic is not changing. We do not want to have a smug and make scissors a little smaller with others.

From experience, I can say that it is not very good to have something very well paid. So I lose my face. Now the team is formed so that everyone can go out, fight, prove and compete.

It is difficult to break the team strategy change so that we have a leader who would pull the team and the other would be assistants. I do not think we're going to change that. When it is successful and justified, we do not see why it needs to be changed.

– Is the composition of Žalgiris again for next season according to Šarūnas Jasikevičius?

– Yeah, it's all the time.

– Shar's fate in "Grunwald" will be a riddle again. How does his situation change with Žalgiris's miraculous entry into the playoffs? Would it have been easier to preserve it if Grunwald had not been in the playoffs, or will it now when Shawh again proves that Grunwald is competitive in the Euroleague and can be hit by the first places?

– I think different.

When we are discussing, we analyze our solutions for the summer. I'm talking to Shari himself. There is no doubt that we want it to be.

Because we got it, even through the keyhole, it means the set was good. We continue to look purposefully, rightly and together we see the same design. Cooperation is taking place.

I treat this only as an advantage to maintain this. That the climate, even under difficult conditions, remained good, positive and supportive. We do not get bogged down and we die. I think this is a sign of strength and needs to be continued.

And how will it be? It depends on Shar and what other conditions may be offered by other people. But it's fun that even after a good season we have the direction we're going to follow.

– In the Euroleague we can work where jobs will be released next season when the NBA market is very unpredictable. The biggest threat to Sarah now comes from Europe or the NBA?

– That's what it is – in Europe everything is clear, and the NBA is the space. Not because we do not have the information, but the system is different. A lot depends on the NBA owners and there are many unpredictable solutions.

Last year maybe an assistant, maybe this year, to come with a veteran. position of the coach. I really would not be surprised because it is unpredictable.

"How does Shar's attitude change the NBA?"

"You need to ask him." But the NBA is the highest level. It is natural for any player or coach to be attractive and interesting. I always imagine wanting to be in the highlands, and the NBA is still bigger than the Eurolyga.

Photo of Erin Ovcharenko / 15min / Sarunas Jasikevičius

Photo of Erin Ovcharenko / 15min / Sarunas Jasikevičius

"We're talking about Istanbul, a series with Fenerbahce. Sharing closely with Sharp with Zeljko, you have a good deal with Fenerbahçe leader Maurizio Gherardini, who defends a good friendship with the Turkish final in Belgrade. Do the Turks remember Elder Grunwald's brother?

– This is really the club with which we have a great game.

The loser will hit his hand and realize that they have done something smarter and better. Yes, you learn from them.

– What characteristic would you like to take from the historical figure of the European basketball champion M.Gherardini?

– Knowledge (smiling). He has extensive experience in the NBA. His relationship with the NBA has survived and his experience can not be beat.

It's his basketball knowledge. I'm already saying that you saw something and how much it saw … Only to learn and to learn.

VIDEO: Žalgiris drowned in the yellow hell of Fenerbahche in the first quarter-finals

– At the start of the Zalgiris season, there was a lot of discussion with the LCF representatives about the Greyhounds at the World Championships. During the season, issues related to the LKL schedule and overload were discussed publicly. What are the biggest future concerns of Zalgiris and how are they prioritized?

"The key question is LKL. Here is a fact. Many games and how much we will use to make them less and the players do not run the risk of suffering injuries. This will be the most important task of the summer – agreeing with the LKL to do fewer games.

Languages ​​are happening, but these projects may not be realistic. However, we expect wear and tear to be as easy as possible.

We are now very grateful to President Remkijus Milašis of the LKL and especially to Neptune for agreeing to postpone the game and help us prepare better for the Euroleague playoffs. But in the summer you will have to see how to get enough of the matches.

As far as the national team is concerned, you are in a boiler with all European countries. I believe that European countries are the most disadvantaged countries for windows. There's nothing in the field here – it's all and you need to do it.


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