Evan Fournier relishes winning in Greek style and watching Olympiacos fans in action

Giorgos Kyriakidis
Staff Writer
2022-09-17 10:31

Evan Fournier talked about France racking up last-second wins in the EuroBasket and his future plans which might include a return to Europe.

Credit: FIBA
Credit FIBA

Evan Fournier will have the chance to play his first EuroBasket final in his career this Sunday as France takes on Spain

The 29-year-old guard averages 14.4 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 3.1 with Les Bleus so far in the tournament and spoke about his side overcoming Poland in the semis and his plans ahead for the future. 

"Throughout the tournament, we've had a lot of ups and downs. We didn't have our best game yet, and we felt like we're a team capable of playing better in key moments," Fournier told Greek public television ERT. 

Asked about the opponent he prefers to face in Sunday's final after France had taken down Poland in record-breaking fashion (95-54), he replied that "France vs. Spain sounds good because we have a history", before adding that he would like to face Germany instead.

"We lost to them in the group phase, and playing against the host team would be great," he explained.

Of course, the Germans will face Poland in the 3rd place game since Sergio Scariolo's squad managed to emerge victorious from the duel. 

A few minutes after France had beaten Italy in the quarterfinals, bouncing back in the game's final minutes and surviving Simone Fontecchio's missed free throws, Fournier revealed that in France, winning games in the last seconds is known as 'the Greek style'.

"It shows that we have a lot of heart. We never quit and try to stay in the moment. Greek style is about beating someone with the last-second shot," he said.

Although France admittedly had luck on their side against Turkey (when Cedi Osman wasted a couple of free throws that would have sealed the outcome) in the Round of 16 and Italy a few days later, Poland was no match for Vincent Collet's squad. 

"Tonight, it was clearly our defense that won us the game," Fournier continued.

"We were very physical, gave them no space, and didn't allow them to play their basketball. They're a very dangerous team when they get confidence. But we started the game really well, and it started to build up. It was too hard for them (to recover) after a while," he pointed out. 

Fournier played 79 games with the New York Knicks in the 2021-22 NBA season, averaging 14.2 points. He also snatched the franchise record for 3-pointers made in a single campaign.

Since his team was eliminated early, he got the chance to attend the final - and most important - day of the EuroLeague Final Four held in Belgrade last May. 

The French international arrived to express support for his national team teammates, like Moustapha Fall, Guerschon Yabusele, Vincent Poirier, and Thomas Heurtel.

However, he also got to witness the amazing support of Olympiacos Piraeus fans, which led him to the following tweet:

"If one day I had to go back to Europe and I had the choice to go where I want, I think I would go to Olympiacos. It's still a hell of a club," the Knicks player wrote

The Reds' coach, Giorgos Bartzokas, was thrilled to learn about Fournier's tweet.

"That's fantastic, I had no idea," the Greek coach said from the Stark Arena mixed zone after his team had lost to FC Barcelona in the 3rd-place game. 

"That encapsulates what I said a few days ago - that Olympiacos is an extremely attractive destination for any player when they see this kind of support. Players want to be supported in difficult times, and there's no better advertisement for our club's brand name," Bartzokas told sport24.gr back then. 

Four months went by, and ERT asked Fournier about a possible return to Europe for Olympiacos. 

"To be honest, I'm not someone who looks very far ahead," he replied.

"But I always thought that the atmosphere in Olympiacos' court is the best to play. I'm hopeful to come and see Mouss (Fall) play one day and feel that atmosphere. But as far as coming back, it's too early, and it depends on injuries and all that," Fournier clarified.

"It's too far ahead," he repeated. "But if I do come back, I would like to go to a big club like Olympiacos. It's too early. I'm still 29, and I have a long way to go in the NBA. Then, we'll see," he concluded. 



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